The importance of dragonflies in French cameo glass

Gallé pond lily vase with dragonfly, 8¼ inches

Gallé pond lily vase with dragonfly, 8¼ inches

The dragonfly is the quintessential symbol of the Art Nouveau movement, so it’s understandable that the addition of a dragonfly to a French glass object is important. Of all the French glass makers, the firm of Emile Gallé most often incorporated dragonflies into their decorations. The scenes were usually ponds with water lilies, with dragonflies hovering above. Gallé produced many vases with water lilies, but only a small percentage of them included a dragonfly.

Gallé banjo vase with dragonfly

Gallé banjo vase with dragonfly

What does the addition of a dragonfly do to the value? For sure the price goes up, but by how much? Double is a good starting point, assuming all else is equal. It could be less, it could be more, but double is a good starting point. What does a dragonfly do to a vase’s desirability? As a long time dealer in French cameo glass, the answer is “A lot”. I’ll get twice as many questions at a show and sell the object in half the time.

Daum Nancy bottle with applied dragonfly

Daum Nancy bottle with applied dragonfly

Dragonflies on Daum glass are often applied and wheel-carved. That moves it up into the realm of sophisticated glass, and sophisticated glass doesn’t come cheap. Most Daum items with an applied and wheel-carved dragonfly start at $10,000.

I just added over 10 Galle vases to my website, 7 Tiffany lamps and 1 Newcomb vase. I’m spending a lot of time this spring adding new items. Please take a look. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog.

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