What Is Lalique Glass?
Rene Jules Lalique
Lalique Glass was created by Rene Jules Lalique, a French glass designer, who became very well known for his unique style of amazing perfume bottles, vases, chandeliers, clocks and jewelry. He was born on the 6th of April 1860, in the French village of Ay, and passed away on the 5th May 1945.
Rene Lalique spent many hours learning the methods of art and design, which he would go on to use in his later life. He moved to Paris with his family, and seeing the wonderful works of art there, began to be influenced by the various methods of glasswork.
When he was twelve years old, he entered the College Turgot, and began the art of sketching and drawing. After the death of his father, Rene became an apprentice to goldsmith Louis Aucoc, and attended evening classes at the Ecole des arts decoratifs, or the school of decorative arts. He stayed there for two years, and then spent another couple of years at the Sydenham Art College in London England.
After returning to France, he began work as a freelance artist, designing jewelry for the French jewelers. These included, Cartier, Boucheron and many others. But it was only when he opened his own business in 1885, did his business start to take off. Making his own jewelry and other glass pieces, he became well known for his Art Nouveau jewelry designs, and began creating pieces for Samuel Bings new shop in Paris. He went on to be one of the most famous glass creators in his field. His work has been described as beautiful, and his unique style is synonymous with quality.
He produced amazing work, one of them being the walls of lighted glass and colored columns which filled the dining room and grand salon of the SN Normandie. Along with the interior fittings, Cross font and screens of St. Matthews church at Millbrook, Jersey. But many people know him for his amazing Jewelry pieces, and vases that showcase plants, flowers, and many more.
Rene is best known for his outstanding vases. The masterful way that he managed to produce the colors such as amber, blue and plum, along with black and yellow, was skilfully done by meticulously adding small amounts of pigment to darken the glass. Then he added geometric designs with swirls and patterns. This I believe is what makes his work so collectable. To give it that individual shine, he polished, glazed, and frosted the glass in his own unique style.
Lalique Car Mascots
What makes him so different I believe, is the fact that he also became interested in making glass mascots for car hoods or bonnets. The glass designs were in the shape of fish, horses, frogs, and many more. In all, Lalique went on to create 29 Mascots. Some of these were Female nudes, and in all of the mascots, Lalique had devised an ingenious way of making them light up. He cleverly inserted a small light bulb within each mascot. Then he added filters, which made the colors in the glass change hues.
He then Placed these on the most stylish cars of the day such as Bentley, Hispano Suiza and Bugatti, therefore advertising to the World how wonderful, and collectable his amazing style was.
Tips For First Time Collectors
Condition is the most important factor. Watch out for chips in the glass, ground down edges, and holes from any conversions such as changing a bowl into a lamp, or removing the glass from a base. These things can really reduce the value. You will be able to tell if the chip in the glass is a modern break, as older scratches will look more worn down.
Colors are very important. All of Laliques glass pieces are greatly valued but electric blue and dark amethyst are the most sought after, and command very high prices.
Very little Lalique is fake. If it says Lalique then it nearly always is. But saying that, there has been a spate of modern Czech glass with the name Lalique in the signature. These are the ones that you have to be careful of.
When buying the car mascots, you have to be very careful they are not fake. The best way to see if it is genuine, is by looking at the bottom of the piece. Real Lalique car mascots were made with a fitting to screw straight onto the car. The fake Lalique is usually found to have a flat base.
A good way of discovering whether your Lalique Glass is genuine, is to turn the piece upside down to see how much the base has been worn down. As I said above, you cannot fake scratches, and a real piece will have tiny lines or rubbed away areas that are a sign of age. Most older Lalique pieces will have lost their labels years ago, and in fact most of them never had a label. If you see a sign of a label that has been removed recently then you can bet that it is a fake. Another good idea is to see if the object has a flat base. If it has, then it most likely is fake as the original would be slightly rounded or concave.
Check the color and density of the glass. In the 19th Century, the glass would have been treated with stains and other effects. Later, in the Art Deco period of the 1930s, the piece would have had an angular line.
Be especially careful when buying online, not just from private sales, but also auctions too.
Lalique glass prices can start from a few hundred dollars and reach sky high prices. Many have been sold for thousands of dollars.