ÉMILE GALLÉ (1846-1904)
ÉMILE GALLÉ (1846-1904)
EMILE GALLE (1846-1904)
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ÉMILE GALLÉ (1846-1904)


ÉMILE GALLÉ (1846-1904)
An 'Iris' Verrerie Parlante Libation Coupe, Circa 1900
the internally decorated vessel with wheel-carved maquetry flower and foliage, the rim engraved quotation, the interior carved with leaf fronds, raised on a baluster stem over-laid, acid-etched and wheel-engraved with foliage, on an overlaid foot acid-etched and wheel-engraved with further iris flowers and martelé, applied handle
7 ¼ in. (18.5 cm.) high; 10 in. (25.4 cm.) wide
engraved Gallé, 'Haut levée, dans l'air en libation séveuse aux immanentes idées!' Théocrite
R. and L. Grover, Carved & Decorated European Art Glass, Tokyo, 1970, p. 185, pl. 313, another variant example illustrated;
P. Thiébaut, Les dessins de Gallé, Paris, 1993, p. 179, for an illustration of the pencil and watercolour design for this model, dated to 1899-1900, in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay;
V. Thomas, L’École de Nancy Fleurs et ornements, Paris, 1999, p. 41 for an illustration of Gallé’s preliminary ink sketch of this model, in the collection of the Musée de l’Ecole de Nancy;
B. Hakenjos, Émile Gallé Keramik, Glas und Möbel des Art Nouveau, Cologne, 1973, p. 121, pl. 236, this piece illustrated;
E. Gallé, Émile Gallé, New York, 2014, p. 72, another similar example illustrated.

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Lot Essay

In this fine, sculptural libation vessel, Emile Gallé has taken a historic form, the stemmed tazza or cup of the glassmakers of the Renaissance, and transformed it into a masterpiece of Art Nouveau. In a bold fusion of theme and form, the iris is not represented simply as a decoration but is the inspiration for the very shape this piece takes, the flower sensually modeled in full relief, its scrolling stem curling to the support and forming a handle. The text on the coupe is from Theocritus, the 3 century BC poet from Syracuse, author of pastoral idylls that inspired subsequent generations of poets.

There survive both a preliminary sketch for this model and a finished watercolor, both in the collection of the Musée de l’Ecole de Nancy.

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