Vase

French (Nancy)
1891
Designed by Emile Gallé (French, 1846–1904)


Dimensions

H: 16.5 cm (6 1/2in.); W: 15.9 cm (6 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

53.1009

Medium or Technique

Cased and carved glass

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Glass

Oval vase with flattened sides, contracting at rim. Dark brown with areas of white and turquoise. Frog and beetle on one surface with bands inscribed: “Echappez vous des ombres immobiles/Lecompte de Lisle”; spray of daisies (?) opposite.


Gallé is the unrivaled master of French art glass, perfecting the techniques of acid etching and wheel-carving. By the 1880s he was profoundly influenced by Japanese art, especially the practice of juxtaposing image and poetry. This vase is one of a series of verreries parlantes (speaking glasses) that bear poetic inscriptions taken from leading authors of the time. Here, the dark symbolism of the imagery is heightened by the melancholy phrase.

Inscription

Inscribed: "échappez-vous des ombres immobiles" (Escape from the still shadows)

Signed

On bottom, incised: "Nanceiis comp et fecit Emile Galle. Epreuve definitive 1891" (please refer to accession card for specific mark).

Also incised 'E / [Cross of Lorraine] / G' in vertical "Japanese" arrangement.

Markings

On bottom, incised: "Nanceiis comp et fecit Emile Galle. Epreuve definitive 1891" (please refer to accession card for specific mark).

Also incised 'E / [Cross of Lorraine] / G' in vertical "Japanese" arrangement.

Provenance

Possibly after 1904, with Mr. Kennedy, Milton, MA [see note 1]. By 1942, with his daughter, Mildred Kennedy, Concord MA; 1953, gift of Mildred Kennedy. (Accession date: June 16, 1953)

NOTES:
[1] See letter from Mildred Kennedy, May 22, 1942, in MFA curatorial file, citing a newspaper clipping of December 6, 1904 which was placed inside the vase by her father. Mildred Kennedy implies in this letter that her father owned the vase which she later inherited.

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Mildred Kennedy