Glass vase, designed by Chris Lebeau

Leerdam, Holland, about AD 1925-30

This vase is unusual both in its angular shape and in its strange yellowish-green colouring. The main vessel has thin walls and was made by blowing into a wooden mould while being spun round, a method known as 'turn mould-blown'. The bottom part is much thicker, and was created by forcibly pressing molten glass into an iron mould.

It was designed in 1924-25 by Joris Johannes Christiann Lebeau (1878-1945), known as Chris Lebeau, a talented but temperamental textile and graphic designer who collaborated with the leading Dutch glassworks, NV Glasfabriek Leerdam, between 1923 and 1926. Lebeau was one of several outside artists recruited by the factory's director, P.M. Cochius (1874-1938), to create new models in a plain modern style after the First World War (1914-18).

Because Lebeau was a teetotaller, he refused to design wine glasses. Instead he created an extraordinary group of vases with eccentric profiles such as this, often composed of parallel or tapered rings. His vessels, which sometimes had exaggerated stems and necks, were highly idiosyncratic, and included some elaborate pieces that pushed the glassmakers to the limit of their ingenuity. Ahead of their time in the 1920s, Lebeau's designs were criticized by contemporary commentators for their supposed resemblance to laboratory glassware.

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More information

Bibliography

J. Rudoe, Decorative arts 1850-1950: a c, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

A. van der Kley-Blextoon, Leerdam Glas 1878-1930 (Lochem, 1990)

M. De Bois, Chris Lebeau - ontwerper 1878- (Haarlem, 1987)

L. Jackson, Twentieth Century Factory Glas (London, 2000)

Dimensions

Height: 27.500 cm (total)
Height: 27.500 cm (total)
Diameter: 20.900 cm (bowl)
Height: 27.500 cm (total)
Diameter: 20.900 cm (bowl)

Museum number

M&ME 1988,7-11,1

MCT2562

Location

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