Le Verre Francais Rare Vases
Charles Schneider, a colour magician
Charles Schneider was born (1881) into a poor family, died (1953) as a poor man, but he was rich in friendship and spirit and colour. The difference between Schneider and Daum and Galle is that Schneider was a workman. He was an artist and he knew how to blow a vase. He understood the difficulty of the material. There is this famous picture of Charles in his own factory standing between his friends, his fellow workman.
His father died young and Charles his mother had to work as a servant. She raised her three children, Ernestine, Ernest and Charles, as honest and virtuous people. When Charles was young, it became clear that he was artistic. He and his brother Ernest started working for Daum. Ernest had the brains of the family. Very soon Ernest led a part of the export department for Daum in Paris and earned a high salary. Charles was appreciated for his artistic qualities. He followed artschool and was one of the leading artists at Daum.
In 1913 the two brothers had saved enough to buy their own glassfactory, together with a friend, Henri Wolf.
From then on the success came. In 1924 the Schneider glassworks build the biggest concrete hall ever with the most modern furnaces. In 1926 they are the biggest glassfactory in France with almost 500 employees. In 1925 Charles was asked to be a member of the jury at the Exposition des Art Decoratifs in Paris. This meant that his work could not enter the exposition and would not compete with the work of the other artists. It was an honour to be a member of the jury, so he accepted, but maybe it had been better if he had declined for the honour and participated as an artist. He would have swept the competition away.
His coupe bijoux and the big black footed bowls in contrasting colours were an enormous success all over the world. Most of their production went to North and South America. The glass of Charles Schneider has such joyfull colours, bright and happy colours like orange and yellow. It looks like the sun shines every day. The little bijoux vases are jewels of technique and shape and colour. The “Le verre Francais” line had a great success with the stylized flowers in stunning colours. As the majority of the le verre francais glass , was only etched one time, the producing costs were low. The general public loved these bright vases. The success of the Schneider factory continued until 1929. In 1929 the banks on Wall street crashed and rich people lost a lot or all of their money. The market for luxury goods collapsed. Schneider tried to survive by cutting down costs, but this does not help when there are no buyers left. After a struggle of a three years the furnace extinguised in 1932. The factory filed for bankruptcy in 1938.
Charles Schneider died in 1953 before the revival of his glass. In the eighties his glass was rediscovered. It has its place now among Galle and Daum glass as their equivalent.