Muller Freres Glass
Muller Freres glass was marked with the company name, which makes it easier for collectors to discern the works. Famous for their detailed pieces, the studio sometimes used as many as six or seven different layers of colored glass, to craft their famous cameos, which were prized - and usually very expensive – gifts.
In 1871, as Germany began to forcibly annex the Alsace region of France, the large Muller family fled to the safer Luneville area of the country. Already accomplished craftsmen, the members of the Muller family ended up working in the many glass studios and art houses in and around the peaceful region. Many of them eventually apprenticed under the tutelage of Emile Galle, a master glass craftsman of his era. One of the elder brothers, Henri, eventually confident that he’d learned enough of the art, set up his own art glass studio in the same area. His brothers - and sister Camille - soon joined him, thus creating the Muller Freres studios.
Soon, the siblings had gained a deserved mastery of their craft with a growing reputation for excelling at modern and experimental methods of glass working and decorating. They soon became renown for their brilliantly colored vases and lamps. During the Art Nouveau period, the Muller Freres became the pre-eminent glass studio in France, outputting a great deal of original designs, created from a wide variety of new methods and materials. The quality and style of their artworks has been favorably compared to the works of another master glass studio of the era, the Daum family of artisans.
At the outbreak of World War One, the siblings split up and found work in several art glass studios throughout France. Brother Eugene was an unfortunate victim of wartime, but after the war was over, the other brothers again began to rebuild the art glass studio bearing their family’s name. They went back to Luneville, bought up an old studio and began to specialize in the more commercial creation of beautiful iron and glass chandeliers, as well as elaborate and detailed metal wall brackets and sconces, which were popular at the time.
During the Roaring Twenties, the work of the Muller Freres was eagerly sought after with many chandeliers and art glass pieces quickly finding their way across the ocean and into the finest of American homes. The stock market crash of 1929 had a crippling effect on the business however, and in 1936 the Muller Freres studios finally closed its doors for the last time.