The Vase of the Nine Provinces

Purchased from the Province of Liège, Towns of Liège and Seraing and Immoval in 2006
Involved since 1888, and then appointed Creative Service Manager from 1896 to 1926, Frenchman Léon Ledru is one of the most influential figures in Val Saint-Lambert, directing new productions towards the Art Nouveau style. However, in the 1890s, Val also produced solid glass pieces, adopting a new technique discovered in the United States: cutting using silicon carbide grinding wheels, a new abrasive material that could be used to cut the glass deeply. The various pieces made from solid glass would be hollowed out with abundant geometric patterns: sides with diamond points, palm leafs, stars and intersecting bevels and edges that were serrated or very trimmed. This rich or “American” cutting became, and still remains today, the indelible brand image of Val Saint-Lambert on an international level.
Léon Ledru created and produced this monumental piece from cut glass, to display at the Anvers Universal Exhibition in 1894. This impressive vase weighs 200 kilos and comprises 85 elements. It is an emblematic piece that glorifies the Kingdom of Belgium, which comprised nine united provinces at the time: Anvers, Liège, Namur, Western Flanders, Eastern Flanders, Hainaut, Limbourg, Luxembourg and Brabant. The coats of arms were etched on the central frieze of the ovoid body, while nine vertical bands delineate the zones with large diamond points and are connected to the neck by nine arches at the spiral end. The national lion, moulded from glass paste, overhangs the piece with the inscription “Unity makes strength”.
This emblematic centrepiece was exhibited on the occasion of the centenary of the manufacturer's birth in 1926 (in the photo, it is the focal point of the central table prepared during the banquet) and the International Exhibition of Liège in 1930.

Numéro d'inventaire FLORA
GC.VER.08a.2006.014045
Auteur
Léon Ledru (1855-1926)
Année d'exécution
1893-1894
Lieu
Val Saint-Lambert
Dimensions
H : 225 cm