Large vintage 1960s French Pate de Verre light aquamarine coloured glass centre display dish.
The Pate-de-verre glass technique dates back to the second millennium BC and was mostly used in jewellery and sculpture inlays in ancient Egypt and Rome. It was widely forgotten until its rediscovery in late 19th century France, where it became popular during the Art Nouveau period. At that time it was developed to a very high artistic level by such French artists as Gabriel Argy-Rousseau, Henry and Jean Cros.
The term translates as ‘glass paste’ and is based on fusing glass powders and frits (crushed glass) at very high temperatures in a kiln using flat moulds. The resulting cast was described as ‘stones that flow’ in ancient Egypt whereby the technique generated an unusual opalescent aesthetic with the ability to mimic various materials like stone, ice, sugar and fabric.
All that can be seen in this dish which perfectly exhibits all the characteristics of the techniques described. Here we see a flowing design that appears organic in form with folds and crevices but then also gives the impression of water, ice and stone.
It is French and dates from the mid 60s and although the artist is unknown we do know that it’s a highly skilled piece. Making pate de verre is a slow process requiring a large amount of detailed craftswork. Great skill is needed to avoid bubbles, cloudiness, and cracking during the annealing (cooling) process and this makes good pieces rare and highly collectable.
The dish is in overall very good condition with no major marks, cracks or chips. There is however, what appears to be a small repair on the base which can be seen as a slightly greyer semi-circular section in the close up in the attached photos. Note however, that as the base is naturally in shadow because of the size of the dish, this element is not noticeable at all in normal use – only when you lift it up, or turn it over (or when you shine a light on it to take a photo of it!)
It’s a large and impressive centrepiece with a colour that is best described as a very light aquamarine; but as it is translucent it will also pick up and reflect any colours that are nearby. It’s also quite sturdy and whilst it does look like it might be fragile around the edges you don’t get the impression that the edge is easily broken or damaged at all when you hold it.
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Large vintage 1960s French Pate de Verre glass centre display dish
Date of production
H18 x W60 x D60cm
Number of pieces included in price
Very good vintage condition
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