Sunday, August 24, 2008

Design Love: Degue Art Glass

(image via Decorum)

My intense interest (read obsession) in Art Deco lighting continues, and the second designer I've 'discovered' in recent weeks, besides Loys Lucha, is the French designer David Gueron.

Gueron formed his own art glass production company, Verrierie d'Art Degue in 1926; Degue being a shortened version of his name (much like a JLo or LiLo nickname today!). Initially the company concentrated on functional tableware. However, he quickly moved the company into the luxury art glass market intended for well to do French and American clients, and began producing thickly molded and acid etched glass chandeliers and vases. More information HERE . Degue was not without controversy; according to the summary at Style and Design,

"The factory produced glass which one might generously describe as an homage to
Schneider. [Another well-known art glass manufacturer of the time.] Gueron employed ex-Schneider workers and soon over stepped the mark resulting in litigation between Gueron and Schneider. Styles include highly decorative brightly coloured Art Deco designs; all well executed which bear a striking resemblance to Schneider."

Copycat or not, Degue glass is credited with being well crafted, and beautifully designed. Degue produced several different styles of chandelier lighting, all with his signature thick glass, and various hand-worked metals. The style that I like best, though, is the simpler pressed glass (pate de verre) suspended bowls, or vasque, fixtures. The bowl is usually seen suspended by three silk cords or a trio of gorgeous nickel or chrome rods with a metal ceiling canopy. The lights are usually illuminated by a single bulb suspended just above the glass bowl.

While stunning and not exactly quiet, these simpler bowl lights seem more adaptable to variety of today's interiors than the grander armed-chandeliers. I'm still a novice at this, but pricing seems to vary wildly. For an entry level collector/fancier, you can find shades (with no wired fixtures) on Ebay, and basically build your own light. And some Ebay items are shown with non-original hanging apparatus - usually 3 chains and a new canopy. For the serious collector who wants everything to be original, expect to have significantly deeper pockets. Interestingly, the actor Michael Caine is a collector of Degue glass, according to this article.

Take a peek at some of these recent listings on Ebay to see for yourself.

A quick stroll through Google will reveal lots of antique dealers who have Degue chandeliers and vasques, including 1st Dibs, Modernism, DecoDame, Art Deco Collection, and others listed at right in the links section. But by far the treasure trove of Degue lighting can be found at Decorum, in San Francisco, and Jack, the proprietor, is very amenable to questions via email. (And please do visit his website to read his interesting and amusing description of just what it's like to go to the big antique shows in France!) The following two are a tiny sampling of the gems at Decorum, as is the first image at the top of the post. Please note the gorgeous metal rods and decorated ceiling canopy, as compared to the more piecemeal assemblage of fixtures in the Ebay images above:


Silly Monkey said...

It's a shame you have to limit your ceiling lights to one per room, isn't it? Well, unless you live in a mansion.

Ream O Rama said...

I dunno, I think my laundry experience would be much enhanced with one of the Loys Lucha lights.

Never really "gotten" deco before, but am really loving the education and seeing the different styles you're posting.

Just not sure if the trailer park would let me rewire ;)

Great Dame said...

Aw, thanks ROR, glad you like the examples. Usually I feel like I'm just talking to myself when I post stuff! Not necessarily a bad thing, just feels a little odd some days. ;)

Anyway, I have a whopping FOUR main rooms, plus a couple baths and small hallways in my humble abode,so not exactly livin' large here in the ATL! Not quite a trailer, but we just might have some manmade materials cladding the house at the moment.

So, I'm not quite in the luxury lighting demographic, (or luxury anything demographic) but I find it interesting and inspiring that you if you hunt around a bit, like on Ebay, you can come up with some unique options for not a lot more than you'd find at your local big box store. Kinda fun, huh?

Miss Janey said...

Wow. All so fabulous. Covet, covet, covet.

Be the change..... said...

these are so fabulous! I love them all!! decorative but not completely over the top -i think they'd go with many different styles of houses too

Anonymous said...

Interesting story as for me. It would be great to read something more concerning that theme. Thank you for giving this information.
Joan Stepsen
Computer gadgets

coupar angus said...

I have "inherited' what seem to be three art deco shades in the house i bought in the haute Vienne. One is blue and is a large hanging shade with a pattern of birds and fruit. The next is a hall light with metal supports and then there is a small white shade in opalescent glass. What is your advice for using them in the 21st century?
Ann deane