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Byline: Mike Litherland

IF you are familiar with the art nouveau and the art deco glass of Galle, you will find increasing attention among collectors at auction, not only for its beauty, but also because every piece has the feature every collector wants - a signature - and prices for his work, especially early pieces, reach many thousands of pounds at auction.

Emile Galle was a French designer and a leading pioneer of the Art Nouveau style. Born in the French town of Nancy, in 1846, Emile was destined to become a glassmaker. His father, Charles Galle, was a successful traditional glassmaker, with his own factory.

The young Emile began to learn the skills of the craftsman, painting and helping to cut and enamel the glassware. He went on to learn the technique of glassmaking, before joining his father at the factory in 1867.

He first made clear glass, lightly tinted and decorated with enamel and engraving, but he soon developed the use of deeply coloured glass, often layered in several thicknesses and carved or etched. His glass was a great success at the Paris Exhibition of 1878.

Galle travelled extensively around Europe, gaining knowledge of glassmaking by visiting museums, and learning the technique of enameling, which he discovered in the Oriental collection at the Victoria and Albert museum in London.

In 1873, he set up his own glass studio and took over his father's glass and ceramics factory in Nancy in 1877. Galle's work became well known, and in 1894, Galle built his own manufacturing plant and began to create his own designs, employing a team of craftsmen and designers. The factory had 300 employees and demand for Galle's work was high.

Galle won many awards throughout his life, and he enjoyed great popularity and commissions throughout the world, until his death in 1904 from leukaemia.

Production then ceased with the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and after the war Paul Perdrizet, Emile's son-in-law, took over the factory. Production ceased altogether in 1936 and no more authentic Galle works have been created since. His artwork lives on in almost every museum around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Louvre in Paris.

If you have items you are thinking of selling, we are now accepting quality items for sales. For information, please call 01704 538489. If you have items that are too large to bring in, just email a photo to, or we can come to you. Don't forget every Friday is our Free Valuation Day at our Southport office, 43 Hoghton Street, PR9 0PG, from 10.30am-12.30 or 2pm - 4pm. Please call to make an appointment.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:9SRIL
Date:May 25, 2019
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