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Vallerysthal & Portieux Amber Candlesticks

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    Posted 9 years ago

    (52 items)

    I don't generally pick up amber colored candlesticks as they appear to be so common, however, these little pieces are marked and I purchased them with the intention of simply researching the maker, history, circa, etc. to increase my mental database. This started a very interesting journey as these simple amber candlesticks seem to have quite the history. I have not been able to track down the exact style - this site is as close as I found...

    I can't imagine that these simple candlesticks are worth that much, however I am not finding anything even close on Ebay and several of the other glass catalog sites. It would appear that they were made around 1900's and from the town in France called Portieux.

    Any additonal info?



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    1. spiritinthesky3 spiritinthesky3, 9 years ago
      I will keep looking!

      All opaline glass is hand-blown and has a rough or polished pontil on the bottom. There are no seams and no machine engraving. Many pieces of opaline glass are decorated with gilding. Some with handpainted flowers or birds. Several have bronze ormolu mounts, rims, hinges or holders. Real opaline glass was produced only in France. In the 20th century Italy produced a similar glass and called it opaline veritable.
      Most all opaline glass is not branded or signed.
      Portieux Vallerysthal made lots of robin's egg blue glass they call Opaline. This was produced later and in much greater quantity and is not nearly as rare or valuable.
      The two best references for French Opaline Glass are Les Opalines by Christine Vincendeau and L’Opaline française au XIXe siècle by Yolande Amic. Both are in French.
    2. spiritinthesky3 spiritinthesky3, 9 years ago
      Portieux glass works
      The Porteiux glass works, responsible for producing this beautiful work of art, opened in 1705. Duke Leopold of Lorraine gave Francois Magnien, his long time apprentice, the right and funds to open the glass works in Northeastern France.

      In 1870 another French glass works by the name of Vallerysthal was experiencing problems. According to Glass, Art Nouveau to Art Deco by Victor Arwas, once the Germans invaded France, the area where Vallerysthal was located became German territory. Since most of their consumers were in France, Vallerysthal now found it difficult to export their glass and profit decreased. In order to regain costumers, Vallerysthal decided to buy the Portieux glass works so that it would be easier to export their pieces into France.

      Surviving multiple border changes
      After the merger, a new name was given to the company, and it existed in both French and German languages as “Verreries Reuniers de Vallerysthal et Portieux” and “Vereingte Glashutten Von Vallerysthal und Portieux.” The company switched back and forth between French and German rule after repeated changes in boundary lines due to political conflicts.

      After the First World War, the company had returned to French rule. The company flourished, making pieces influenced by nature with an emphasis on bird motifs (as reflected by the “Envol” vase).

      After World War II, the company began to experience problems. It was forced to close in 1977 but then reopened in 1986. After joining the French Crystal Company, writes Victor Arwas, the Portieux glass works went bankrupt. Finally, in 1996 Groupe Faience Niderviller bought the company. Even after all of the changes these two companies have experienced, the names Portieux and Vallerysthal are still well-known in the antique glass and trading worlds.
      Best of luck to you!
    3. RhondaCorvallis RhondaCorvallis, 9 years ago
      Thank you spiritinthesky3 for that wonderful detailed information. Who knew such simple little amber candle sticks would have such in-depth history.

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