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

A 'LYS' VASE, 1900-1903

Details
ÉMILE GALLÉ (1846-1904)
A 'Lys' Vase, 1900-1903
the vessel in the form of a lily, overlaid, fire-polished, polished to reveal a graduation in color, applied flower and bud with wheel-carved detail, marquetry stamens, patinated bronze base with snail detail
12 ¾ in. (32.5 cm.) high
cameo Gallé signature, mount engraved Gallé
Provenance
Literature
J. Henrivaux, ‘Emile Gallé’, L’Art Décoratif, Paris, March 1905, p.129;
B. Hakenjos, Emile Gallé Keramik, Glas und Möbel des Art Nouveau, Vol. 2, Cologne, 1973, p. 132, pl. 254, this piece illustrated;
J. Bloch-Dermant, L’Art du Verre en France 1860-1914, Lausanne, 1974, p. 83, this piece illustrated;
A. Duncan, G. de Bartha, Gallé Le Verre, London, 1984, p. 74, pl. 92, variant without base illustrated, p. 87, pl. 120, another similar example illustrated;
P. Thiébaut, Gallé, Paris, 1985, p. 236, cat. no. 145, another similar example illustrated;
P. Garner, Emile Gallé, London, 1976, p. 47, this piece illustrated;
A. Duncan, The Paris Salons 1895-1914, Vol. IV: Ceramics and Glass, Woodbridge, 1998, p. 211, another similar example illustrated from the Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1900, p. 224, another similar example illustrated from the Exposition de l'Ecole de Nancy Paris, 1903;
E. Gallé, Emile Gallé, New York, 2014, p. 154, another similar example illustrated


Condition Report

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Lot Essay

‘Lys blanc’ (‘White lily’) is among Emile Gallé’s most remarkable creations. The synthesis of theme and form is total, the result fully sculptural, sensuous, voluptuous, and expressive. This tour-de-force of glasswork has been well described by Françoise Thérèse Charpentier who observes: ‘…it is among the best known [of Gallé’s works], to the point of representing for many the very essence of his oeuvre. This is surely an important piece…in the sense that it is a kind of fulfilment of a whole story of his research regarding form and material. Here, decorative art aspires to the status of sculpture, indeed quite simply to that of ‘art’, as defined by the spirit of the century.’ (Thiébault, Gallé, p. 236)

Thiébault confirms that the model was introduced in 1900 and was exhibited in Paris in 1903 in the Exposition Lorraine. The technical challenges in blowing and modelling ‘à chaud’ such a thickness of glass, with the attendant risks of its cracking during the cooling, were considerable. Gallé and his experienced artisans were pushing glasswork to its limits in pursuit of such ambitious effects. Research into the chemical additives that would slow and thus mitigate the risks during cooling was just one aspect of the technical mastery demanded by such a piece, as were the issues involved in designing and fitting a bronze base that would become an integral element of the concept. The end result is a true masterpiece within Gall’s already impressive oeuvre and by any measure within the history of glass as a medium of high artistic creativity.

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