VERLYS, HANOTS, HOLOPHANE
FOR SALE IN OUR COLLECTION
In 1822, Augustin Fresnel invents the eponymous lens. It allows the diffraction of the light and the control of the light distribution. In 1893, André Blondel invents the prismatic glass molding, on the principle of the Fresnel lens. The invention is patented under the name "Holophane" whose Greek roots mean "harmonious distribution of light". In 1898, Otis Mygatt, an American businessman, buys the patent and creates two companies on each side of the Atlantic for the production and sale of Holophane products: Holophane Glass Co. (USA): manufacturing / sales, and Holophane Limited (UK): sale.
The year 1920 sees the birth of Holophane SA. The English company (Holophane Limited) joins forces with a French industrialist to create a production site and installs glassware in Les Andelys. Holophane SA is born.
Les Andelys are located in Normandy, near Paris and the Seine. The glass factory moves into the buildings of an old factory, first dedicated to woodwork, then cloth.
In the 1920s, Holophane builts its development on the glass mastery of collaborators from eastern France, including Baccarat.
The target markets are: public lighting, art glassware under the brand Verrerie des Hanots, optical blocks for the service of lighthouses and beacons, road signs, projectors and flat headlights for cars.
The Verrerie des Hanots creates high quality molded glass lightings. Most shades created by Verrerie des Hanots are unsigned. They are of the level of Muller Freres, Schneider, etc ... But sometimes of a higher level.
In 1925, in order to expand its artistic production, Verrerie des Hanots creates a brand specialized in art glassware for the table and decorative objects. This one is named Verlys. This name comes from the contraction of VERrerie des AndeLYS. This artistic production consists of several hundred different pieces. The various catalogs that we know testify to the quality and diversity of manufactured pieces: vases, bowls, animal subjects, religious ...
The Verlys brand finds its acclaim in major exhibitions alongside glassware Lalique - Etling - Sabino ... and soon attracts great glassmakers. The same piece can have different colors, nevertheless referenced in a catalog. This artistic production was unfortunately not very profitable for the Holophane company. Verlys manufacture is abandoned around 1946. In the 1970s, the management of the Society allows some reissues of these glassworks to reward sports and other events, but the molds were often worn and showed flaws: illegible signature, cracks, finishing to be desired ... and the colors were not always those referenced in the catalog.