Posted 10 years ago
I wanted to do this series around actual people, but for #3 I have to go with a company name, as virtually nothing is known about them.
I’ve also decided to show 3 views of the same piece, as its quality is so good and so important.
This enamelled and cameo vase, around 9 inches across is by Lamartine, you won’t find Lamartine in many books as they focus on European or American glass. Amazingly Lamartine is supposed to come from the town of Lamartine in Algeria, Africa. Suggested dates of production vary from as early as 1890 to as late as almost 1930. My guess would be they mostly date form the early 1920s
As Lamartine pieces go, this is by far the biggest I’ve ever seen, most are miniatures. All the pieces I’ve seen are the finest Landscapes and all have that strange code on the bottom (right hand picture). They are all clearly marked Lamartine, but the signatures are hard to photograph. Sadly they often appear with their Lamartine signature removed and a false Daum signature added, as they easily pass for very high quality Daum Landscapes.
Very little is actually known about the company or the workers.
One has to wonder how a small town in Algeria could produce such sophisticated and fine glass without a long associated tradition of glass blowing, cameo and enamel work on glass. I have often wondered if it was just a bit of a tax dodge. France at the time was very keen to promote new industry in their Algerian colony. I wonder if someone worked out that it was actually cheaper, with the use of a range of government subsidies, to make these in France – completely, or nearly completely, –export them to Algeria, possibly finish them off, and then re-import them back into France. Sounds daft, but you never know! It would explain a lot!
Next time: the man who worked for almost everyone!