Glossary

Verreries Schneider

The Verreries Schneider company was founded at the end of 1913 by the two brothers Ernest Schneider (1877-1937) and Charles Schneider (1881-1952). The course for the brothers’ career in the glass industry had already been set many years before. After the father’s tragic accidental death, the mother and her three children moved to the economically prosperous Nancy.

From 1897, Charles received training as an engraver at the Daum glass factory and learned drawing under the direction of Henri Bergé. At the same time, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nancy. From 1904, Charles continued his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He specialized in painting and medal engraving and received several awards for his skills in this area. His older brother Ernest Schneider, however, was employed in senior positions at Daum. His diverse tasks in the glass factory included the internal management of the artistic department as well as important areas in commercial administration.

The Schneider brothers founded their company in 1913. The first company founded together with the architect friend Henri Wolff closed after just three weeks. The second company was finally named Verreries Schneider. They acquired a small glass factory in the Paris suburb of Épinay-sur-Seine. Before the First World War, production consisted mainly of pharmacy bottles and bottles for perfume manufacturers. In 1914 the factory was closed.

After being released from military service, the two brothers reopened the company. The company registered the new brand name Le Verre Français in 1918. From then on, products went on sale with two signatures: Schneider and Le Verre Français. In keeping with the taste of the time, which at that time was oriented towards Art Nouveau, Schneider designed – in addition to tableware and drinking glasses – colorful art glasses with floral decorations, executed in multi-layered overlays. The company appeared with decorative trophies and footed bowls from the famous ‘Coupes Bijoux’ and ‘Coups à pied noir’ series, which today shape our images of the glass manufacturer. In addition to stylized plant motifs and later geometric ornaments in the Art Deco style, objects with diffuse color gradients were created. This look was achieved either by heavily bubbled glass or by colored powder inclusions, for which powdered glass was mixed with metal oxides and melted into the glass mass. The resulting vases and lamps were also popular on the American market.

The objects of the two brands ‘Le Verre Français’ and ‘Schneider’ were sold through various sales channels. The former was intended to make the glass art of the manufactory more popular and accessible to a wider range of buyers. These objects were offered in the art departments of major department stores, such as Galerie Lafayette. The objects from the ‘Schneider’ line, on the other hand, were mainly offered in specialized art shops (Jules Houry) and are now among the rarer examples. The signature ‘Charder’ is an abbreviation for ‘Charles Schneider’.

At the Paris World Exhibition in 1925, Schneider was at his peak. The glass factory showed huge glass windows, lamps and selected objects. The stock market crash in 1929 and the economic crisis hit the factory hard. In response to falling demand, Schneider produced smaller quantities in the 1930s and switched to using pressed glass. Insolvency proceedings were initiated in 1937 and the company was declared bankrupt in 1938.

The family tradition was continued by Charles Schneider’s sons Robert Henri (1917-2000) and Charles (1916 – 1984), who opened a new glass factory in 1949 called ‘Cristalleries Schneider’, the headquarters were first in Épinay-sur-Seine and later in Lorris. In keeping with the trends of the 1950s, vases, ashtrays and candlesticks were made from crystal glass; the objects bear the signature ‘Schneider France’.

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