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Gabriel Argy-Rousseau Pâte de Verre "Araignees et Ronces" Vase

This exquisite "Spiders and Brambles" cameo glass vase by Gabriel Argy-Rousseau features entwined charcoal, orange and blackberry leaves. The mottled white glass ground is dominated by a bas relief white spider web, giving the visual effect of a floating gossamer on the vase. A spindly black spider sits in the center of the web, likely a Brown House Spider (Steatoda grossa.)

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: G-21505
Artist: Gabriel Argy-Rousseau
Country: France
Circa: 1920
Dimensions: 4.625" height, 5" diameter.
Materials: Pâte de verre, translucent glass
Signed: On the side of the vase “G. Argy-Rousseau” and “France” at the bottom.
Literature: A similar vase is pictured in "G. Argy-Rousseau Glassware As Art," by Janine Bloch-Dermant, in the catalog raisonne section pg. 181, figure 20.05.

Like numerous artists throughout France, Gabriel Argy-Rousseau found himself profoundly affected by the atrocities of World War I. Within this tumultuous period, many plant names took on double meanings, symbolizing various aspects of warfare. For instance, "ronces," traditionally denoting blackberry brambles, came to represent the barbed wire that lined the trenches and no man's land. Despite blackberries being a common feature in British cuisine just across the Channel, French peasants regarded them with great superstition. In Brittany, the consumption of blackberries was actively avoided due to the belief that the crown of thorns was fashioned from bramble-briers. Additionally, adherents to pre-Christian traditions held the belief that fairies disapproved of humans partaking in their mystical fruit.