Etched-glass vase could fetch a fancy price


June 20, 1993|By Lita Solis-Cohen and Sally Solis-Cohen | Lita Solis-Cohen and Sally Solis-Cohen,Contributing Writers

Q: What's the value of my 19-inch-high glass vase marked "Le Verre Francais" and signed "Charder"? It was a wedding present to my mother in 1929.

A: "Le Verre Francais" was a commercial line of cameo glass made by the C. Schneider factory in Epinay-sur-Seine, France, from 1920 to 1933. Your vase, signed by its artist, Charder, has an acid-engraved floral design over layered glass in different colors. It's worth around $1,400, according to vintage glass dealer Jack McAuliff, of Fancy That, 324 W. Broad St., Chesaning, Mich. 48616; (517) 845-7775.

The technique of carving layered glass dates to ancient Rome and Greece and was widely practiced in the Orient during the 18th century. By the late 19th century, many European makers had adopted the technique and used copper wheels to carve the designs. The finest examples were by Emile Galle and Jean Daum in France and Thomas Webb and Sons in England. Their masterpieces now fetch thousands of dollars. Acid-etched "Le Verre Francais" remains a less expensive alternative. Although similar-looking, its quality can't compare to Galle, Daum or Webb.

Q: Our secretary bookcase made by a German cabinetmaker in Bushnell, Ill., has been in the family since 1851. The lower half has a folding desk top supported by slides when open, and two deep drawers with round wooden pull handles. The top has two smaller drawers and glass-fronted shelves surmounted by a classical pediment. Its veneer, in perfect condition, has a lovely deep brown patina. What's it worth?

A: Your late-classical secretary with figured mahogany veneer could bring between $1,200 and $1,500 at auction, said David Neligan of Skinner Inc., 357 Maine St., Bolton, Mass. 01740; (508) 779-6241.

Classical American furniture, sometimes called "Empire" because it borrows designs from pieces made in France during the reign of Emperor Napoleon I, was popular from around 1820 to 1860. It featured ornaments derived from ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt and broad surfaces of rich mahogany veneer. The German craftsman who made your secretary also was influenced by the popular Biedermeier style of his native land.

' Solis-Cohen Enterprises

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