Emille Galle was one of the leading figures of the Art Nouveau movement in France, and founder of the famous Ecole de Nancy. A polymath and committed social activist, he was best known for his glasswork and faience. Furniture became his third discipline after experimenting with the manufacture of wooden bases on which he could mount his glass vases. Galle ardently followed the French tradition of furniture decoration known as marqueterie. His work is characterized by its meticulous decorative veneers, stained with subtle organic dyes; its panels inlaid with stunningly intricate country scenes and flowers. This book outlines all of Galle's major works of furniture, from the unique pieces that were designed for an exclusive clientele, to those displayed between 1889 and 1904 at the annual Paris Salons and two World Expositions. The recent emergence of many of his objets de luxe enables the reader to understand many of his pieces for the first time. Written by Decorative Arts specialist Alastair Duncan, the book documents the history of Galle s furniture production from his favorite motifs to the ways in which he used furniture design to express his social and political ideals.
Duncan includes an encyclopedic range of models created in the Galle Workshops both during and after his lifetime. Beautifully illustrated, and containing translations of Galle s Notes to the juries of the World Expositions, this stunning publication will leave the reader captivated by this decadent expression of the new art that changed the European aesthetic forever.
Alastair Duncan, an officer and then consultant of Christie's, New York, for fourteen years (1977-1990), is an independent consultant for 19th and 20th Century Decorative Arts. While full-time at Christie's, he organised and catalogued scores of sales devoted to Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Victorian works of art. Then and since, Mr. Duncan has travelled throughout the United States, the Far East, Europe, and South America to appraise, assemble and sell collections from the period. Mr Duncan has written many articles, exhibition catalogues and books, including several for the Antique Collectors' Club, including Louis C. Tiffany: Garden Museum Collection, Tiffany Lamps and Metalware and the Paris Salons series.