• Date: 1884 – 1904
• Designer: Émile Gallé, master glassmaker
• Manufacturing technique: pieces from a glassware set in the Gothic style with layered smoked glass and inclusions of gold paillons, each engraved with a different decoration and enhanced with polychrome enamelling and gold marked with the François Villon poem “The Ballad of Ladies of Bygone Days”
• Dimensions : H : 18 ; Ø : 8,4 /flask : H : 24 ; l : 12,5 : 7,5
• Collection : Coll. Château-musée de Boulogne-sur-Mer
• Credit: © RMN-Grand Palais / Benoît Touchard
Émile Gallé, a key figure of the Art Nouveau movement and founder of the Nancy School, was a distinguished poet, scholar, industrialist, humanist, cabinet-maker, ceramicist, and master glassmaker. In 1880 he began extensive research into engraving and polychrome enamelling. He took inspiration from all the ancient decorative styles of East and West, and the historiated styles of the Middles Ages. This glassware set belongs to Gallé’s verrerie parlantes (‘speaking glassware’) category, each item bearing a different motto in Gothic letters drawn from the famous poem “The Ballad of Ladies of Bygone Days”, written by François Villon around 1460.