Glazed and gilt faience vase with moths, France, 1880s; Signed Emile Gallé Deposé with Croix de Lorraine; 12 1/4" x 4 3/4" x 4"; Provenance: Collection of Jerome Shaw, Florida
Sale Price: $6,250
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,500
Professional restoration to two hairlines at rim, two areas of base, and a few high spots.
Although recognized today as the preeminent French glass maker at the of the last century, Emile Gallé’s early career focused
on ceramics. The early date of this design is confirmed by the preparatory drawing in a portfolio that is dated August 24,
1882. The vase’s striking design of a flying cicada reveals Gallé’s two main sources of inspiration: Nature and the art of Japan.
In his youth, Gallé had studied botany and mineralogy, and remained a devoted horticulturist throughout his life. His love
for Japanese art was profound, and he especially appreciated the Japanese artists’ acute observation of nature, their sense
of design, and the expression of poetic ideas through natural phenomena. Here a large, menacing cicada flies across the
squared vessel, creating an asymmetrical design in the Eastern manner. It also seems an omen of something to come.
An example of this model is in the Württemberg museum and another is in a private Munich collection; see M. Brandlhuber
and M. Buhrs, Die Jugend der Moderne, cat. 68. A Gallé ceramic vase with a closely related design is in the Nancy Museum.
– Dr. Martin Eidelberg