VERLYS: 1930's big round bowl in opalescent glass 'Chestnut' model, signed

 

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VERLYS - France : Big round bowlin opalescent press-molded glass with chestnuts decor. Molded signature in the middle 'Verlys'.

Between 1933 and 1938

Height : 6,7 cm - 2 5/8 in
Diameter : 30 cm - 11 3/4 in

VERLYS:

The original French company was Holophane glass works, a well-known producer making lamps and headlights for vehicles, settled near Rouen in Normandy since 1920.

By 1925 they had expanded into making art glass vases and bowls and established a department for these products, which they named Verlys. The word Verlys comes from the French region 'Les Andelys', where the glass first was produced, combined with 'verre', the French word for glass. Initially they made blown vessels with several layers of glass, smooth on the outside with internal decoration. From 1933 onwards they focussed on high quality press-moulded glass. They branched out into Deco art glass when it became popular in France, thanks partly to the ground-breaking mass production techniques pioneered by Rene Lalique.

Most of the glass producers in France traded designers back and forth; Pierre D'Avesn designed Rene Lalique's famous Serpent vase as well as the Tourbillons vase, two of the most highly priced and extremely collectable pieces of Lalique. Besides opening his own line in France, he also created many of Verlys's most famous works, like the highly sought-after Mermaid vase. So in many ways, the biggest difference between those pieces of Verlys and Lalique is the name on the bottom. Rene Lalique glass and Verlys are of the same high quality.

Verlys produced clear, frosted, opalescent, and coloured items with designs typical of Lalique-style glass of the 1930's, - plants, flowers, birds, fish, and abstract geometrical patterns. Each year they produced a catalog with new designs.

In 1935 they established 'Verlys of America' with a glassworks in Newark, Ohio. Moulds were supplied from France for the Ohio works, and the same items were made in France and in the USA, although not all the French designs were shared with the American works.

The French company produced many different pieces than the American branch. Figurines, lightings, ashtrays, dinner services, bookends, candy dishes, and the more familiar large charger bowls were among the items produced in France. Many of the molds were shared with the American company, and some American pieces were exclusively American, designed by noted Deco artists Carl Schmitz as well as Victor Schrekengost. The American branch of the company signed the pieces 'Verlys'. French production is usually signed "Verlys France" or "Verlys Made in France" in the mold.

Production in both France and the USA declined during the war, as the company focussed increasingly on industrial products. The Verlys range was progressively abandoned in both countries from 1940 until it ceased altogether around 1951-52.

In 1955 some of the Verlys molds were leased to the Heisey glassworks, who produced a limited range of Verlys designs until 1957, and then returned the molds. These pieces were not signed. In 1966 the surviving Verlys molds were sold to Fenton Art Glass Company, who produced some items in distinctly different colours to Verlys, and did not use the Verlys name.

Bibliography:
Giuseppe CAPPA: Le Génie verrier de l'Europe. Hayen (Belgium). Pierre Mardaga. 1998. See pp.437-42.

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