Gallé's Mantis and Chale's Table

On 16 February 2021, by Philippe Dufour

Highly original furniture, both antique and modern, performed brilliantly at this sale in Auxerre, as did naturalist glassware by the magician of Nancy.

Émile Gallé (1846-1904), twisted vase in transparent glass with enameled decoration and gilt highlights, signed underneath "EG déposé Émile Gallé à Nancy", h. 24.5 cm/9.6 in.
Result: €27,000

This transparent glass vase made by Émile Gallé in Nancy headed a sale mainly focused on the decorative arts. The piece with its twisted silhouette (h. 24.5 cm/9.6 in) features delicate enameled decoration, where the protagonist turns out to be a praying mantis: an insect much liked by the master glassmaker for its clear-cut forms. The fearsome mantid hides among flowers and foliage, and the whole scene is highlighted with gilding. Underneath we read: "EG déposé Emile Gallé à Nancy". This rural microcosm rapidly scaled the heights all the way up to €27,000.

With the furniture section, an iconic Goutte d'eau (Water Drop) coffee table (dia. 98.5, h. 33.5 cm/38.8 and 13 in) by Ado Chale made a striking impression. Its cast aluminum top with its concentric "microgroove" decoration is supported by three black lacquered metal legs on ball-bearings, making it easy to move around. It is signed on the edge of the top. Dating from the 1990s, it garnered €20,740: well above its high estimate.

Another table—this time occasional—made a fine showing as well, at €13,420. An older piece, from the Transition period, it bears the stamp of Charles Topino (admitted as master in 1773), and two "JME" guild stamps underneath. The three-legged table has wood veneering and gilt bronze mounts (h. 76, dia. 46 cm/29.9 and 18.1 in).

By way of an epilogue, we can cite the €8,670 fetched by Henry Jacquier's painting L'arbre de Noël dans le cabinet de curiosités (Christmas Tree in the Cabinet of Curiosities; 160 x 195 cm/63 x 76.7 in), which was exhibited at the 1904 Salon at the Grand Palais in Paris.

Ado Chale (b. 1928), Goutte d'eau coffee table, cast aluminum top with its concentric

Ado Chale (b. 1928), Goutte d'eau coffee table, cast aluminum top with its concentric "microgroove" decoration, metal legs on ball-bearings, signed, dia. 98.5, h. 33.5 cm (38.78 and 13.19 in).
Result: €20,740

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