Having learned glassmaking as a child by watching his father blow glass objects for the family's retail shop in Nancy, Gallé continued his studies in Weimar, Paris, and London. By 1874 he had become artistic director of his father's prosperous business and had begun to produce art glass in his own factory. During the 1880s and 1890s he made vast quantities of production-line lamps, vases, and tableware while developing original techniques for creating and decorating unique glass vessels, including marqueterie de verre, a technique inspired by inlaid decoration, or marquetry, in wood. Gallé pressed shaped pieces of hot glass into the pliable body of an object as it was being made; once the flat surface had cooled, it could be engraved, carved, or embellished with additional applications of glass. A student of botany and an enthusiastic gardener, Gallé was particularly taken with the naturalism of Art Nouveau; the elongated purple crocuses of fall, which he saw as a symbol of melancholic beauty, became the theme for a series of vases, including this one made in marqueterie de verre.