A beautiful frosted and highly rare François-Théodore Legras vase of a hand holding a torch or vase.
This is a rare example.
Standing 30cm (11.8in) tall with a 9cm (3.5in) diameter base and a 11cm - (4.3in) top opening.
A very nice and most attractive Legras vase in good condition.
This vase is over 100 years old.
From the St Denis - Paris Studio. The item is over 100 years old.
This style can be found in the authoritative reference book for his work “Legras : Verrier Artistique et Populaire Française” by Michel and Vitrat,
François-Théodore Legras, was born in 1839 and came from humble stock, having begun life as a woodsman in the Vosges department south of Strasbourg. In 1859, Legras determined that there was potentially more to life than trees and leaves and secured himself a clerical apprenticeship at the glassworks in Clairey, a long-established manufactory producing drinking glasses and tableware which – crucially for Legras – included the manufacture of multiple frosted pieces.
After learning his trade for five years, Legras moved to Paris and took a job at the Plaine St Denis factory, securing a senior managerial role by the age of 27. He was director of the works where he was underwritten by expat-philanthropist Sir Richard Wallace.
The glass works were significantly extended and modernized, and the duo, Legras and Wallace, took over another factory at Pantin, on the northern fringes of the city.
The Legras glassworks – became a multi-centered concern employing hundreds of people across several manufacturing centers, Legras produced multiple highly-distinctive pieces which were considered their own art-glass movement.
It’s more accurate, of course, to consider the name, Legras, as one of the foremost in the panoply of innovative, experimental, and overtly artistic producers who revolutionized decorative glassware from the mid 1860's, throughout the fin de siècle – end of the century - continuing across the duration of the Great War and beyond
Unrestrained, Legras was able to encourage an experimental approach to glass production, harking back to his childhood in the Darney Forests and using opaque glass – based on Clairey’s frosted material – as a canvas on which designs could be created.
The businesses were supported by the production of utilitarian glassware for industry – distilleries and pharmacies – and this security gave François-Théodore the freedom to develop his art-glass production techniques. These include intricately cut cameo glass pieces, acid-etched and enameled imagery – requiring up to five separate firing processes to achieve the desired effect and these became the Legras hallmark. Many pieces featuring forested landscapes and the favored themes of the artistic director - irises, orchids, and chrysanthemums.
Additional members of the Legras family were apprenticed into the company, notably a nephew – Charles – whose expertise in the chemical treatment of glass to produce marbled and opaline surfaces on which designs could be overlayed. This was to prove a valuable commodity.
Charles was ultimately to take over the running of the businesses in 1909, seven years before the death of his uncle. He was able to maintain a level of innovation which sustained the company for another decade – achieving notable successes in developing synthesized “gemstones” which could be ground up and incorporated into the glass melt to give an extraordinary depth of color providing the basis for the production of striking cameo vessels.
Legras used a significant number of signatures and, to further confuse matters, many pieces aren’t signed at all.
The authoritative reference book for his glass is “Legras : Verrier Artistique et Populaire Française” by Michel and Vitrat,