If Emile Gallé is the symbol of craftsmanship in Art Nouveau glass, the Belgian Royal company Val Saint Lambert epitomizes the Art Deco crystal art. With Joseph Simon (1874-1960), and later Charles Graffart (1893-1967), at the head of its artistic department, Val Saint Lambert succeeded in imposing new shapes during the inter-war years.
Whereas Art Nouveau draws inspiration from the vegetable world to create a language of winding shapes, geometry, especially mineral geometry, predominates in Art Deco. The best example is the crystal cut design of Val Saint Lambert in the 20s and 30s, full of circles, triangles, squares, hexagons and trapeziums. Val Saint Lambert designers explored the almost infinite geometrical combinations allowed by transparent crystal while playing with light and colour in multiple layers.
As Marcel Fraipont, managing director of the Cristalleries du Val Saint Lambert stated during the 1925 Paris Exhibition, which set Art Deco as the style of an era:
“There are nevertheless currents taking most of the exhibitors in a particular direction, which allow us to attribute to modern decorative art, in the absence of an undisputed authority, an orientation, certain characteristics: the extreme simplification, the emphasis on volume, the straightness of lines, the decisive (if not brutal) indication of the planes, the often opulent bareness of the material, the straightforwardness of the fittings, the logic of the composition. These would seem to be the fundamental rules that the decorators of today have sought to apply: no excesses, no flowery ornamentation, no figurative appliqués.”
The glass art object passes from the pedestal in Art Nouveau to be integrated in the modern house during Art Deco. Thus the Val Saint Lambert vases must provide a maximum of luminosity through a solid structure with clean volumes, smooth surfaces and geometric lines. They will become a perfect symbol of Art Deco interiors combining their luminosity with an austere aesthetic that allows them to merge in their surroundings.
Discover our selection of Val Saint Lambert vases.