This glass dish was produced by the innovative French glasswork factory established by Emile Gallé in Nancy in the 1870s. By 1900, Gallé had achieved international fame for his glassware, which fused experimental glassmaking techniques, with designs inspired by the symbolic properties of nature. The elongated, incurving lip of this delicate dish is suggestive of a cowrie shell, or a furling petal. The floral design is embedded in layers of differently coloured ‘cameo’ glass, a technique for which the Gallé factory became well known.
Gallé employed approximately three hundred skilled craftsmen and women in his factory in Nancy.  Under Gallé’s supervision, they produced stylish glassware for an elite commercial market. This dish is typical of the acid-etched cameo glassware produced for these ranges, which were sold in Gallé’s shops in Paris, London and Frankfurt. 
While the business prospered, Gallé continued to focus on designing unique works, which were eagerly collected by wealthy patrons and friends. The range of Gallé’s experimentations with technique, form and ornamentation secured his reputation for transforming glassware design. Nancy became a major centre for the Art Nouveau style and although Gallé died in 1904, his factory remained active until 1935.
The Andersons acquired a total of ten works in glass by Gallé and three pieces of furniture for their Art Nouveau collection in the 1960s. All reflect Gallé’s fascination with the natural world, which inspired the form, decoration and symbolism of his designs. The significance of nature as a source for Gallé’s work is evident in the personal motto which he had inscribed on his factory doors in 1896: ‘Ma racine est au fond des bois’ (my roots are in the heart of the woods).
Lisa Newby, June 2020
 Philippe Gardner, Emile Gallé (London: Academy Editions, 1976), p.28.
 Ibid., p.109.
The First Moderns, Sainsbury Centre, Norwich, 2011-12-01 - 2012-12-31
Art Nouveau: The Nature of Dreams, Sainsbury Centre, Norwich, 2020-03-29 - 2020-09-13
Johnson, Penny, Art Nouveau, The Anderson Collection, 1978 (p. 13)
Geitner, Amanda and Emma Hazell (Eds.), The Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau, Norwich: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, 2003 (cat.13, p.145, ills. p.28,67,131)
Not on display
Artist/Maker: Emile Gallé
Born: 1900 - 1910
Object Type: Vessel
Materials: Cameo glass
Technique: Blow moulding, Cameo glass, Etching
Measurements: h. 65 x w. 310 x d. 115 mm
Inscription: Cameo mark on scrolling script 'Galle'
Accession Number: 21029
Historic Period: 20th century
Production Place: France, Nancy
School/Style: Art Nouveau
Credit Line: Donated by Sir Colin and Lady Anderson, 1978