A beautiful early 20th Century French Art Deco opalescent Ceylan glass vase, with decorative raised figures of birds amongst branches heightened with noticeable original blue staining. The attractive design, quality and colour make this vase much sought after by the discerning collector, signed R.Lalique France
Catalogue Number: 905
Signature identification: “R. Lalique France” Inscribed underneath to base
Date introduced: May 16, 1924
Dimensions: 24.5 cm High
Felix Marchilac Catalogue Raisonné Page 418
What is Opalescent Glass?
Opalescent glass is a generalised term for clear and semi-opaque pressed glass, cloudy, marbled, and sometimes accented with subtle colouring all combining to form a milky opalescence in the glass. The opalescent effect is a glass making technique used by many manufacturers to greater or lesser degrees of artistry, produced in the cooling process, which creates the milky opalescent effect, which illuminates any colouration when light shines on it. Sometimes the opalescent effect was created along the edge of a piece, often coupled with wavy effects and making for an elegant yet subtle look. This opalescence is also created in the glass making by alternating heating and cooling of the glass and with the addition of chemical additives to create the desired effect.
How it is made:
There are three kinds of glass, which are called opalescent. One is the blue-tinged semi-opaque or clear glass with milky opalescence in its centre. The colour is produced by the slower cooling of the molten glass in those parts, which are thick, causing some crystallisation inside the glass. This kind of glass glows a golden colour when light shines through from behind it, and a beautiful blue when light shines onto the surface from the front.
The second kind of opalescent glass has a milky white edge or a white raised pattern decorating a coloured pressed glass item. This effect is produced by re-heating parts of the molten glass when it has just started to cool, and heat-sensitive chemicals in the glass turn the re-heated sections white.
The third kind of opalescent glass is hand blown and was normally made from two layers of glass. The outer layer contained heat reactive components such as bone ash. The two-layered piece was blown into a mould with the raised pattern impressed into the metal. After removing the mould, the piece had a raised pattern comprised largely of heat sensitive glass, which turned milky white when reheated. This left the white pattern like a silhouette against the usually clear background.
Today, few glass makers still make opalescent glass primarily due to the toxicity of the chemicals needed to execute the complex glass making process. This glass is highly prized and cherished by collectors because of its rarity and because of its elegant beauty.”
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