An Art Nouveau cameo glass and Vienna Faience glazed figural lamp by Emile Gallé and Podany. The porcelain base is formed from three dancing women with outstretched arms holding a garland of pink roses. The blossoms echo the elegant dome-shaped rosy-hued shade. Both the inside and the outside of the shade are decorated with pink and green flowers in carved relief.
"La Femme Couchée", A French Art Nouveau glass pâte-de-verre paperweight (press-papiers) designed by A. Finot and executed by Amalric Walter, cast in the form of a female nude with light brown hair reclining on a bed of leaves colored in various tones of yellowish/orange and green. A similar piece, entitled Femme couchée, is pictured in: La pâte de verre, by Nöel Daum, Paris: Edition Denöel, 1984, page 105, plate 129.
A French Art Nouveau marquetry commode by Émile Gallé. With original key. The syncretic influence of Japanese art is keenly felt in Gallé''s commode. The beginning of Galle''s fascination with Japanese art can be traced back to his friendship with Hokkai Takashima (1850-1931), a fellow botanist and member of the École de Nancy. Their botanical dialogue was facilitated by the Shokobutsu mei-i, a book of Japanese names for botanical species. It is from Hokkai that Gallé gained a spiritual and symbolic understanding of nature. Along with other École de Nancy artists, Hokkai and Gallé exhibited together in the display window of René Wiener''s papeterie. The store served as the office of Wiener''s arts journal, the Nancy artiste, which regularly featured on its covers contemporary examples of Gansai (Japanese watercolor), Byobu (folding screens) from the Rinpa school, Sumi-e (ink painting), and Ukiyo-e (woodblock prints). As a show of gratitude, Hokkai bequeathed a vast art book collection to Wiener. It is from this record that we know with certainty of which Japanese artists Gallé had knowledge. One of the books in Hokkai''s collection was Hokusai''s Les cent paysages du Fuji (Fugaku hyakkei.) This 1835 expansion of Hokusai''s 36 views of Mount Fuji contained more elaborate iterations of his original compositions. The commode features two drawers and four cabriole legs.
The front of the drawers features a marquetry panel with mountains, unkai (sea of clouds) and usugumo (wisps of clouds) motifs. It is likely from works like Hokusai''s Yama mata yama (Mountains Upon Mountains) that Gallé assimilated the unkai (??) motif. The Yama mata yama is the album''s only zenithal view, allowing this phenomenon which is normally only visible from high elevations. On the top of the commode, a sunset mirage overlooks the entire scene. Meanwhile in the foreground, Gallé has included a usugumo motif rendered in warm brown wood. The wisps of cloud motif originates in a stanza in the Tale of Genji in his mourning for Fujitsubo. Those thin wisps of cloud trailing there over Mountains caught in sunset light Seem to wish to match their hue To the sleeves of the bereaved. There is a distinct temporal quality in the commode''s composition. The left side panel depicts a diurne while the right side panel depicts a nocturne. The juxtaposition of day and night in Japanese ukiyo-e was a subject much beloved by Hokusai and Hiroshige and was termed chuya (chu meaning day and ya meaning night). The Japanese nocturne was clearly a subject of great fascination to Gallé as well as evidenced by his "Nuit Japonais" vase. A similar commode is pictured in: "Gallé Furniture", by Alastair Duncan and Georges de Bartha, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 2012, p. 329, plate 15.
A French Art Nouveau gilt bronze boudoir lamp by Edouard Colonna. The gilt bronze base has a foliate motif. The fringed pale gold silk shade is topped by a twisted vine finial that spreads in an arch over the lamp. A similar lamp is pictured in: "Art Nouveau: The French Aesthetic," by Victor Arwas, London: Andreas Papadakis, 2002, p. 281.
A French "Théâtre de Loïe Fuller" lithograph by Manuel Orazi. The poster depicts the dancer Loïe Fuller with flowing red hair and her signature billowing costume, surrounded by stylized flowers. Realistically-drawn flowers descend from the poster title. The artist''s insignia appears on the lower right of the image. A similar poster is pictured in:" Loïe Fuller: Magician of Light," Exhibition at the Virginia Museum, March 12-April 22, 1979, Richmond: The Virginia Museum, 1979, p. 76; and in: "The Kogod Collection," E. Greenwich, RI: Meridian Printing, 2004, p. 242.
A Tiffany Studios New York Favrile glass and patinated bronze "Eighteen-light Lily" lamp with 18 golden iridescent glass "Lily" shades suspended over a patinated bronze "Lily Pad" base. Tiffany took this model to the Paris and Turin World''s Fairs around the turn of the century, where the American lamp made waves in the French Art Nouveau movement. Praised for its elegance, the Tiffany "Lily" has been called the "Aristocrat of the Garden." This particular lamp is of special historical importance, even compared with other models of the same design, because it is one of the earliest examples of the "Eighteen-Light Lily." It is outfitted with shades of particular delicacy and iridescence that would have accommodated the weak light from the then newly-invented light bulbs. The shades are mounted on slender curving stems that grow out of a base in the shape of water lily flowers and pads.A similar lamp is pictured in: "Tiffany Lamps and Metalware: An illustrated reference to over 2000 models," by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge: Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1988, p. 80, plate 313.
A French Art Nouveau "Vigne et Escargots" vase by Daum. The vase features grape clusters, vines and leaves in low relief with an an applied snail on one of the upper leaves, all against a mottled amber, pink, red, plum and white glass ground. Some of the grapes are also applied to to heighten the natural effects of the grape clusters. The scene is loosely landscape-based, with roots at the bottom and vines hanging down from the top, but the complex composition makes the piece entirely surreal. During the Art Nouveau period artists frequently used scenes from nature to convey human emotion, and vice versa. This autumnal piece is dark and mysterious, with gnarls, roots, and snails slithering on it. The motifs, patterns, and textures on the vase imply a time of transience, like the changing of the seasons. The "Vigne et Escargots" vase was produced in five layers beginning with a colorless glass core. The top two thirds of the intercalaire layer is colored with sulfure de cadmium inclusions and the bottom third is powdered with améthyste inclusions. After being cased with colorless glass, the glass was colored with translucent white inclusions in the top two thirds of the vase and améthyste in the bottom two thirds. Cirrus clouds at sunset were created with améthyste inclusions sprinkled atop burgundy inclusions. The base features a spattering of opaque verte de paris in
clusions. To create a soot-like atmosphere, bistre inclusions were sprinkled about the grapes. The final layer consists of burgundy inclusions in the top third and améthyste, opaque verte de paris, and translucent white inclusions in the bottom two thirds. The vase was subsequently blown into an inverted baluster form with an undulating trefoil mouth and a splayed thick concave firing foot. In the constriction between the body and foot, the body was twisted counter-clockwise, while the constriction between body and neck was twisted clockwise. The striation created by the twisting of the intercalated layers create a sense of rising air. The bodies of the burgundy snails were subsequently created with drawn out upper and lower tentacles and fused with yellow powdered glass. For the snails'' shells, a core of colorless glass was coated in light gray-brown, dark gray-brown and black powdered glass and cased in another layer of colorless glass. The snail shells were fused to the body using this very powdered glass mixture. After the design was painted in wax upon the vase, the background and snails were acid-etched, allowing the intercalated layers to show through and the snails to be given a frosted appearance. The grape vine design and snails were subsequently hand carved, taking care to detail the snail shell''s bands. A vase with similar decoration is pictured in: Daum Frères: Maîtres Verriers, 1892-1935, by Katharina Büttiker-Weber, Zurich: Galerie Katharina Büttiker, 1986, cat. no. 79.
A French Art Nouveau "Pivoines" table lamp by Émile Gallé. The lamp features a vibrant detailed decoration of crimson red peonies wrapped around the base and shade, surrounded by foliage of plum-colored leaves. The patinated bronze mounts replicate the foliage theme and have scarab beetle terminals. A similar lamp is pictured in A. Duncan, G. de Bartha, "Gallé Le Verre," London, 1984, p. 153, pl. 214.
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