A very vibrant and unusual early 20th Century French soufflé vase of spherical form, the blue and purple flowering berry landscape draped delicately against a yellow field. Exhibiting excellent colour and very fine detail, signed Gallé.
Souffle or Mould-blown Glass
The term ‘mould-blown’ or ‘soufflé’ is generally used today to distinguish between Gallé industrial glassware which has relief detailing and that which does not. Whereas in both instances the shape of the vessel was formed in a mould. In a mould-blown piece the primary decoration protrudes from the surface to provide increased definition and realism.
The technique was limited almost exclusively to a series of cameo vases and light fixtures. Often decorated with vegetables and fruit, to which it was well suited. Apples and pendant bunches of cherries stand out nationalistically against pale matt skies. Each domed piece of fruit highly polished and with internal luminosity.
Two layers of glass were selected for most mould-blown pieces. More sophisticated designs receiving three. The technique was the same as that used for standard industrial wares – hydrofolic acid – colours within editions being interchanged to extend the range of effects
It was assumed until recently that the process was introduced during Galle’s lifetime, or soon thereafter. However, Ecrits pour l’art, published posthumously in 1908, makes no mention of this kind of relief surface decoration. A most uncharacteristic omission for the fastidious Galle. Whose concern with precedence drove him to tabulate all his inventions. The mystery was solved in M.Dezavelle’s 1974 speech: the entire mould-blown series was introduced, well after galle’s death, in the years 1924~25, in time for the 1925 Exposition Universelle, where a wide selection was displayed. Included was that most peculiar of Galle’s items the ‘elephant’ vase.
Galle produced approximately fifty different models of mould blown vases, from small to huge. Mould blown vases are highly desirable and collectible. They have always commanded a premium price over similar, non mold-blown examples. Other companies, such as Daum, employed the technique of mold-blowing, but Gallé embraced the technique and produced the largest number of different blownout vases.
Click here to view a selection of our other Soufflé vases
Category: Emile Gallé Antique Glass.
- £ 2,250
- £ 9,500
- £ 15,500
- £ 2,850
- £ 1,650
- £ 6,500