Charles Schneider French Art Deco Pendant Chandelier, Early 1920s For Sale
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Charles Schneider French Art Deco Pendant Chandelier, Early 1920s

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French Art Deco pendant chandelier by Charles Schneider, Epinay-sur-Seine (Paris), early 1920s. Mottled glass shade, powders are applied between two layers, that comes hung at its original wrought iron fixture by Schneider too. Signed "Schneider" on the shade (see photo). Delivered wired with three sockets for your country usage (US, EU, Australia, etc). About Schneider: Charles Schneider was born in Chateau-Thierry, near Paris, on 23rd February 1881. At an early age he moved with his family to Nancy, the artistic centre of France. His brother, Ernest Schneider (1877-1937), started working for Daum in 1903 as clerk. Charles had started an artistic career and was already active at Daum since 1898. He performed his practical training in the engraving and decorating workshop, but he also took drawing and modelling lessons with Henri Berge. Concurrently, he studied the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Nancy. In 1904, he went to the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris and studied painting and medal engraving. During this period, he made bronze art objects in the pure Art Nouveau style, all signed "CH. SCHNEIDER Nancy". From 1906, he regularly exhibited in the Engraving section of the Salon de la Societe des Artistes Francais and he was twice awarded a prize. In 1913, the brothers decided to start their own business and bought a small glass factory, specialising in electric light bulbs, in association with a friend Henri Wolf, at Epinay-sur-Seine. This factory was known as ‘Schneider Freres & Wolf’. The new glassworks production started with, among others, a group of about twenty workers enticed away from the Daum manufacture. At the outbreak of the World War I, the firm's activity had to be stopped and the glassworks closed by the end of 1914. Ernest and Charles were demobbed in 1917 and the factory re-opened under the name "Societe Anonyme des Verreries Schneider". At this time, public taste still favoured the Art Nouveau style, and the factory produced mainly ‘cameo’ glass with floral and animal designs, and vases with applied handles and bubbles. Apart from the introduction of art glass, half of the production was of commercial drinking glasses. In 1918, fire destroyed the studios at Galle and a group of artists went to Schneider’s to continue their production for Galle. This period was of great importance to Charles Schneider because he acquired the technique of ‘marqueterie de verre’ from Galle’s artists. This technique, similar to marquetry in wood, is where the design is carved out of a vase and filled with colored glass. The big black-footed bowls are one of the first types of art glass made by the Schneider factory. These designs give only a partial idea, however, of the variety of bowls of this type that were produced for at least he next six years. During the first period, they had a satinic finish (1918-1921). Later, they were polished to a smooth, brilliant surface. In this period, Schneider started producing top-of-line pieces with intercalary motifs or with applied patterns requiring a thorough mastery of the execution technique on the part of the glassmaker. Mention should be made of the pieces with wheel-carved patterns, such as the "Raisins noirs" series, and the "Pavots" or "Camelias" medallion series. Some of the factory's most interesting models during the early period were designed by Gaston Hoffman between 1918 and 1921. His pieces are not signed with his name, since he was a salaried employee of the firm. Most of his models are in the top rank of the factory's production. By 1920, the factory was working at full capacity making mainly art glass. In 1921, Schneider started new trade marks for his cameo glass, signing it ‘Le Verre Français’ or ‘Charder’. Sometimes a vase or lamp would bear both signatures. The idea was to popularise art glass and make it more accessible to the public. Le Verre Français was mainly sold at department stores like Galeries Lafayette, Le Printemps and Le Bon Marche. Pieces signed ‘Schneider’ were sold by specialised art shops such as Delvaux, Rouard, La Vase Etrusque and Le Grand Depot. Le Verre Français was made exclusively using the technique of acid etching, which gave good quality at a low price. The technique of wheel engraving through different layers of glass was used only for special pieces. After the 1925 exhibition, various new designs were created and the factory expanded to employ about 500 workers. Blank glass was also supplied to art shops (Delvaux etc.) to be decorated (enamelled, painted etc.) by their own artists, and commissions were received from perfumery companieslike Coty. At this time, the company was at its peak due to the good designs of the previous years, such as the new style created in 1920 using new shapes and contrasting colors by applying black foot and handles to brightly coloured vases and coupes, thus giving them a dramatic effect. Always innovative, Schneider created a new technique of ‘colored powders’ whereby the pulverised glass was mixed with metal oxides to obtain different colours and then spread on a flat surface. Most of Schneider’s art vases and lamps were exported to America. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929 demand dwindled and the factory started to decline. During the 1930s production of art glass was down to a few pieces a day as they concentrated on making simple designs with less colors for the local market. Attempts were made to save the firm. But Ernest had been seriously ill since the end of the 1920s and was of no help. He died in June 1937, one month after the liquidation of the "Verreries Schneider". In 1940, during the war, the factory was requisitioned by the German troops and used as a restaurant. In 1950, Charles Schneider and his son founded a new glassworks at Epinay-sur-Seine, named "Cristalleries Schneider", which was later transferred to Lloris after an accident caused by a gas explosion. Like the old Schneider factory, this one specialized in free-blown glass. Following the artistic trend of the 1950s, the glassworks produced glass sculptures, crystal vases (sometimes bubbled and colored), ashtrays, clock frames, candlesticks and fruit bowls. But this time, the glass was lead crystal, which had come back into favor in France during the 1930s after being revived in Scandinavia. It was no longer cut, but worked almost exclusively by free-blowing and drawing. All the productions were signed "Schneider France". Charles Schneider’s died in 1952 and the factory was closed in 1981.  

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Condition Details
    Delivered wired with three sockets for your country usage (US, EU, Australia, etc...)
  • Dimensions
    H 26.38 in. x Dm 16.15 in.H 67 cm x Dm 41 cm
  • Diameter
    16.15 in. (41 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Saint-Amans-des-Cots, FR
  • Reference Number
    LU2312312837742
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About Charles Schneider (Artist)

The Schneider Glassworks (Verreries Schneider), established by brothers Charles and Ernest Schneider in Epinay-sur-Seine, France, in 1917, was among the leading producers of fine-art glass between the two world wars, creating exuberantly colorful vessels and lighting fixtures in both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. The factory’s highpoint was the 1920s, when it created iconic chandeliers and exquisitely decorated cameo glass vases that are still in high demand today.


Born in the last quarter of the 19th century in Château-Thierry, near Paris, Charles and Ernest Schneider moved with their family at a young age to Nancy, a major center of Art Nouveau design, particularly known for glass. Among the city’s master makers was the crystal studio Daum, where both brothers worked at the turn of the 20th century, Ernest in sales, and Charles receiving training in the engraving and decoration workshop, while concurrently learning drawing and modeling with Henri Bergé and attending the École des Beaux-Arts in Nancy. In 1904, he enrolled at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, in Paris, where he studied painting and metal engraving and regularly showed in the engraving section of the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français, twice receiving a prize.


Around 1912 the brothers and their friend, architect Henri Wolf, bought a small glass factory specializing in lightbulbs, renaming it Schneider Frères et Wolff. The partners enticed a group of about 20 workers from the Daum workshop to join the company, which produced high-quality cameo vases and lamps until the outbreak of World War I, in 1914, when Charles, Ernest and most of the workers were called up to fight. The Schneiders were demobbed in 1917 and reopened the factory, initially making practical glassware for hospitals. After the war, to fund their reentry into the art-glass market, they sold shares in the company, now named the Société Anonyme des Verreries Schneider. The success of the elegant drinking glasses and Art Nouveau-style cameo vases they produced allowed the brothers to buy back the shares, at which point they renamed the factory Verreries Schneider.


When a fire destroyed the Gallé studios in 1918, the Schneiders offered space to a group of the company’s artists so they could continue production. In return, they taught Charles marqueterie de verre. Similar to wood marquetry, this process involves cutting sections out of a glass surface and filling them with pieces of a contrasting color. In 1921, Schneider trademarked his technique for making cameo glass lamps and vases — exemplified in this piece from the early 1920s — which he signed “Le Verre Français” or “Charder,” the latter perhaps a portmanteau combining his first and last names. These works were popular and sold well at France’s top department stores, including Galeries Lafayette and Le Bon Marché. More elaborate, one-of-a-kind pieces from the studio were signed “Schneider” and offered at Paris art galleries like Au Vase Etrusque and Delvaux.


The Schneiders participated in the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Moderne in Paris, at which Charles was a member of the jury. The company was at its peak, expanding both its design repertoire and the number of workers, to 500. During this period, it began moving away from the organic shapes of Art Nouveau to the more geometric designs of Art Deco, with some pieces embodying a kind of transitional style, such as this chandelier. Charles also began experimenting with pigmented powders, fine crushed glass mixed with metal oxides, which yielded brilliant, iridescent colors when applied to a glass surface.


A large portion of the factory’s art glass production was sold in the United States. When the U.S. stock market crashed in 1929, demand was all but obliterated, and the company struggled to stay afloat throughout the 1930s. Ernest died in 1937, and during World War II, the factory was seized by German troops and used as a canteen. In 1950, Charles and his son set up a new factory called Cristalleries Schneider in Epinay-sur-Seine, which for several years produced free-blown glass vases, small sculptures and lighting fixtures to some acclaim. Charles Schneider died in 1952, and the factory eventually closed in 1981.

About the Seller

5 / 5
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1stdibs seller since 2016
Located in Saint-Amans-des-Cots, FR
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