Gabriel Argy-Rousseau was a French ceramicist, master glass craftsman, and sculptor. His innovative work encompasses a range of objects from lamps, vases, and bowls to brooches, boxes, and pendants.
Gabriel Argy-Rousseau was born as Joseph-Gabriel Rousseau in Meslay-le-Vidame, France in 1885. After earning his degree in ceramic engineering from the Ecole Nacionale de Sèvres, Rousseau embraced the title of “engineer-ceramist,” working in a research lab before focusing on the art of pâte de Verre, or glass paste. Rousseau married Marianne Argyriades in 1913, and changed his name to Gabriel Argy-Rousseau to take part of his wife’s maiden name.
Argy-Rousseau’s first works were influenced by the animal and plant themes of Art Nouveau. He showcased a number of his pâte de Verre works at the 1914 Exposition du Salon des Artistes Français in Paris. Forming his own company to produce these works, Argy-Rouseeau advertised in magazines throughout America and Europe, and filed many patents for possible military use during World War I. He refined manufacturing processes to perfect and economize the production of his ceramics, but his company was dissolved amidst the global Great Depression in 1931.
Argy-Rousseau continued to make ceramics, jewelry, and other decorative objects, producing ceramics and faceted, transparent glass pâte de cristal. The upheavals of the twentieth century caused Argy-Rousseau to struggle to find fuel and raw materials for his own work, and though he continued to exhibit his own work, he worked at a commercial porcelain factory until his death in 1953.
Argy-Rousseau is best known for his glassworks such as vases, lamps, and other decorative objects. His experiments with technique and fascination with chemistry contributed to his creation of striking, unique, opaque and translucent glass. Argy-Rousseau’s early works show decorative styles with plants, birds, animals, and insects, with organic and experimental forms that echo the movement of Art Deco style.
Argy-Rousseau also had a passion for jewelry making, and designed and marketed extensive lines of brooches and pendants. These designs often comprise a small oval, square, or round art glass medallion attached with a leather cord and a tassel.
After being introduced to Greek art during his upbringing, and having studied it in his university career, Argy-Rousseau considered the Greek style an enduring influence and guiding passion in his work. This shows most often in his vases, which echo ancient Attic vases in their subjects and style.
Argy-Rousseau’s pâte de Verre work is instantly identifiable for its individualized technique and decorative style. While many pieces of his work are held in museum collections, Argy-Rousseau’s work has often been offered at auction, with sale prices reaching up to $87,500.
While decorative glass objects by Argy-Rousseau are worth up to tens of thousands of dollars, his pendants and other jewelry can sell for between $750 and $1,250.
Appraise and Sell Gabriel Argy-Rousseau’s Work
If you have any works by Gabriel Argy-Rousseau, especially his vases, bowls, lamps, or jewelry, get in touch with our experts at Revere Auctions. If you would like to sell your Argy-Rousseau pieces, you can auction them at our location in St. Paul, Minnesota. We also offer our services online.
You can contact us anytime for a free auction estimate if you want to sell Argy-Rousseau’s artwork. We have a very simple process. After you send us the photos of the work, our experts will take a look, analyze, and provide you an estimate of the amount the artwork is likely to reach at auction.
If you need an appraisal for Argy-Rousseau’s work, we provide a certified appraisal report that can be used for estate taxes, donations, and insurance coverage. Our appraisals are compliant with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and are accepted by insurance companies, charity agencies, and the IRS.