Emile Gallé

Born in 1846, the French ceramist and cabinetmaker founded in 1901 the Ecole de Nancy, a major institution of Art Nouveau in France.

Very quickly, Emile Gallé concentrates his know-how on glassware: very original and generally polychrome creations with acid-etched decorations and reliefs. This technique enabled him to launch a large series production. The young artist shows prodigious creativity, notably through a daring use of different materials in his glassworks. Endowed with a great sensitivity to nature, which he translates into his decorative language, Gallé is dependent on a naturalist theme that is very personal to him. Transparent glass and opaque glass are adorned with abstract, Japanese flowers that reveal the particular inventiveness of a botanist artist. Gallé represents a great advance in technique: glass marquetry, blown-moulded glass, hammered glass, or even taking over the decoration of the glass by the polychrome enamel that can be seen in his “gobeleteries”, vases and cabochons, highlight Gallé’s fabulous work of multi-layered glass that allows great precision in the motif.

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Gallé found its place at the 1889 and 1900 Universal Exhibitions, which showcased unique pieces and spectacular installations. However, it is the industrialisation of its production, with the opening of depots all over Europe, that will allow a very wide distribution of quality serial pieces. The pieces are generally presented as "Etablissements Gallé".

There are three main types of production in the Gallé factory on the art market: prestige pieces, unique pieces made during Emile Gallé's lifetime, and so-called "industrial" pieces produced in large numbers, particularly in the 1920s.

While serial productions are very present in our catalogues, unique pieces signed by the artist are rarer and therefore very coveted on the auction scene.
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