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René Lalique (French, 1860 ~ 1945) Lalique the most famous glass maker whose work spans both Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. Lalique’s art glass creations drew much of their influence from nature. Born in 1860 Lalique first began designing fine jewellery in Paris in 1881. He pursued increasingly more innovative experimentation in glass commencing around 1883. Early works used the familiar “lost wax” technique by which the model is made in wax while a mold is formed around the model, the wax is then melted and molten glass is poured into the mold. Lalique glass was made in this manner until approximately 1905 at which time the factory was redesigned for a larger production. The success of this venture resulted in the opening of his own glassworks at Combs-la-Ville in 1909. 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 ’30s, Rene Lalique was world renowned as the most important designer of his time.
Lalique glass is lead based, either mold blown or pressed. Favoured motifs during the Art Nouveau period were dancing nymphs, fish, dragonflies, and foliage. Characteristically the glass is crystal in combination with acid-etched relief. Later some items were made in as many as ten colors (red, amber, and green among them) and were occasionally accented with enameling. During the ’20s and ’30s, Lalique designed several vases and bowls developing a line in the Art Deco style decorated with stylized birds, florals, and geometries. In addition to vases, clocks, automobile mascots, stemware, and bottles, many other useful objects were produced. Most glass was clear or opalescent glass and signed via engraving or in the mould “R. Lalique”. The R. Lalique 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’. Production of many pieces produced prior to 1945 ceased following Rene’s death although some are still in production albeit with a different signature. The firm is still in operation today.
Please take a look at our stunning collection from René Lalique above and get in touch if you have any questions about a particular piece.