While on my Journey into finding out everything there is to know about Art Nouveau, I meet lots of people. Art-historians, collectors, gallery owners, architects, artists, museum curators, writers, teachers, photographers, investors, bloggers… I could just go on and on. One of the most intriguing people I have met over the years is Tiny Esveld.
The first time I encountered Tiny Esveld was in 2012 when I searched the world wide web for information on Art Nouveau architecture in Antwerp… This is what I found:
Since then, I followed Tiny on YouTube and eventually had the privilege of meeting her in person several times. I wrote about our encounters at the PAN Amsterdam, the International Art Deco & Design Fair in The Hague and the Art Breda Fair.
Who is Tiny Esveld?
Tiny Esveld is originally a Dutch lady who moved to Belgium many, many years ago. She has always been attracted to beautiful things, and started collecting antique glass at age 32. When she injured her back four years later, she was forced to change her career. Tiny decided to turn her passion into a job and become a dealer in antique glass.
Currently Tiny lives in Brasschaat, a small town north of Antwerp. And that is where her gallery is located as well. Specializing in French Art Nouveau and Art Deco glass, Tiny has a preference for rare and exceptional pieces. Her gallery houses objects of the École de Nancy, Emile Gallé, the Daum frères, and Charles Schneider-Le Verre Francais. Besides glass, the gallery also showcases rare pieces of furniture and ceramics by Emile Gallé and Louis Majorelle.
French Glass Explained
Tiny is one of the most diligent people you can imagine. She accumulated a vast comprehension of French Art Nouveau glass by reading hundreds of books on the subject, new and contemporary ones. And one day she decided to write her own book. Being as generous as she is, she wanted to share her knowledge, and educate other collectors. Because there are só many fakes on the market!
Thus, in 2010 Tiny published a practical guide for lovers of French glass: Glass made Transparent. The guide was very well received by collectors worldwide. And in 2013 she published Art Signed Gallé, a book on Emile Gallé and his family, with a survey of all the disciplines of the Gallé production: faience, glass and cabinet-making. The book includes many rare items of which several were sold to museums.
In 2014 a Russian collector asked Tiny to document his collection of Daum-Nancy vases, and in 2015 Daum Art Deco Glass was published. This book is sold out. In 2015, together with Marie-Christine Joulin (another expert on Charles Schneider’s-Le Verre Francais oeuvre) yet another book about glass saw the light: Charles Schneider French Art Deco Glass, presenting many works that have never been published before. Most of the rare objects pictured in this book have been sold by Gallery Tiny Esveld.
As I am not so much into Art Deco, I have only read the first two books. And I found them fenomenal. There is so much information in these books! Honestly, knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t ever dare buying a vase without having read Glass Made Transparent. So, if you are collecting Art Nouveau glass, you must read these books! (Or at least the first one.)
Discovering Sources of Inspiration
Because Tiny is in the first place a collector herself, she has a passion for her work that is almost palpable and she continues to study French Art Nouveau and Art Deco glass. And that never ending hunger for more knowledge sometimes leads to interesting discoveries. Like this one for instance…
Japanese art was extremely popular during the second half of the 19th century. We know that many Art Nouveau artists had a subscription to Bing’s magazine Le Japon Artistique. So Tiny bought those magazines, and read them front to back. Just to learn what inspired the Art Nouveau artists. That is how she discovered the decor of this Le Verre Francais vase is after an 1820 woodblock print by Hokusai that was published in the magazine.
And how about this ‘coincidence’? Schneider clearly copied the crane on this vase from a drawing he noticed in Le Japon Artistique. This is exactly why Tiny excels at what she does. She has seen and read só much that her knowledge allows her to find unique pieces and connect them with their history; put them into the right context. I strongly recommend those who want to learn about French Art Nouveau (& Art Deco) Glass, to follow Tiny Esveld and read her books.
Fairs and Exhibitions
In 2020 Tiny made public that she will no longer participate in art fairs. She will organise two Open Doors weekends at the gallery every year. And the rest of the year she wants to focus on finding more unique objects. The gallery can also be visited by appointment. And of course a lot can be seen at: Tiny Esveld Gallery Online.
You can also follow Tiny at Instagram: www.instagram.com/tiny_esveld/
Next Open Doors week-end is scheduled for 10 & 11 October 2020.
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a unique vase.
Gallery Tiny Esveld – Frilinglei 9, 2930 Brasschaat, Belgium
Two Open House weekends per year, or by appointment!
Antiquexplorer Nov-Dec 2015 – Meet the collector
Art signed Gallé
Emile Gallé Glass
Galerie Tiny Esveld
Glass made transparent
Knack: Een parel uit de art nouveau van Daum
Kunst gesigneerd Gallé
Le Verre Francais from the Glass Encyclopedia
Tiny Esveld Schrijft Boek over Franse Glaskunstenaar Charles Schneider