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Degué Glass Vase

Glass Vase, c. 1925

Degué / Cristalleries de Compiegne

Degue was founded by David Guéron, born in Turkey in 1892, to Spanish and Jewish parents. At age 22, he was forced to flee from scandal by joining the French Foreign Legion, which sent him to the Western Front where he was wounded and sent home.

He set up a glassworks in Compiègne, about 50 miles northeast of Paris, to produce tableware and other functional glass. A year after the famous 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, he began producing French art deco glass. His pieces up to 1930 were colorful, but his pieces after that were frosted and more subdued in response to the Great Depression. In the 1920s, Guéron began copying designs of Charles Schneider and Muller Frères, which resulted in six years of ligation and was settled out of court, but devastated both companies financially. Degue was known for creating paperweights, bowls, perfume bottles, stemware items such as liqueur glasses, lightshades, chandeliers, art glass lamps, and half-round ceiling lampshades.

Degué was commissioned to create 6000 individual glass panels for the French ocean liner, Normandie (known for its art deco décor throughout). Normandie had a fire and ran aground in the New York Harbor in 1942.