Opaline Vase

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Object Name: 
Opaline Vase
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
2009.3.66 B
Overall H: 59.6 cm, Diam (max): 20.9 cm
Not on Display
about 1845-1850
Web Description: 
Large opaline (translucent white) baluster-shaped vases were made at the Baccarat factory between about 1845 and 1855. The painted designs on the front and back of this fine pair are attributed to Jean-François Robert (1778–about 1855). They show large sprays of flowers, executed in multicolored enamels, set between gilded foliate scroll borders on a turquoise blue background. The rim and foot of each vessel are decorated with a gilded band. In 1764, King Louis XV of France granted Prince Bishop Cardinal Louis-Joseph de Laval-Montmorency (1761–1802) permission to found a glassworks in the town of Baccarat in the Lorraine region of eastern France. At first, production consisted of windowpanes, mirrors, and stemware, but from 1816 fine and decorative crystal was made by the factory, which employed more than 3,000 workers and also created enameled and opaline glass. Baccarat won its first gold medal at the Paris world’s fair in 1855, just about the time when these highly decorative vases were made. From about 1843 to 1855, Robert was the principal decorator of opaline vases of this type. He had developed a composition for polychrome enamels, previously used on porcelain, that could be applied to glass, a process that was patented in 1838. This success allowed Robert, who had been a painter at the Sèvres porcelain manufactory, to establish a workshop in Sèvres, where he painted opaline glasses from Baccarat and Saint-Louis. For more about Robert’s life and works, additional information on the Baccarat factory, and depictions of several comparable vases, see Christine Vincendeau, Les Opalines, Paris: Amateur, 1998, pp. 120–130; and Jean-Louis Curtis, Baccarat, New York: H. N. Abrams, 1992, pp. 225, 230–233, and 292.
Bonhams, Source
Primary Description: 
Opaline glass; blown, painted, gilt. Vases are of baluster form painted with large flower sprays between gilt foliate scroll borders on a turquoise-blue reserve, the foot and rim with gilt banding.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2009 (2010) illustrated, pp. 28-29, #18; BIB# AI79879
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2009 (2010) illustrated, pp. 5, 45; BIB# AI86944