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Auguste Legras Glass

1864 -19??

Glassworks of Saint Denis, Pantin & Auberviller

France

In 1864 Auguste Legras took over the St. Denis Glassworks and founded Legras.  At that time he was already a experienced glassmaker.  He began producing massive amounts of glass in many commercial types and styles.  His company was soon very successful.    It was reported that he employed 1,500 people by the end of the 19th Century. His company  was profitable enough for the family to take over two established Glassworks the Auberviller Glassworks 1897 and the Pantine in 1919.   

Somewhere around 1900, possible at the great Paris Exhibition, Legras discovered Emile Galle and Legras decided to seriously concentrate on producing Art Nouveau style glass, both Cameos like Galle and a wide range of techniques.  In 1909 Auguse retired and the company was taken over by his son Charles.  Charles Legras as Managing Director, continued to produce the same artistic and quality level as his father.  However he did not have the same innovation of new techniques and design as his father had.

Charles quickly started to focus on the early scent bottles being designed by Rene Lalique for Coty, getting a contract to produce some early ones before Rene Lalique until he was fully geared up to produce them.  Like most French Glass makers, the Legras works closed between 1914 and 1919 due to the war.  After 1919 they quickly identified the need to move to Art Deco style production.  Legras produced quiet a range of different and original art glass.  However a significant part of their production followed the styles of Galle, Daum, Moser, Rene Lalique, Schneider and etc.  Sometime in the late 1920s, Legras production of Art Glass effectively ceased.

The Saint-Denis Glassworks specialized in highly decorated vase, both multi-layered cameo vases, enameled vases with painted floral images.  The quality of his products but also the large number and variety of his designs made Legras Company the most important producer of Art Glass in France, until the start of World War I in 1914.  In 1926 August Heiligenstein became the Art director for the company and was responsible for most of Legras Art Deco designs. 

 

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