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Vase, Modell Nr. 93, 1919
Francois Décorchemont
Vase, Modell Nr. 93,
Francois Décorchemont,

Vase, Modell Nr. 93,

Francois Décorchemont
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • Modell Nr. 93 Francois Décorchemont Vase
  • Modell Nr. 93 Francois Décorchemont Vase
Listen to the text

The highly complex pâte de cristal technique found its master in François Décorchemont (1880–1971). Five detailed female heads materialize out of the refined lines of this vase, gazing from the winds of antiquity into the future of Art Deco.

In September 1976, the school board of the City of Zurich notified the local education authority that, at the request of the curator of the Museum Bellerive, a vase by the famous French glass artist François Décorchemont would be purchased for 16,300 Swiss francs to enrich the collection (which is now part of the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich) with “a very outstanding object.” The extraordinary purchase involved a decorative vase made of pâte de cristal. After World War I, Décorchemont found his way back to his kilns in the city of his birth, Conches in Normandy, where he had begun in 1902—inspired by the pieces created by his compatriot Albert Dammouse—to work with the pâte de verre, or glass paste, casting technique. Born into a family of artists, Décorchemont learned painting and pottery from his father and spent long years experimenting with various techniques. For pâte de verre, broken glass was first combined with silicates, then pulverized and mixed with quince seeds (as a binding material) to create a paste. In later years, Décorchemont reverted to using ready-made raw material. The pieces were fired at varying temperatures, and controlled cooling over several days completed the process. The fact that so many pieces developed cracks in the coke ovens, whose temperature was difficult to control, made the few that turned out perfectly so precious. Oil-heated kilns later provided better working conditions, while the Art Deco style began to prevail in the design of the glass objects. (Sabine Flaschberger)

Vase, Modell Nr. 93, 1919
Entwurf/Ausführung: Francois Décorchemont
Material/Technik: Glas, formgeschmolzen, poliert
13.8 × 10.9 cm
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Victor Arvas, Glas vom Jugendstil zur Art Deco, Originalausgabe 1987, dt. Auflage, Hongkong 1987.

Museum Bellerive (Hg.), Glas, Historismus, Jugendstil, Zwanziger Jahre, Bd.2, Zürich 1995.

Brief des Schulvorstands an das Schulamt der Stadt Zürich, 17.9.1976.

Image creditso

Vase, Modell Nr. 93, 1919, Entwurf/Ausführung: Francois Décorchemont
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Vase, 1927, Entwurf/Ausführung: Francois Décorchemont
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Bol breton, Modell Nr. 105, 1920, Entwurf/Ausführung: Francois Décorchemont
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Korrespondenz, Verfügung des Schulvorstandes zum Ankauf einer Glasvase von Francois Décorchemont, Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, 1976
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Exhibition texto

The surfaces of vessels made of opaque glass transfix the viewer’s gaze. Varying degrees of transparency and complex coating and engraving techniques evoke multifaceted associations with natural motifs. The Roman ointment vessels and the twin balsamaria feature astoundingly detailed miniaturized ornamentation that speaks to the advanced state of glassmaking in antiquity.