Posted 5 years ago
This is one of the very first 'Art Nouveau' vases ever made, designed by Eugene Rousseau under the influence of Japanese art. The thickwalled vase was manufactured by the new patented method of blowing glass using air pressure by Appert Freres, Paris in 1878. The shape of this model 'Vase plat a tete de chimere' is similar to other chinese 4-edged metal vessels. The attached head of a chimere is accentuated by an underlayed gold foil, but actually it resembles the face of a sino-japanese lion. The vase is deeply cut into a light honey-yellow rock crystal glass and then finer decorated by intaglio, it shows an underwater scene of a fish swimming within plants and rocks. From the top there is a tapestry hanging down with the décor 'Peau de lion' a Japanese allegory of a lion fleece. The cutting was made by the young and later famous Eugene Michel. On the backside there is an amoeba like under water animal. This vase belonged to a small 'Luxury Series' and up to now there is only one mirror image vase known belonging to the 'Collection Gerda Koepff'' exhibited in the 'Glasmuseum Hentrich' at Duesseldorf, Germany. The metal moulds were handled over 1885 by Rousseau to Leveille and were lateron more often used, but never with a cut décor. A much more detailed description of this vase is given in the excellent book 'Glas des Art Nouveau' by Helmut Ricke and Gerda Koepff, Prestel 1998.