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David J Pym, Antiques


The Art Glass of Rene Lalique


Rene Lalique was born in 1860 in the French town of Ay, in the province of Champagne.

His family moved to the outskirts of Paris 2 years later, his father was a merchant.

At the age of 16 he was apprenticed to goldsmith Louise Aucoc.

He enrolled at the famous Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, his father died in 1876.

In 1878 Lalique moved to Sydenham, south London, he attended ‘The College de Sydenham’.

He returned to Paris at the age of 20 in 1880, by then he was emerging as a fine draughtsman.

He then studied sculpture and in 1881 decided to devote himself to designing jewelry.

The next 20 years were fully devoted to Jewelry design, he had opened his own firm.

He became one of the most celebrated designers in history, his jewelry is highly sort after today.

In the 1890’s he became interested in glass; he had used glass in some of his jewelry designs.

By 1902 Lalique’s experiments involved a staff of 4, in 1905 he opened his first retail shop.

In 1909 he rented a glassworks at Combs-la-Ville near Fontainebleau making perfume bottles.

He was soon designing and making other items, but in 1914-1918 war the factory closed.

In 1918 designs and production grew and Lalique was showing his works all over the world.

A new factory opened in 1921, he was supplying glass to a world market in many countries.

In the 1920’s the range was extended to vases, paperweights, ink stands, mirrors and more.

The techniques improved with hand blown, and blowing into the mould practiced.

Successful new designs included Car Mascots, Statues, Statuettes and Vases with insect designs.

Different colours for glass manufacture were used together with opalescents and colour staining.

The rich variety of glass was shown at the 1925 Exposition des ArtsDecoratifs et Ind. Modernes.

It was here in Paris that Art Deco received its name in the1960’s.

Some of the stunning vases were produced such as: Ceylan,Gros Scarabees, Bacchantes,

Gui, Chevreuse, Oran, Rampillon, Cerises, Prunes, Pinsons, Poissons, Aigrettes and many more.

25 Fine car hood mascots were produced, today they are highly regarded & very collectable.

In the 1930’s there were over 600 workers. Lalique remained in charge despite his arthritis.

By world war II, factories were closing, work became to a near standstill.

Rene Lalique died in May 1945, his son Marc rebuilt the factories and became chief designer.

Not as prolific as his father, he did produce some popular designs in the 1950’s & 1960’s.

In 1956 Marc’s daughter Marie-Claude joined the firm. Marc died in 1977.

She became the principle designer, a role she continues today.

Today, the R Lalique 1909-1945 period is the most sort after and expensive to buy.

It is collected all around the world and commands high prices in auctions.

Condition and originality are important, the perfect examples command high prices.

Rare designs where lower volumes were made also command the highest prices.

Be careful, there are fakes and modified later pieces to avoid.

Always obtain a detailed receipt from your supplier regarding condition and date.


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Introduction: The Art Glass of Rene Lalique


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David J Pym Antiques -  Mobile: 07808 321523

Hungerford Arcade, 26 High Street, Hungerford. RG17 0NF. England

Tel: 01488 683701       Also Newbury Tel: 03301 137057

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