Etling glass is glassware produced by Frenchman Edmond Laurent Etling.
History and description of Etling glass
Edmond Laurent Etling founded La Societe Anonyme Edmond Etling in 1909 in Paris. The works which he commissioned (not only glass, but ceramics, ivory and bronze) were sold from his shop in Paris at 29 Rue de Paradis. Glassware was made at the Etling Choisy-le-Roi glassworks. Apart from clear grey and frosted glass, much of Etling's glassware was made of opalescent glass.
Etling used designs from the top freelance designers of the period, including Alliott, Alonzo, Chiparus, Gazan, Colinet, Bel, Guiraud-Riviere, Descompe, Godard and Guillard. Lucille Sevin and Genevieve Granger designed figurines; Georges Beal designed vases with characteristic plant designs, and Geza Hiecz designed animal and bird figures. Some Etling designs were reproduced by Sevres in the 1970s, in particular the female nude figurines.
Guide for collectors
Etling Glass did not survive World War 2, and the company's entire output was in the Art Deco style of the interwar period. They are noted for innovative design and are highly desirable collector's items. Figurines are normally female nudes, either freestanding or incorporated into vases. All Etling figurines are opalescent.
The designs have the characteristic flowing, clean lines and smooth shapes of the Art Deco movement, and the use of opalescent glass maximised the effect of electric light on pieces, giving a soft, cool glow, rather than a harsh glitter as would be the case with clear glass. Reflecting the popular decor of the 1920s and 1930s Etling pieces are most frequently white/off-white, or monochrome. Vases which employ bright colours - tawny, red, and blue - tend to be in designs heavily influenced by the far East, both in colour and shape.
www.wies-baden.de has the 1930 original catalogue from Etling and an opalescent advertising panel; deco-dence.com is a special interest group for those collecting Art Deco objects in general, including glassware. antique-marks.com specialises in Art Deco glassware, and sells items online at fixed price. glass-seek.com gives a live link to Ebay auctions of Etling glassware. However, when buying online from private, unaccredited sellers, care should be taken to obtain proof that the item is genuinely Etling, as moulded imitations in frosted glass have been mass produced.
Notable sales of Etling glass
The most expensive Etling item sold during the last fifteen years was a glass night light with bronze trim, sold by Skinner, in March 2010, for $6000, despite some damage to the trim, which had reduced estimated sale price to a maximum of $1200. An opalescent glass Madonna was sold for $200 by Elite, in December 2011, and a figurine Kneeling Woman With Dog was sold for €375 by Quittenbaum.
Generally, those items which have simpler lines more characteristic of Art Deco sell for the highest price. For example, a pair of small, handled opalescent Etling glasses sold in December 2004 for $1400, by Rose Hill, while a large, ornate vase in pink opal offered by the same auction house did not reach its' starting bid price. Similarly, a veiled nude figurine in opalescent glass, without stand, was sold for $1500 in December 2007 by Rago Arts, while a figurine which was almost identical but which had a bronze mount reached $850 in December 2008 when offered for sale by Rose Hill.
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