Auguste Jean one of the best glass enamellers

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An enamelled, gilded and applied glass vase in Japanese Style by Auguste Jean, France around 1880

Flattened ovoid vase realized in transparent blue glass. Fold over dripping rim and applied tear drop shaped ornaments, heat-enameled decoration with gilt enhancements and folded ribbons with Japanese ornamental details, surrounded by flowering sprigs.
Four applied legs support the body. The pontil is polished and marked in enamel “A Jean”. 

Rest of retailer’s paper label for O. MILET & C. MASSIER, 36, AVENUE DE L’OPERA, PARIS

Letitia Nika
Online Gallery Specialist

Auguste Jean enameled glass vase in Japanese Style


Auguste JEAN (1830-1890) Precursor of the Art Nouveau 

An important enameler on glass was Auguste Jean. In the 1870’s this ceramist and potter, son of a distinguished ceramist, began creating glass vases enameled with Persian subjects, which soon gave way to Japanese ones. Using exceptionally clear glass in various colors, polished to a striking standard, he increasingly decorated his vessels with rims, bases, feet or handles, intricately twisted, kneaded or sculpted with a variety of tools either at the kiln or using lampwork techniques. The surface was then enameled and frequently gilt. 
He enlarged his repertory with opaque vessels, translucent ones with colored metallic oxides trapped within the glass layers, and yet others with externally applied glass cabochons and insects, which were then enameled in his intricate, often asymmetrical manner, and sometimes at an angle, askew.
His final style eschewed enameling, producing vessels of extraordinary purity in which the freely-wrought glass decoration is itself the form, thus anticipating much contemporary glass by nearly a century. 
Nothing is known about where he learned his techniques or where he executed his vessels, although it is likely that he hired a bench, possibly with some workers, at the Cristallerie de Clichy in Paris. 
He was very successful at the 1878 Paris Exhibition, where the Conservatoire de Arts et Metiers (the Arts & Crafts Museum) purchased a fine group of his works. 
In 1885 he ceased working with glass as mysteriously as he had begun, and returned to ceramics.
                                                      (text fragment from the book The Art of GLASS by Victor Arwas) 

More about other Auguste Jean glass vases click here.

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