Know your French Cameo Glass flowers!

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.

I’ve addressed this topic in a previous blog post, but I thought it relevant enough to address again.

An important Daum Nancy lamp with violets

An important Daum Nancy lamp with violets

When I first started dealing in French cameo glass almost forty years ago, I referred to the vases as having red flowers or blue flowers, for example. Then a Japanese client asked me “What flower”? I was perplexed. I clearly remember thinking that no one had ever asked me that question before. What difference did it make? Apparently a big difference.

Fine, rare Gallé chrysanthemum blownout vase

Fine, rare Gallé chrysanthemum blownout vase

Japanese buyers virtually took over the French cameo glass market in the late 1980s. They had very specific likes and dislikes and were willing to put their money where their mouths were. Violets were so desirable that a serious premium was put on the vases. It still exists today, even though most of the buyers are not Japanese. Chrysanthemums were flowers for Japanese funerals, so it was very difficult to sell a vase with chrysanthemums, especially white or yellow, to a Japanese buyer. Americans have no such aversion to chrysanthemums, in fact quite the opposite, making it easy to sell a vase in the US.

A lovely Gallé red  magnolia vase

A lovely Gallé red magnolia vase

So which are the best flowers? Violets, roses, and magnolias, to name a few. Generic-looking flowers, tiny flowers, tobacco flowers and any flowers with weak colors are the worst.

Great color on this Daum bottle with fuchsia flowers

Great color on this Daum bottle with fuchsia flowers

Collectors like color, so good color and contrast are important. Red, blue, purple, and pink are desirable colors. Brown, green, and orange are less desirable, unless strong. Muted color is not an asset. These are observations from a dealer’s point of view — I know what sells and what doesn’t. Most people can agree when they see a pretty vase. If you like it, chances are others will too. That’s the one you should buy.

chicago-botanic-garden-3-2013

Our show schedule in April begins late next week, with the Chicago Antiques & Garden Fair at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL. It will be our first time there. Hopefully the show will be good for us, so we can make it a regular show on our schedule. We have many clients in the greater Chicago area, so if a show fails, we need a replacement. We’re bringing an impressive group of items that will be shown for the first time in Chicago, including Tiffany lamps and glass and French cameo glass by Gallé and Daum. Please visit us at the show. It opens to the public on Friday, April 19th, at 10 AM, and continues until Sunday, April 21st, at 5 PM. Click here for more information about the show.

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile red Tel-El-Amarna vase

Wonderful Tiffany Favrile red Tel-El-Amarna vase

I recently listed over 15 new items, including several Tiffany lamps and vases, as well as two fine Grueby vases. Click here to view the Tiffany lamps for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.

Fine Galle Plum blownout vase, recently purchased

Fine Galle Plum blownout vase, recently purchased

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.

This superb Galle fuchsia blownout vase has great color and just arrived

This superb Galle fuchsia blownout vase has great color and just arrived

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.

1 thought on “Know your French Cameo Glass flowers!

  1. Good evening gentlemen
    I wonder if you’ll be so kind to help me with your precious advice to identify a piece which is in our family since the late 1890s. I’ll send you a photo, by e-mail if you inform it. It’s a small Gallè (I beleive) in the format of a lamp, measuring around 10 cm.
    Thanking in advance, sincerelly yours
    Sandra DeSilva – São Paulo, Brazil

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