ÉMILE GALLÉ (1864-1904)
ÉMILE GALLÉ (1864-1904)
ÉMILE GALLÉ (1864-1904)
EMILE GALLE (1846-1904)
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ÉMILE GALLÉ (1864-1904)


ÉMILE GALLÉ (1864-1904)
An 'Orchidée' Vase, Circa 1900
cased and internally decorated with mottling and tonal contrasts to represent stone and martelé surface texture, with applied orchid, stem and foliage with wheel-carved details, opalescence and slight surface patination, one small opaline applique
9 in. (22.8 cm.) high
engraved Gallé
R. Marx, ‘Émile Gallé – Psychologie de l’artiste et synthèse de l’oeuvre’, Art et Décoration, Paris, August 1911, p. 245, for an illustration of the variant in the Marx collection;
Collection Roger Marx – Objets d’Art Moderne, Paris, 13 May 1914, lot 98, the above variant of this model;
J. Bloch-Dermant, L’Art du Verre en France 1860-1914, Lausanne, 1974, p. 100, another similar example illustrated;
L. Buffet-Challié, Le Modern Style, Paris,1975, p. 127, another similar example illustrated;
P. Garner, Émile Gallé, Paris, 1976, p. 112, for an illustration of a variant of the green and pink version;
B. Warmus, Émile Gallé – Dreams into Glass, The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, 1984, pp. 98-101, for illustrations of the Roger Marx collection variant, pp. 102-103, cat. no. 20, for the variant, lot 45 in the present catalogue;
A. Duncan, G. de Bartha, Gallé Le Verre, London, 1984, p. 76, pl. 98, another similar example illustrated;
P. Thiébaut, Gallé, Paris, 1985, p. 172, for an illustration of an 1889 precursor to this model, and p. 210 for a green and pink version in the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie, Boulogne-sur-Mer;
A. Duncan, The Paris Salons 1895-1914, Vol. IV: Ceramics and Glass, Woodbridge, 1998, p. 217, design drawing illustrated, p. 224, another similar example illustrated from the Exposition de l’École de Nancy, Paris, 1903,p. 230, another similar example illustrated from the Paris Salon 1903-1904;
L’École de Nancy, 1889-1909, Paris, 1999, p. 185, another example illustrated;
E. Gallé, Émile Gallé, New York, 2014, p. 154, another similar example illustrated.

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Lot Essay

This striking vase ‘Orchidée’ of around 1900, with its full-relief application of a coelogina cristata in full bloom, is the fulfilment of a model that dates back to 1889. In that year Gallé included a version of the vase in his submission to the Exposition Universelle in Paris. The model, its form derived from that of an archaic Chinese Han bronze vessel, was executed in a lightly veined glass whose decoration was rendered in surface enameling, patination, and engraving. The motifs were drawn from both Islamic and Japanese sources. The piece illustrated the eclecticism that marked Gallé’s oeuvre, particularly in its earlier chapters before the emergence through the 1890s and the fulfilment around 1900 of his mature style. The present piece exploits the same Han form, but now with a more complex and richer decoration in the mass of the glass, and with the chosen flower, the orchid, represented in luscious full relief. A version of this model was presented at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris and an example was in the illustrious contemporary collection of Roger Marx, art critic, connoisseur, Inspector-general of French museums and subsequently editor of La Gazette des Beaux-Arts .

The Nakamoto Collection boasts two versions of the model, providing an instructive case study (see lot 145). We note straight away that the vases are similar, but not identical. Such is the reality of the internal decoration of the glass itself and the challenge of working the glass in high relief that it is not possible for the artisans to precisely replicate a model. Each creation becomes a ‘pièce unique’. Just as in nature, where, for instance, every leaf of a species is a matching but unique universe of fractal geometry, so in his art Gallé, working in close harmony with his team of artisans, would create a concept and chance, in the service of high skill, would give individuality and character to each result.

The model also exists in variegated jade green and pink with a pink flower in the former collection of Roger Marx and in the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie, Boulogne-sur-mer.

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