Lot: 140

Emile Gallé, Nancy
'Libellules' flacon, c. 1884-89

Emile Gallé Gallé, Emile, Nancy

H. 14.8 cm. Colorless glass, optically blown. Decor with six flying dragonflies, in fine engraving, enameled and heightened with gold; Cover also with dragonfly. Bottom signed: Emile Gallé à Nancy 28 (engraved).

Hammer Price: 10,000 €

162B - Art Nouveau - Art Deco
10. May 2022 at 4:00 PM MESZ CEST


At the end of the century before last, many artists found their ideals in flora and fauna. A special meaning, also under the influence of Japonism and Symbolism, came to butterflies, which were considered a symbol of beauty and transience of existence. In contrast to this stood the "deceptive and dangerous beauty" of the carnivorous dragonfly.

The insect with its long, flexible body in iridescent colors and four long, transparent wings, inspired poems and compositions and served as decoration on various objects. The depiction ranged from delicate enamel colors on glass vases, in pâte-sur-pâte on porcelain to marquetry or even as carvings.

Looking at this work, you can literally hear the whirring of the swarm of dragonflies flying around on the flacon.

Cf. Le Tacon, Emile Gallé, Paris 2011, p. 89.