R Lalique Cire Perdue Wasp Vase by Rene Lalique

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R Lalique Vase Alicante Purple - Not A Rene Lalique ColorColored RLalique glass is generally much more valuable than frosted or clear examples of the same model, and colored items are highly sought after. Some time ago (30 years or so), some fraudsters figured out that they could radiate (don't worry, the glass is not left radioactive) clear and frosted RLalique glass pieces, and turn them varying shades of purple. The reason is that different ingredients used in glassmaking will change color when exposed to radiation. For example, arsenic will turn yellow, and manganese will turn purple. Keep in mind that if you change the color of a piece of glass, and you don't misrepresent the facts, there is nothing wrong with it from a deception standpoint. And this technique to color change glass is known in other glass collecting and manufacturing areas, not just RLalique. For example, it might be the fastest or cheapest way for a glass manufacturer to add colors to his product line, by radiating existing products. In any event, out of the blue (or out of the purple if you prefer), a good number of RLalique glass items started to appear in purple. As they were actually RLalique glass pieces, and invariably had some great story attached (or imagined) about original collections from owners who bought back in the day, etc etc., AND because there are a few vases which are known in a somewhat similar (though easily distinguishable) color called Mauve (see below), a lot of dealers and collectors got on the rare purple bandwagon, and large sums were spent on these rare purple pieces.They also appeared at major auction houses around the world, and were highly sought after. Of course, when the fraudulent misrepresentation was exposed, the pieces declined significantly in value, there were major financial losses, and also some big litigation. We have seen many purple pieces, including a Serpent Vase, Monnaie Du Pape Vase, Vitesse Mascot, Suzanne Statue, and others. All had the color changed late in life by this radiation process. For a plain english explanation about radiating glass, see this glass radiation article, or for a more scientific explanation, see this article. And for a thorough explanation written about color changing in the insulator collecting field, but applicable to R. Lalique as well, here is a third article. Two other things to keep in mind. First, exposure to sunlight is a form of low level radiation that can slightly change the color of RLalique glass over time. So a mascot with a bit of a very light somewhat amethyst tint in the glass, may in fact have been tinted from the sun. Second, the color or intensity of the purple can be different with different pieces, and the lighting and background of the photo will also effect how it looks if you don't have the piece in your hand. Not all purples are the same! And in case you are wondering, the Alicante Vase (large parakeet heads) pictured here is color changed purple.

Known Mauve Colored Vases

R.Lalique Vase Courge MauveR. Lalique Vase Fougere MauveThe known mauve (also called plum) colored vases created by Rene Lalique are Monnaie Du Pape, Fontaines, Courge, and Fougeres, all of which were introduced by 1914. Care must be taken in acquiring one of these pieces in mauve, as the tricksters know these pieces were made in this color, and have taken advantage of this, as shown in the photo of the pair of Monnaie Du Papes, with the vase on the left being the color changed example. There are also a few black vases that have appeared, that seem to be nothing more than very dark purple, so care should be taken when acquiring a black glass item as well. R Lalique Vase Monnaie Du Pape Mauve and Purple PairR.Lalique Vase Fontaines MauveIf you have specific concerns about an item you own or an item you are considering acquiring, please see our Lalique Consulting Services.

 

 

 

 

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