In 1860, in a little French village, René Jules Lalique was born. Lalique’s father died while René was in his very early teens, which necessitated him to become a goldsmith’s apprentice.
At the age of 16, Lalique moved to London to enroll in an art college. Upon returning to France, Lalique first worked for others, designing jewelry until he ventured out, opening his own business in which he made his own jewelry and beautiful glass creations.
Lalique Collectibles are known for beautiful glassware, jewelry, perfume bottles, vases, car mascots (little ornaments found on the hood of a car), chandeliers, clocks, and architectural items like windows and glass panels.
The History of Lalique Collectibles
The world of collectibles includes everything from artwork, furniture, antique cars, coins, and crystal. No stranger to the world of collecting, is Lalique. The name Lalique is synonymous with fine crystal. People all over the world vie for the opportunity to own a piece of this beautiful crystal.
The history of this crystal dates back to the mid 1800s, around the time Rene Lalique was born. Rene started out as an apprentice jeweler. He spent several years studying in London. When he returned to Paris, he spent time illustrating jewelry. You can see some of Lalique’s illustrations in the Louvre.
He was given the opportunity to take over the workshop of a well-known jewelry maker. There, he began to develop his own line, which later made him well known. In the beginning, his creations were made with materials like precious stones, translucent enamels, and ivory.
As the line grew, he began to find ways to incorporate glass into his creations. At about this time he entered into a competition. The theme of the competition was the drinking vessel. Lalique won second place for his Thistle flower, which was a goblet. He also received an honorable mention for a mug call Satyr and Vine Shoots.
He continued to participate in the exhibition until he started making stage jewelry for Sarah Bernhardt. He continued designing jewelry and gaining popularity. During this time, he began experimenting with a technique called lost wax.
He made the pieces in wax and formed a mold around it. When the mold was hard, the wax was melted away and molten glass was poured into the mold. The Lalique glass was made using this technique and it brought him quite a bit of success.
As time went on, this technique was abandoned because of a need to open a larger production facility. He opened a glassworks in the early 1900s and continued to enjoy increased success. Perfume bottles, vases, decorative boxes, and bookends were some of the items created during the Art Nouveau period.
As the success of the line continued, larger facilities were built. By 1930, Lalique’s reputation as a first class designer was known throughout the world. He enjoyed the title of being the most important designer of his time.
Lalique glass is lead-based and it is either mold-blown or pressed, and some of the desired patterns were dancing nymphs, fish, foliage, and dragonflies. What makes Lalique collectibles so highly sought after is the skill that he used to create his pieces.
He is most admired for his vases. He used many colors and he skillfully and meticulously added a little bit of color at a time to the piece. By doing this, he was able to successfully deepen the color and add richness.
Once he achieved the right color, the patterns, swirls, and geometric shapes were added. This is what in the opinion of some makes the glass so desirable and collectible. When, you look at the exquisiteness of form and shape it gives one a sense of beauty and serenity.
Part of the technique was the finish. Lalique used a technique that involved polishing, glazing, and frosting the glass in a style that was uniquely his own. The pieces are breathtakingly beautiful and capture the eye.
Rene Lalique continued to create magnificent works of art until his death in 1945. Lalique glass continues to be made today. Any pieces made while the artist was still alive were signed R. Lalique. Pieces made after the death of the artist are simply labeled Lalique.
It can be said that unique quality, beauty, and style are the hallmark of Lalique collectibles and it is what attracts collectors all over the world. This crystal captures the characteristics of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco Periods.
Collecting Lalique Collectibles
Collectors the world over recognize the value and beauty of the items and thousands of dollars are spent every year collecting. Those who are interested in it, will embark on an adventurous and exciting experience in the world of collectible art.
One of the aspects of collecting these art pieces is the colors that Rene Lalique used and of all the colors, the most sought after items are those in electric blue and dark amethyst. This is an important thing to remember about Laliquie collectibles. Also, pay attention to the condition of the items. Be careful of items with chips, irregular edges, and anything that may indicate that the item has been altered from its original state. Changes like removing a piece from its base or taking another piece and turning it into a lamp will change its value for the worse.
There is one piece that is easy to spot as a fake and that is the car mascot. True Lalique collectible mascots have a fitting, which is used to screw the piece to the car. The fake mascot can be easily spotted, because they have flat bottoms. Another sign of a fake is labeling. Most true items were never labeled, and if an item showed, an indication of a label that is taken off is an indication of a fake.
Lalique collectibles are clearly a collector’s dream and they cause quite a stir in the world of collectibles. The history behind them put them in the category of true collectible art created by a master artisan and renowned artist. They are well worth the attention they garner.