Lot 128
  • 128

Emile Gallé (1846 - 1904)

100,000 - 150,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • An important marqueterie-sur-verre vase parlant

  • the body engraved 'Gallé'

  • 28.5cm. high;
  • 11¼in.
glass, carved and internally decorated, the pale aqua body carved with mountains, the lower half with internal marks to resemble ice, applied in marqueterie-sur-verre and carved with a single Edelweiss flower and two stars, the foot in clear glass with internal striations, carved to imitate a Chinese hardwood base, the top engraved 'Les pensées ne valent que selon le Silence d'où elles montent Elizabeth', the base engraved 'SOUVENIR D'UN EXPRIMABLE ATTACHEMENT HELÈNE BIBESCO'


From the collection of Princess Priscilla Bibesco, daughter of Prince Antoine Bibesco, himself the son of the celebrated Princess Hélène

Sotheby Parke Bernet Monaco S.A., Arts Décoratifs, Styles 1900 et 1925, 24 September 1978, lot 30


P. Garner, Emile Gallé, London, 1976, pp. 117-118

Catalogue Note

This vase is a rare testament to the feelings Gallé had for Princess Bibesco, marked as it is 'Memory of a very intense attachment Hélène Bibesco'. It is highly unusual for works by Gallé to reveal such personal emotion. Hélène Bibesco was a central figure within artistic life in late nineteenth Century Paris and her celebrated salons were frequented by numerous artists, including Bonnard, Vuillard, Saint-Saens and Faure. 

Marcel Proust, the famed French essayist and critic, wrote of the deep attachment Gallé felt for Princess Hélène Bibesco in a letter to her son, Prince Antoine Bibesco. Proust related how he had travelled to see Gallé on the 3rd December 1902 to discuss details of a vase and was saddened to discover that Gallé's father had died that very day and Gallé was in a deep depression. Wishing to pass on his condolences he was told by a factory employee that Monsieur Gallé had not yet been informed of the news for fear that it might prove fatal. Proust was shocked to learn that Gallé had not in fact been aware of his father's illness, his deep depression having been brought on by the death one month previously of one of the people he admired most in the world, the Princess Bibesco.