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Pâte de Verre by Amalric Walter

Chameleon dish by Walter
Chameleon dish by Walter

This collection was displayed in Gallery 10. Amalric Walter was born in Sevres in 1870 and from the age of 15 followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps by becoming apprenticed to the Sevres Porcelain Factory as a ceramic painter. 

By the time he was 30, Walter had become proficient in the sculptural glass technique of pate de verre, and came to the attention of the Daum brothers in Nancy, famed for their Art Nouveau glass.  In 1903 Walter joined the Daum factory where he was given his own workshop and a substantial fee in return for the secrets of his technique.

Throughout the period of 1904 until the outbreak of the First World War, Walter tested and refined his technique, creating tiles, dishes, busts and a bestiary that he is most loved for, and which is the focus of this collection.

After the end of the War, and having received the Legion d'Honeur for gallantry, Walter returned to Nancy.  He separated amicably from Daum and set up his own workshop in Nancy, which he ran until the start of the Second World War.  By the late 1930s the fashion for pate de verre had waned and by the late 1930s Walter stopped producing.  On his death in 1959, Walter's studio and workshop were dispersed and very little has come to light since.

Lizard dish by Walter
Lizard dish by Walter

The collection was previously displayed in the Exhibition, A Glass Menagerie, 19 August 2006 - 4 February 2007

The items come from a private collection on loan to Broadfield House Glass Museum. The collection is the largest of Walter’s work ever seen in the UK and had never been on public display until 2006, when it was shown as part of the International Festival of Glass.  It was later exhibited at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland during 2008. 

To accompany the first exhibition a new book on Amalric Walter was published, written by Keith Cummings, a respected authority on Pâte de verre as both an artist and author.  This publication is the first to focus solely on Walter's work. 

Images: (top) Chameleon dish and (bottom) Lizard dish by Amalric Walter, photography by Simon Bruntnell.