French Art Potters Take Center Stage in Visionary Collection

On 14 April 2021, by Claire Papon

Lozère's senator and art collector, Paulin Daudé-Gleize, was well ahead of the curve in collecting the decorative arts. The pieces from his collection, now up for sale, stand as evidence of his daring choices. 

François-Émile Décorchemont (1880-1971), large Viper vase in thick pâte de verre, lost wax casting with winding viper decoration, model no. 128, created in 1920, edition of two, h. 25 cm/9.8 in, dia. 19 cm/7.5 in.
Estimate: €18,000/22,000

Some fifty vases and bowls in ceramic, enameled glass and pâte de verre by Auguste Delaherche (1857-1940), Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat (1844-1910), Auguste Heiligenstein (1891-1976) and François-Émile Décorchemont (1880-1971) were much admired by Paulin Daudé-Gleize, member of parliament for Lozère, in the region of Occitanie in Southern France.

A painter fascinated by the Impressionists, Décorchemont also worked in glass and ceramics, making stoneware that he fired in the kiln in his room in Paris, to the despair of his neighbors. In 1903, unsatisfied with the results, he turned to what became his favorite technique: pâte de verre. "Powdered glass, annealed for a long time and reshaped. The molds are there: you create your colors, fill them, and fire them at 1250° for twelve hours. You make your material yourself: that's all," was the artist's unassuming description. To walk away with these artworks, you will need €2,000 to €20,000 for his pieces, and between €300 and €30,000 for those of the other three artists. All of them hailing from the collection of Paulin Daudé-Gleize (1862-1928).

Born in Rhunes, after a career as a lawyer, Daudé-Gleize became MP of his département in 1902 and senator four years later. He was guided in his approach to collecting by Géo (Georges) Rouart, an erudite art lover who rebelled against the hierarchy of the arts. At his Paris gallery "À la Paix" at 34 Avenue de l'Opéra, he exhibited glassware by Décorchemont, stoneware by Delaherche, Émile Decœur, Albert-Louis Dammouse and Ernest Chaplet, and porcelain from Saxony, Nymphenburg and Copenhagen: all works found in the senator's collection. They were passed down to his descendants, one of whom even kept the main pieces in an armor-plated cellar.

Now freed from their secret hiding place, we find a Chained Angelica carved directly in Carrara marble by Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (€30,000/40,000), a Frog Fountain (1910) made in Sèvres, based on a sculpture by Max Blondat (€4,000/6,000), and a large group of vases with naturalistic and animal decoration from the Royal Copenhagen factory (with estimates between €100 to €1,500).

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