Richard Winterton Auctioneers discover Almeric Walter pate de verre glass birds

The French term ‘pate de verre’ roughly translates as ‘glass paste’. It is a glassmaking technique exploited from the 1900’s by the French Daum factory in Nancy. It involves coloured glass powder mixed with a liquid to form a paste which is then packed into a re-usable mould and fired to the desired temperature where the glass fuses together to make the desired object. The technique was ideally suited to high end objects in the Art Nouveau period of the 1900’s and the Art Deco period of the 1920’s.

Almeric Walter pate de verre glass birds

Almeric Walter pate de verre glass birds

Almeric Walter (French, 1870-1959) was one of the foremost French masters of the pate de verre technique. He was primarily a manufacturer of glasswares rather than a designer and from c.1906 operated from a workshop in Nancy for the Daum brothers. Specialising in making small decorative objects such as paperweights, small dishes and decorative items which became prized for their translucent quality and naturalistic forms. In 1919 Walter set up his own factory which continued throughout the 1920’s.

Illustrated is a rare example of Walter’s pate de verre production from the mid 1920’s. Modelled in the sophisticated Art Deco style, they are a pair of small birds. Measuring just 11cm high, it is possible that they could have been used as paperweights but more likely to have been purely decorative. Pate de verre comes in a variety of plain and mixed colours and these are modelled in jade green. Each bears the moulded mark of Almeric Walter.

Discovered on an antique/collectables valuation day at Richard Winterton Auctioneers of Lichfield, they are being offered in a Fine Art Auction in September. Similar examples have been known to fetch thousands of pounds at auction.

Free valuations of all antiques and collectables are held at The Lichfield City Centre Salerooms every weekday from 10am to 1pm. Phone 01543 251081 for further details or visit