Val Saint Lambert: the art of glass Antiques 09/12/2020

Val Saint Lambert's pieces invite you to immerse yourself in a world of shapes seductive, unthinkable structures, intense colors and translucent clarity, it is art created in glass.

Today, in Balclis, Val Saint Lambert, the master glass craftsmen for almost two centuries.

  1. Brief history

The origins of the Verreries et Etablissements of Val Saint Lambert date back to 1826 when its first kiln by the chemist François Kemlin, in the abbey Cistercian of Seraing, giving rise to the first glass factory Belgian.

A few years later, in 1841, it would win the gold medal at the Belgian industrial products exhibition for the quality of its pure, refined and colored glass . However, despite its excellent qualities it was not until 50 years later when they dared to exhibit for the first time at the World's Fair in Antwerp many of his crystalline creations opting for a line of geometric motifs, which undoubtedly they became a success resulting in a resounding success.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th it was the undisputed apogee. During these years, specifically in 1908, it unveiled double-color and cut glass, a revolutionary technical innovation that has earned it its worldwide fame to this day.

World War I forced the factory to close for four years, and then resume their activity again, although losing an important market with the fall of the Tsars From Russia.

Thereafter, and with export activities that represented 90% of its turnover, its success was only tricked by the bombings of the Second World War that yes, it is true, that it ended with practically all your production. The way they chose to once again get afloat was to cooperate with a good number of external designers such as Samuel Herman, Yann Zoritchac, Philippe Starck, Frans Van Praet, Martin Shekel ... and so on until it becomes what it is, the only The world's largest Belgian glass factory. Starting back then, most houses of Online Auctions and traditional have sold thousands of pieces of the famous manufactory.

Pieces that have gone down in history

Nowadays, Val Saint Lambert Crystal Works is in the hands of the Onclin family, who aspire to reestablish the brand worldwide projecting a young image.

The future of Val Saint Lambert looks promising , and the ambition is always great, namely, continue to produce resplendent beauty with century-old craftsmanship inspired by art nouveau and art deco, specially focused on different table accessories and objects for decoration, enriched with a contemporary touch.

Without further ado, these are some of the works of Val Saint Lambert that have gone down in history.

       1.Vase of the Nine Provinces (1894)

The first of Val's great (and pun intended) masterpieces Saint Lambert is known as the Vase of the Nine Provinces (Vase of the Nine Provinces); a glass vase of more than 2.5 meters high and 200 kilos of weight made for the World Exhibition in Antwerp, for which a work team formed by more than 30 people for more than 2000 hours.

Currently this is in the Old collection of the Musé du verre, now Grand Curtius, of Liège, (Belgium).

       2. LGlass chandeliers for the Jai Vilas Palace in Gwalior (1900)

In 1900 the ruler Maharaja Sir Madho Rao Scindia decided continue with the decoration of the Jai Vilas Palace in Gwalior in India, currently a museum, commissioned by the Belgian glass company, which they are considered the two largest crystal chandeliers in the world with more than 13 meters high and 3.5 tons of weight.

Legend has it that his architect to ensure the resistance that the roof would support his weight made an elephant climb to the first floor , and part of it collapsed, so he had to re-build a roof sturdy enough to hold.

       3. Vase «Crépuscule» de Philippe Wolfers (1901)

In 1901, the Belgian designer, sculptor and goldsmith, Philippe Wolfers, combining art nouveau and glass elaborated An impressive vase with several layers of glass in brown-reddish color with the figures of two bats with their wings spread as a base obtained with the technique of cameo.

Its particular design has made that 100 years later, already considered a treasure of the ancient ages , the French State declared it as a treasure belonging to its community . It is currently exhibited in the same room as the Vase of the Nine Provinces in the Grand Curtius of Liege.

       4. Chairs by Frans Van Praet for the Seville Expo (1992)

The Belgian pavilion at the 1992 Seville World Expo was considered one of the most attractive constructions . More than 2.3 million people visited the place and were able to enjoy of an interior that was entirely designed by the designer Frans Van Praet, for whom among many other pieces he manufactured a total of 50 glass chairs, all of them in different shades, etched alcid, and with a metallic base.

Currently these are distributed by some of the different museums around the world or in unexpected places like Dublin Airport.