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An icon of French glassmaking, René Lalique's early 20th-century
designs established a new standard for art glass. Now universally recognized
as one of the most pivotal producers of the day, Lalique is a name
inextricably linked to the Art Nouveau era.
A native of Ay, a small town nestled in the heart of France's Champagne
region, Lalique developed a fascination with three-dimensional design and
décor in his early years of artistic training. His earliest foray was in the field
of jewelry design, yet by the end of the 1880s, he shifted his focus toward art
glass. So successful were these initial pieces that Lalique expanded his
production in the early years of the 20th century both in scale and in scope,
providing new designs for glass objects ranging from bookends to perfume
While many of Lalique's glass pieces are considered Art Nouveau, some
of his designs from the late '20s and '30s incorporated elements of Art Deco
as well. In these pieces, Art Deco's stylized, geometric elements merged
within the organic sensibilities of the Art Nouveau aesthetic. This seamless
blend is a testament to Lalique's artistic skill. It also explains why so many
antique glass collectors clamor for Lalique's pieces.
Lalique's glass pieces are featured in museums around the
world from the Princeton University museum collection to the Victoria &
Albert Museum in London
A unique aspect of Lalique's production was a limited line of car hood
ornaments created between 1925 and 1930. They ranged from female
figurines to streamlined animal forms. The rarest of these, such as the fox
and the owl, now sell at auction for up to several hundred thousand
You'll know the authenticity of your piece if it bears an R. Lalique
signature on the underside, as the signature is only on pieces that predate
1945, the year he died. His signature was omitted from subsequent pieces
when the company entered the hands of Lalique's son, Marc