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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Glass, Room 131

Vase

ca. 1904 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This vase could be one of the last designs made during Gallé's lifetime and under his supervision. It incorporates two of his favourite images - the sun, symbolising day, banishing the bat, which symbolises night. The bat also evoked, in Gallé's words,'... the darkness of a night in the forest...the rustle, the whispering and mysterious activity of things which are unseen, but which watch, and go about their business in secret' .
The applied coloured glass decorations that imitate rich jewelling are called cabochons. They were not included on the simpler versions of the design that were produced in the early years after Gallé died in 1904. These versions have the Gallé mark, together with a star. This combined mark was used on pieces made after his death.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cased, wheel-cut and acid-etched glass, with applied 'cabochons' over silver foil
Brief Description
Vase of glass, designed by Emile Gallé for Gallé glassworks, Nancy, Lorraine, probably 1904
Physical Description
This vase incorporates two of the "symbolist"images particularly favoured by Galle - the sun representing day banishing the bat which represents night as well as sightlessness balanced by an uncanny knowledge, repulsion balanced by magical qualities. The vase is also decorated with "cabochons"- applied raised glass, coloured with metallic oxides, over silver foil in imitation of rich jewelling as well as carved borders at the foot and rim in "oriental, Persian"style. Incised with "Galle"
Dimensions
  • Height: 37.5cm
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
'Gallé' incised (Makers's mark)
Gallery Label
There is a closely similar example to this vase in the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris, given by the Gallé family. It is said to be one of the last designs by Gallé, made during his lifetime under his 'supervision'. Simpler versions were produced in the first years after his death, without the cabochons, on which the signature is accompanied by a star. This vase incorporates two of the 'symbolist' images particularly favoured by Gallé - the sun representing day banishing the bat which represents night as well as sightlessness balanced by an uncanny knowledge, repulsion balanced by magical qualities. Seen here, against a forest skyline there are further implications. Gallé wrote '...the darkness of a night in the forest, the vague distress which takes unawares the walker who finds himself in the evening at the edge of the woods. There, strange lights hover in the darkness, the rustle, the whispering and mysterious activity of things which are unseen, but which watch, and go about their business in secret'. The vase is also decorated with 'cabochons' - applied raised glass, coloured with metallic oxides, over silver foil in imitation of rich jewelling as well as carved borders at the foot and rim in 'oriental, Persian' style.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This vase could be one of the last designs made during Gallé's lifetime and under his supervision. It incorporates two of his favourite images - the sun, symbolising day, banishing the bat, which symbolises night. The bat also evoked, in Gallé's words,'... the darkness of a night in the forest...the rustle, the whispering and mysterious activity of things which are unseen, but which watch, and go about their business in secret' .

The applied coloured glass decorations that imitate rich jewelling are called cabochons. They were not included on the simpler versions of the design that were produced in the early years after Gallé died in 1904. These versions have the Gallé mark, together with a star. This combined mark was used on pieces made after his death.
Bibliographic References
  • Bloch-Dermant, J: L'Art du verre en France 1860-1914, Fribourg, 1974,p.114, for similar post-1914 version. See Bloch-Dermant also for some information on colouring etc. Garner,Philippe: Gallé... for detail of this vase; Warmus, W: Dreams into Glass, Corning, 1984 p61 and Gallé ecrits..
  • Greenhalgh, Paul (Ed.), Art Nouveau: 1890-1914 . London: V&A Publications, 2000
Other Number
9451 - Glass gallery number
Collection
Accession Number
C.53-1992

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record createdDecember 13, 1997
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