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Legras Art Glass

Legras Art Glass and Vases A Brief Legras Glass History

The Legras glassworks – ultimately a multi-centred concern employing hundreds of people across several manufacturing centres – produced enough highly-distinctive pieces to be considered an art-glass movement in its own right.

It’s more accurate, of course, to consider the name one of the foremost in the panoply of innovative, experimental and overtly artistic producers who revolutionised decorative glassware from the mid 1860's, throughout the fin de siècle, across the duration of the Great War and beyond
The founding father of the company, François-Théodore Legras, came from humble stock, having begun life as a woodsman in the Vosges department south of Strasbourg. In 1859, Legras determined that there was potentially more to life than trees and leaves, and secured himself a clerical apprenticeship at the glassworks in Clairey, a long-established manufactory producing drinking glasses and tableware which – crucially for Legras – included the manufacture of crudely-frosted pieces.


After learning his trade for five years, Legras moved to Paris and took a job at the Plaine St Denis factory, securing a senior managerial role by the age of 27. He was director of the works when, underwritten by expat-philanthropist Sir Richard Wallace, it was significantly extended and modernised; the duo also took over another factory at Pantin, on the northern fringes of the city.
Unrestrained by the financial strictures of facilities lacking patrons such as Wallace, Legras was able to encourage an experimental approach to glass production, harking back to his childhood in the Darney Forests and using opaque glass – based on Clairey’s frosted material – as a canvas on which designs could be created. The businesses were also underwritten by the production of utilitarian glassware for industry – distilleries and pharmacies – and this security gave François-Théodore the freedom to develop his art-glass production techniques. Intricately cut cameo glass pieces, acid-etched and enamelled imagery – requiring up to five separate firing processes to achieve the desired effect – became the Legras hallmark, with many pieces featuring forested landscapes and the favoured themes of the artistic director - irises, orchids and chrysanthemums.

Additional members of the Legras family were apprenticed in to the company, notably a nephew – Charles – whose expertise in the chemical treatment of glass to produce marbled, opaline surfaces on which designs could be overlayed, was to prove a valuable commodity. Charles was ultimately to take over the running of the businesses in 1909, seven years before the death of his uncle. He was able to maintain a level of innovation which sustained the company for another decade – achieving notable successes in developing synthesised “gemstones” which could be ground up and incorporated in to the glass melt to give an extraordinary depth of colouration which provided the base for the production of striking cameo vessels.

A second nephew, Theodore, took over the running of the company after Charles’ death in 1922, but the quality and volume of outturn began to decline, and the operation passed out of the family’s hands in 1928, transferring to Heiligenstein, Souchon-Neuvessel and Francois Coty in turn – all of whom continued to produce material under the Legras name, trading on the reputation left by an extraordinarily rich and varied back-catalogue of wares left by six decades of superlative craftsmanship.



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A Very Fine Legras Cameo Landscape Vase c1910

A Very Fine Legras Cameo Landscape Vase c1910

This is on the second example we have seen with the rose and opaque white coloured ground. This has been acid etched and then enamelled. The depth within the image portrayed is remarkable

£425.00

Large Legras Enamelled  Bowl  c1925

Large Legras Enamelled Bowl c1925

This piece received the full "5 wow" rating in the office.

£425.00

Legras Mont Joye Gilded and Enamelled Vase c1900

Legras Mont Joye Gilded and Enamelled Vase c1900

Legras Mont Joye Gilded and Enamelled Vase c1900

£245.00

A Legras Cubist Vase c1920

A Legras Cubist Vase c1920

After the First World War the style of Legras art glass changed rapidly. There was a sharp decline in the production of high cost cameo glass and a corresponding increase in enamelling. This owes more to Georges Braque and Robert Delauney

£350.00

Legras Mont Joye Enamelled Vase c1900

Legras Mont Joye Enamelled Vase c1900

Emerald green graduating to clear glass. Gilded leaves, pale pink, white and primrose yellow chrysanthemums

£245.00

A Large Legras Rubis Series Redcurrants Vase c1910

A Large Legras Rubis Series Redcurrants Vase c1910

All vases within the rubis series were produced in the same colourway, some had a peach tinged ground. Vines, cherry blossom, redcurrants, gooseberries, sycamore leaves and hop bines, apple blossom were all portrayed. In additional to the botanical varia

£650.00

Legras Biscuit Barrel With Polished Pewter Lid c1925

Legras Biscuit Barrel With Polished Pewter Lid c1925

Decorated with winter landscape. Swing handle and polished pewter lid

£240.00

Legras Art Deco Vase c1920

Legras Art Deco Vase c1920

An unusual mottled glass vase by Legras

£325.00

Legras Enamelled Cubist Inspired Vase c1925

Legras Enamelled Cubist Inspired Vase c1925

A beautiful Legras cubist inspired vase from c1925 in excellent condition. For more French art glass, including a wide range of Art Nouveau vases, please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£275.00

Very Large Signed Mont Joye Enamelled Vase c1900

Very Large Signed Mont Joye Enamelled Vase c1900

This vase has a front and back, the front panel on the flattened ball shape being the most intensely decorated. This is the largest piece of Mont Joye we have seen. This was made prior to the merger with Legras

£725.00

Signed Legras Art Deco Vase c1925

Signed Legras Art Deco Vase c1925

An acid etched 'cut back' technique has been used to give depth. Decorated with dahlia adjoined with tied swags of fabric. Cylindrical form that trasitions to ovoid

£525.00

A Signed Legras Sunset Landscape Vase c1900

A Signed Legras Sunset Landscape Vase c1900

The combination of acid etching and coloured enames gives this legras vase great depth.

£425.00

A Fine Art Deco Geometric Fan Pattern Vase By Legras c1930

A Fine Art Deco Geometric Fan Pattern Vase By Legras c1930

A very fine Legras Art Deco vase from c1930 in excellent condition. For more French art glass, including a wide range of Galle and Lalique vases, please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£395.00

A Tall Art Deco Vase By Legras c1930

A Tall Art Deco Vase By Legras c1930

A very fine and large Legras Art Deco vase from c1930 in excellent condition. For more French art glass, including a wide range of Galle and Lalique vases, please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£490.00

Legras Rubis Series 25 1/2 Inch Vase c1910

Legras Rubis Series 25 1/2 Inch Vase c1910

Standing at 25 1/2 Inches, 65 cms this is the tallest Legras vase that we have seen

£875.00

A Tall Signed Legras Art Deco Vase c1930

A Tall Signed Legras Art Deco Vase c1930

A tall cubist inspired Legras glass vase

£475.00

A Legras Cubism Inspired Vase c1930

A Legras Cubism Inspired Vase c1930

If Georges Braque had used glass a his medium then this would have been the result. Art deco glass

£435.00

An Enamelled Landscape Legras Glass Vase c1920

An Enamelled Landscape Legras Glass Vase c1920

This is one of the most vibrant Legras landscape vases that we have seen. Decorative glass for both home decor and investment

£580.00

Legras Trinket Box with Orivit Gilded Pewter Cover c1910

Legras Trinket Box with Orivit Gilded Pewter Cover c1910

A beautiful Art Nouveau Legras trinket box with gilded pewter cover from c1910. For more French art glass and a wide range of other antique glass please visit Scottish Antique online store.

£325.00

Legras Mont Joye Enamelled Vase c1905

Legras Mont Joye Enamelled Vase c1905

This was manufactured in St Denis in Paris and was marketed by Legras under the Mont Joye brand.

£375.00

A Very Tall Legras Vase Decorated With Vines c1930

A Very Tall Legras Vase Decorated With Vines c1930

Cameo vine leaves and grapes. Enamelled vine supports. Raised clear glass scrolls and swags on an acid etched ground. Signed Legras

£575.00

Signed Legras Art Deco Glass Vase c1930

Signed Legras Art Deco Glass Vase c1930

A beautiful Art Deco vase signed and made by Legras c1930. For more French art glass and a wide range of other decorative glassware please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£325.00

A Fine Legras Cameo Vase c1925

A Fine Legras Cameo Vase c1925

A very fine legras cameo glas vase. This was a most complex vase to manufacture. The vase is decorated intercalaire

£765.00

Very Tall Legras Art Deco Acid Cut Glass Vase c1925

Very Tall Legras Art Deco Acid Cut Glass Vase c1925

The influence of cubism, Delaunay, Braque and Picasso is immediately obvious. In a future blog post we will provide further example of the influence that the short-lived cubist artsists had not only into the 20s and 30s but beyond into the post war era an

£675.00

A Gilded Amethyst Legras Mont Joye Vase c1900

A Gilded Amethyst Legras Mont Joye Vase c1900

The colour is simply stunning. This will provide a splash of colour in any room. Ideal decorators piece of decorative glassware

£675.00

A Very Tall Legras Vase c1920-25

A Very Tall Legras Vase c1920-25

A monumental statement piece of art glass by Legras

£675.00

A Legras Acid Etched And Gilded Mulberry Vase c1925

A Legras Acid Etched And Gilded Mulberry Vase c1925

Botanical inspired glassware. Legras Acid Etched And Gilded Mulberry Vase c1925

£575.00

Legras Mont Joye Gilded and Enamelled Vase c1900

Legras Mont Joye Gilded and Enamelled Vase c1900

A very fine Legras Mont Joye gilded and enamelled vase from c1910 in excellent condition. For more French art glass, including a wide range of Art Nouveau vases, please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£325.00

A Legras Vase Enamelled with Poppies c1920

A Legras Vase Enamelled with Poppies c1920

A beautifully decorated vase by Legras. Available from Scottish Antiques online store.

£875.00

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