One of the stolen libation cups. Made by Emile Gallé in 1904, this 5 3/5in (14.5cm) high drinking vessel has the famous dragonfly decoration.

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Striking in the early hours, the thieves disabled the security alarm and broke in through a second-floor window. Using a ladder to get in, they set off a second alarm, which woke the resident security guard. They then escaped in a dark vehicle before police arrived.

The gang's haul included five technically superb libation cups decorated with the dragonfly motif that Gallé made shortly before he died in 1904. They formed part of a Gallé exhibition, jointly organised by the Musée de l'Ecole de Nancy with loans from other museums in France and Germany. This was due to be the last exhibition at the Neumann Foundation, which closes its doors in December.

Police from the Swiss canton of Vaud are conducting an investigation and are appealing for information. They can be contacted on 0041 2164 48720.