René Lalique (French, 1860 ~ 1945) was one of the most famous glassmakers whose work spans both Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. Born in 1860 Lalique first began designing fine jewellery in Paris in 1881. He pursued increasingly more innovative experientation in glass commencing around 1883. During the Art Nouveau period, Lalique was well known for a wide variety of objects including perfume bottles, vases, inkwells, decorative boxes, and bookends. In 1921 a larger factory was established at Wingen-sur-Moder in Alsace-Lorraine. By the 1930s, Rene Lalique was world renowned as the most important designer of his time.
Lalique glass is lead based, either mold blown or pressed. Characteristically the glass is crystal in combination with acid-etched relief. Later some items were made in as many as ten colours (red, amber, and green among them) and were occasionally accented with enamelling. During the ’20s and ’30s, Lalique designed several vases and bowls developing a line in the Art Deco style decorated with stylized birds, flowers, and geometric motifs drawing much from the influence of mother nature. Most glass was clear or opalescent and engraved or moulded with the “R. Lalique” signature. This signature was only used until 1945 with the death of Rene. At that time, Rene Lalique’s son Marc took over the company and the signature dropped the ‘R’ to become ‘Lalique ~ France’. The firm is still in operation today.