Emile Gallé Planter, ca. 1890
It was in my grandmother's family, and as a child, I can remember my aunts used to keep vases with magnolia leaves in it.
You knew the piece was made by Gallé.
Émile Gallé was really one of the most important French Art Nouveau decorative artists, and he is very well-known for working in other mediums, and in fact, most of our viewers just know him as a glassmaker, and he was really considered one of the greatest glassmakers. But we've never really been able to show a great piece of Gallé furniture. This piece was made about the time when he was first working in glass, in the 1880s. And one of the reasons why I know that it probably dates from that period is that this signature is very similar to the signature that you'll see on some of his early glass pieces, which were done with enamel work on the glass. I've seen a fair amount of his Art Nouveau furniture, and there are many sets of nests of tables and two-tiered tables and cabinets, but you don't see this planter. In fact, this is the only planter I've seen. What I love about this is, it's got this beautiful marquetry inlay work. What we have is a very fine Art Nouveau design of tulips, and we have on the sides these beautiful leaves that would spring from the tulips themselves. And on the back, you have more tulips, but it's not even the same design, so it's really an art piece. It's really carefully thought-out. Now, not only do you have this lovely inlay design, but you have some carving on the legs. There's a repeating leaf pattern that echoes the leaves that you find on the tulips themselves. If we had this in the gallery, I would probably put a price on it somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000.
Grandma and Grandpa had good taste.
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