Galle used mold-blowing to produce some great vases

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

It’s time for a change of pace from the usual posts about shows and auctions. Today’s post is informational on the topic of mold-blowing of French cameo glass. Blowing out the flower or animal makes the decoration three-dimensional and therefore more realistic. The technique raises the level of sophistication, making blownout vases much more desirable and valuable than those that are not mold-blown.

Mold-blown vases are sometimes called blownout vases or soufflé vases, all interchangeable terms. Gallé produced most of the known examples, while Daum produced a few. It’s possible other companies used the technique, but I’m not aware of any examples. My guess is that Gallé produced about 40-50 different models.

Two variations of Gallé's clematis blownout vase

Two variations of Gallé’s clematis blownout vase

The shape doesn’t change with different examples of the same model, but the colors can be quite variable. For instance, the clematis blownout vase may have blue flowers or red flowers (or other colors). After the vase was formed in a mold, it was covered with different layers of colored glass, at the discretion of the glassblower. Then when it was cold, hydroflouric acid was used to etch the final design.

Galle white and brown Elephant mold-blown vases

Galle white and brown Elephant mold-blown vases

Elephant blownout vases are rare and valuable. They come in two different models — the brown elephant with trees and the white elephant without.

Very rare Gallé mold-blown chandelier with fruit decoration

Very rare Gallé mold-blown chandelier with fruit decoration

The rarest example I’ve ever seen wasn’t even a vase, but a chandelier with fruit decoration. I once saw one with a blownout squirrel, but I can’t remember if this was the same one. Probably not, as that one would have had acorns or something similar. It would be nice to find one of them today.

If you collect French Cameo Glass, consider adding blownout vases to your collection. Well-chosen examples will benefit every collection. I’ve got a couple for sale at the moment, with three great examples arriving this week. Check with me for specifics.

Fine, rare Galle Water Lily blownout vase, for sale on my website

Fine, rare Galle Water Lily blownout vase, for sale on my website

Click here to view French cameo glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

Fabulous, rare, Tiffany Favrile lamp with intaglio-carved insect

Fabulous, rare, Tiffany Favrile lamp with intaglio-carved insect

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. I regularly add Tiffany vases, lamps and desk accessories, as well as French cameo glass by Galle and Daum Nancy and etchings by Louis Icart. Here’s the link. Philip Chasen Antiques.

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