Beautifully subtle three-colour cameo glass vase with flowering wisteria by Émile Gallé c1900. Footed ovoid body with tall collar neck. Cameo design of trailing wisteria in flower - created using coloured overlay of plum and lilac over an acid-etched, frosted ground. Ground gradating from pale-apricot at its base through white, to pale-apricot at its rim. Wheel cut detail to leaves and petals. Fire polished on lower half to highlight blooms. Raised Gallé signature to body. The vase is 15 cm in height and 8.5 cm maximum diameter.
Gallé was the son of a faience and furniture manufacturer and studied philosophy, botany, and drawing in his youth. He learned glassmaking at Meisenthal and came to work at his father's factory in Nancy following the Franco-Prussian War. His early work was executed using clear glass decorated with enamel, but he soon turned to an original style featuring heavy, opaque glass carved or etched with plant motifs (cameo glass). In 1877 he took over from his father as director of the Maison Gallé-Reinemer. His work received praise at the Paris Exhibition of 1878 and again at the Paris Exhibition of 1889 – giving him and his style international fame. With its emphasis on naturalism and floral motifs, Gallé’s designs were at the forefront of the emerging Art Nouveau movement.
Cameo glass is a luxury form of art glass produced by cameo etching and carving through fused layers of differently coloured glass to produce designs. In Gallé’s designs all of the top layer except the areas needed for the design were removed by an acid etching process. Areas were covered with a resist layer such as wax and the glass was repeatedly dipped in acid. Detailed work was then done with wheels and drills before finishing.
Galle Art Nouveau Three-Colour Cameo Glass Vase with Flowering Wisteria c1900
The vase is in excellent original condition with no chips or cracks. Bubble inclusions to the glass body as is commonly seen with cameo glass of this era. Please see images as these form an important part of the description.
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