French Cameo & Enameled Glass

French Cameo Glass

According to Philip Chasen " Emile Galle glass and Daum Nancy glass are the best and most famous French cameo glass of the Art Nouveau period from 1890 to 1920. The glass was called "cameo glass" because it was built up with different colored layers and cut back with acid to reveal beautiful floral or scenic designs. First the glass was covered with an acid resist (wax). Then a glass artist carved the design into the resist, followed by immersion in hydrofluoric acid. The acid ate away the glass wherever the resist was removed. The longer the immersion in the acid, the more glass was eaten away. The wax was then melted away and a new layer applied. The process was then repeated. Each successive acid cutting added a layer of detail and possibly color if the vase had enough colored layers. The success of the vase depended largely on the skill of the artist."

These perfume bottles were made of lovely contrasting bright colors of glass and had various subjects ranging from insects like dragonflies to forest scenes or idyllic towns. Beautiful cameo glass perfume bottles and atomizers can be found in antique shops, at auction as well as online. You can also find imitations of cameo glass (not the new repros from Romania or China) but actual period pieces that look like cameo glass, but are actually painted with enamel (please scroll down to the bottom of this article to read about Enameled Glass (Non-Cameo Glass).

Other cameo glass bottles have been seen with the following signatures: G. Raspiller, Galle, Argy Rousseau, Daum Nancy, DeVez, Muller Freres-Luneville, Richard, La Verre Francais, A. Ducobu, Deveau, Quenvil, Paradis, and others. I have written brief histories and info about some of these companies below. More detailed information can be found in books or online.




Richard, Loetz, Lucidus, Velez

Richard was the mark used on acid-etched cameo glass vases, bowls, night-lights, perfumes and lamps made by the Austrian company Loetz after 1918. Other cameo glass pieces by Loetz are signed Velez and Lucidus. Though Loetz was an Austrian company, I figured it would be a good idea to post info here in the cameo glass category.



Loetz produced cameo glass under the name Richard in the 1920’s to satisfy demand for French cameo glass in the Parisian market. With this in mind, many of the pieces were very similar to the French cameo glasswares made by Daum, Galle, De Vez, D'Argental, Legras and others.

The French company Etling sold Richard cameo glass in Paris in the 1920's. Richard was a retail outlet in Paris owned by Edmond Etling. Ref: 'Le Genie Verrier De L'Europe' by Cappa page 368. Edmond Etling commissioned Loetz to create French style cameo glass that they could sell in their Richard boutique. Therefore all pieces to be sold in the boutique have the Richard signature. Richard is a signature you will not often find as their perfume bottles don't seem to have been made in numbers like their vases. Loetz finally went out of business for the third time in 1939.


Daum Nancy

Daum Nancy Cameo glass pieces were produced in a series, typically acid cut, sometimes with added enamel. Nature and landscapes were commonly used themes.


Muller Freres

Muller Freres, French for Muller Brothers, made cameo and other glass from about 1895 to 1933. Their factory was first located in Luneville, then in nearby Croismare, France. Muller Freres was noted for their exquisitely detailed pieces, often times using up to six or seven different layers of glass. Pieces were usually marked with the company name. It is possible to find beautiful cameo glass atomizers from this company. The company finally closed its doors in 1936.


Le Verre Francais


Le Verre Francais glass and Schneider glass were both lines of glassware made by the same company in Epinay-Sur-Seine France from 1913-1933.Charles Schneider found work at the Daum factory where he learned the techniques of making art glass. He and his brother opened their own glassworks, the Cristallerie Schneider.

Closed during WWI, and reopened in 1917, and soon began making their beautiful cameo glass. The company produced vases, bowls, perfume bottles, epergnes, candlesticks and lamps. They are generally known for their use of vivid reds and oranges, incidentally, Schneider coined the term "tango orange" to describe the strong orange hue used in the glass. Le Verre Francais glassware was originally only sold in French department stores, then by 1920, they started showing up in America, especially for the prestigious New York store Ovingtons, for whom they made commissioned pieces.

Glass made by Le Verre Francais was usually acid etched, just like Gallé and Daum's work. Schneider glass was rarely acid etched. Most of the glass was brightly colored with internal mottling, streaking, and flecking . Charder is a contraction of the name Charles Schneider and may e found on vases and possibly perfume bottles.


Degue

French art deco cameo glass designed by David Gueron for his own company "Verre d'Art Degue", known as "Degue". The company, founded in 1926, lasted only until 1939 when Gueron closed the factory and fled the Nazis. Gueron employed ex-Schneider workers and soon over stepped the mark resulting in litigation between Gueron and Schneider.


Andre Delatte

Andre Delatte founded a small glassworks in Nancy, France that specialized in specialized in cameo glass and thickly applied polychrome enameled pieces. Most items were acid etched rather than hand carved or wheel cut. Delatte's pieces are always signed Delatte. Delatte produced variations on the designs of Daum which resulted in a number of lawsuits. His work has a strong Art Deco innovations. The perfume atomizers can be quite rare to find, sometimes Delatte made other types of perfume bottles, mostly the splash type colognes.

D'Argental


D'Argental is a mark for the Compagnie des Verreries et Cristalleries de Saint- Louis.These bottles were layered semi-opaque cameo glass with elaborate floral and scenic designs.




Gabriel Argy-Rousseau

Gabriel Argy-Rousseau was a French glass artist and a master of the pate de verre and created the pate de crystal (a translucent type of pate de verre) technique. He mainly produced vases, bowls, figures (using cire perdue), perfume bottles and jewellery in highly attractive translucent glass. Also bright heavy enamels. Beautiful glassware made using thin walled translucent glass with relief decoration and rich colors. Decorative motifs included insects, lizards, wolves, deer, masks, nudes, Egyptian themes and others. Most of the glass was produced from 1921-1931.


Pantin, De Vez, & Legras


First established in 1851 in La Villette, Paris, as the Cristallerie de la Villette. Later in 1855 it changed names Pantin, Paris, Cristallerie de la Pantin. Subsequently the company went thru numerous changes of name; Monot et Cie, Monot, Stumpf & Cie, Monot Pere et Fils & Stumpf, then Stumpf, Touvier, Viollet & Cie. After WW1 the company merged with Legras & Cie to become Verreries et Cristalleries de St. Denis et Pantin Reunies. Mt. Joye, was another glass by this factory.

De Vez was a signature used on cameo glass after 1910.. De Vez was the pseudonym adopted by Camille Tutré de Varreaux, who became artistic director of the Cristalleries Pantin. See the article below for more info on De Vez.

Legras et Cie, another company under Pantin, made beautiful Art Nouveau cameo and enameled glassware. It is possible to find lovely atomizers from this firm. Pieces will be marked Legras, Sargel (Legras backwards), Leg, and L & Cie.

Thick walled vessels in opaque glass acid etched with surface patterns (sometimes called cracked ice) all with Mont Joye mark & sometimes Aug. Heiligenstein., An illustrated dictionary of glass by Newman indicates Degue signature is found on Pantin glass(?)

In 1930 some pieces were signed Aug. Heiligenstein or A. Heiligenstein for Auguste Heiligenstein, a fantastic glass enamelist during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. He was a gifted artist with a penchant for drawing, he used his talent to work as an apprentice decorator at the Saint-Denis Legras Glass Factory in 1902. After his brief stint at the Baccarat decoration workshop ended in 1908, he began working as the artistic director at the house of Rouard, after the demobilization by Goupy.

With confidence and the desire to become independent, Heiligenstein started his own company in 1923 and no longer had to work for someone else. Looking to expand his artistry, he met a woman who introduced him to ceramics, Odette Chatrousse, who would later become his wife. Heiligenstein mainly concentrated on ceramic arts after WWII.



De Vez


De Vez was a signature used on cameo glass after 1910. E. S. Monot founded the glass company near Paris in 1851. The company changed names many times. Mt. Joye, another glass by this factory, is listed in its own category. De Vez was the pseudonym adopted by Camille Tutre de Varreaux, who became artistic director of the Cristalleries Pantin around 1910.

Using 2, 3 layer cameo with iridescence & exotic scenes of flora & fauna. Simple shapes, mottled or overlaid or etched with designs of flowers, landscapes, birds, figures often gilded. Other pieces are enameled. Other cameo produced was marked Thiancourt.



E & Cie Val (Ancienne Maison Effler)


Val, E & Cie (Ancienne Maison Effler) of Paris, France was in business during the 1920s - 1940s). The company were refiners & retailers of glass & porcelain. Acid-cameo items signed "Val" or "D'Argyl" (from 1928) produced for them by companies such as Legras, Verreries de St Denis et Pantin, Verrerie d'Art Lorraine.

Georges Raspiller:


Georges Raspiller was a talented glassblower and engraver who came from a family of German glassmakers from Saar. He worked at "Les Cristalleries de Nancy" and as also for André Delatte in Jarville. You can find his name on gorgeous cameo glass atomizers as well as vases and other glassware from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco period. The pieces are signed G. Raspiller.



Enameled Glass (Non-Cameo Glass):


You can also find imitations of cameo glass, genuine period pieces that resemble the more expensive cameo glass, but are actually hand painted with enamel. Most of these were sold by the firm of Kitzinger Freres and some can be shown in their catalogs (I have one catalog scanned here on the blog).




A. Ducobu is an artist who worked in France, I have seen this signature on a lamp, several atomizers and a bowl, all painted with enameling. and not in cameo glass I do not presently know which company he or she worked for, but the atomizer bases appear to be Baccarat blanks with Marcel Franck hardware.



H. Quenvil was a French artist, decorating firm or glassworks. Items marked with this signature are very rare. Marcel Franck supplied the hardware for Quenvil, and Quenvil's enameled perfume atomizers are shown in a 1924 Marcel Franck catalog. One of the motifs was named "Fuschias". Quenvil produced beautiful glassware with thickly applied polychrome enamel in the manner of Groupy, Delatte, Argy Rousseau and Mayozer.

Peynaud is a very scarce name on which you may find as a signature on art glass atomizers. Peynaud was also shown in the 1924 Marcel Franck catalog alongside Argy-Rousseau and Quenvil.



Other signatures to be found are: Gaultheri, V. de France, Monzo, Maco, and others.

A Gaulthieri signed bottle had atomizer hardware that I thought was by Marcel Franck, but the seller had unscrewed the top part and revealed that the collar was stamped with "AR" "Paris" and "Depose". I am unsure of who the "AR" company is, if you know, please tell me!



Muller Freres

Muller Freres, French for Muller Brothers, as you learned earlier, had made cameo and other glass from about 1895 to 1933. Their factory was first located in Luneville, then in nearby Croismare, France. Muller Freres was noted for their exquisitely detailed cameo glass, and their enameled glass perfume atomizers were just as beautiful. Most pieces were usually marked with the company name.  The company finally closed its doors in 1936.


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