Q: This vase was given to me by my parents. My father’s mother worked for Mrs. Marshall Field, and she gave her some dishes and vases from her home. I am not sure if this was one. Who made it where and when?
A: Your vase was made by Émile Gallé, a French designer who made Art Nouveau glass, pottery, furniture, and other items. He was born Charles Martin Émile Gallé in 1846 in Nancy, France. His father operated a glass factory and pottery workshop. When the family moved to a larger home in 1873, a studio and workshop were set up for Émile. In 1874 Émile took over the operation of his father’s business. His designs won several awards at the 1899 Paris Exhibition and his works were sought by the well-to-do. His company, Cristallerie d’Émile Gallé, was the first to mass-produce art glass. Not all pieces signed “Gallé” were made by him. Some pieces made by craftsmen in his workshop were signed “Gallé” to indicate Émile approved the piece. The initials “E” and “G” with the symbol between them were also used on paper labels in the 1890s. After Gallé’s death in 1904, the firm continued to make glass and furniture until 1931. Your picture shows a vase that is very unusual, but unfortunately you did not include the size so we cannot estimate its worth.