R Lalique Cire Perdue Wasp Vase by Rene Lalique

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Welcome To The R. Lalique Blog

August 1st, 2021

Glad you stopped by! Here we report R. Lalique news, auction results, upcoming event information, and our observations and opinions about the entire World of R. Lalique. If there is any topic you’d like to see covered, please drop us a note at info@rlalique.com. All R. Lalique enthusiasts, all admirers of Rene Lalique, and all interested R. Lalique collectors and observers are welcome to participate. Comments, additions, corrections, new information, and bug reports, are greatly appreciated!! Hope to see you hanging around the Blog!

Im Kinsky Auction House Reports They Sold The Fake Ecailles Vase!
We recall the words of the great American showman P. T. Barnham**
“There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute And Two To Take Him”

July 8th, 2021

Im Kinsky auction house is reporting that they sold the René Lalique Vase Ecailles Fake Ecailles Vase that was Lot 627 on July 6th, 2021 for a hammer price of €5000 as shown in the 2nd and 3rd screen shots below. Assuming we deciphered their commissions page properly, the all-in total price is in the low to mid 6000 euros range. The approximate dollar equivalent would be in the low to mid 7000 dollars range. But whatever the exact final price, it’s a scandal.

Our initial post on this vase offering can be found at: Im Kinsky Auction House In Vienna Offers A Fake Ecailles Vase as René Lalique. In that post you’ll see the information documenting the fake that we sent to the email address listed for the Im Kinsky guys pictured below.

Im Kinsky Auction House Vienna CEO And Equity Partners

Fake Ecailles Vase Sale Report Page On Website Of Im Kinsky Auction House Vienna For July 6, 2021

Sale Report Page On Invaluable For Fake Ecailles Vase At Im Kinsky Auction House Vienna July 6, 2021

And as usual, if anyone out there in R. Lalique Land or anywhere else thinks we have anything wrong in this post, please let us know by leaving a comment here. We will promptly and cheerfully make any necessary corrections.

** P.T. Barnum: The quote in the title of this post is attributed to P.T. Barnum. Barnum was a famed American businessman, philanthropist, author, publisher, politician, and showman. He said of the latter “I am a showman by profession … and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me”. His most famous accomplishment was the founding of the Barnum & Bailey Circus (The Greatest Show On Earth) when he was 60 years old in 1870. Barnham died in 1891 but the show went on. In 1907 the circus was sold to the Ringling brothers and the show went on. In 1919 it was merged with the Ringling brothers’ circus and the show went on. The show finally ended its nearly 150-year run in 2017 with the closure of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Worldwide Auction Listings Guideline Changes

June 24th, 2021

For a variety of reasons we are updating some of the guidelines we’ve been using to decide what auction items we will include in the Worldwide Auctions Section of the website. We have determined that our primary research and reporting mission will not be adversely affected by these changes, and they will free up additional time to further that mission. And we can and will make occasional exceptions to these guidelines if doing so comports with our mission.

Also, when we say we won’t include the following items, think about how we list auctions. We use one item from an auction that we picture and highlight, and then described or link to other items in that auction. You see a picture of one item, but we tell you there are others. So exclude means the excluded items cannot be that highlighted (pictured) item. If an auction has only one item, and it’s excluded, we will not list that auction.

1. Damaged pieces: We are cutting out almost all damaged pieces from listings in the future. A minor nick on a base or rim may not disqualify a piece, but serious damage (cracks, larger chips, holes, serious polishing, restoration, etc.) will almost always result in the piece not being listed. We advise typical collectors not to purchase pieces with cracks, serious damage, holes, etc. Keep in mind there may be an issue with a piece that we just miss, or that we decide to list anyway for whatever reason. We are not representing anything to do with the condition or the authenticity of any item we list. Also keep in mind that this first change and all the others that follow are just guidelines and there will be exceptions. There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the auctions page for added information.

2. Pieces with added material: We are cutting out almost all items that have later metal trimmed areas including rims and bases, and any other kinds of additions or more than very minor alterations. Typical collectors should avoid such items based on the treatment they receive in the market in terms of value and salability. And of course, they are no longer original R. Lalique items once they are altered.

3. Pieces with missing material: We are cutting out almost all items that are missing pieces or parts. Examples are perfume bottles missing the stopper, a box bottom missing the lid etc.

4. Pieces with swapped material: We are cutting out almost all items that have a wrong piece such as a lamp with the wrong shade, a box with the wrong bottom etc. And this is a good place to give a specific example of an exception. We listed the Oreilles Perroquets Perfume Bottle even though it has the wrong stopper. However it’s an extremely rare and important bottle and we would not miss the chance of documenting the appearance of the bottle (with appropriate information about the stopper).

5. Pieces from auction houses that have sold fakes or engaged in other sharp practices: We have started to cut out auction houses that have a history of selling fakes or misrepresented pieces from having their items included in the auction listings. So examples include not just selling fakes, but also such things as misrepresenting the ages of items. This includes auction houses that we notify about a fake (almost always with documentation identifying what the fake really is) that go ahead and offer the misrepresented fake notwithstanding the evidence. And about other sharp practices, that would include purposefully misleading information about any item, including structuring a lot description or an entire catalogue or presentation in a way that can deceive typical collectors about any of the lots in that sale.

6. Pieces from stores that that have weekly or monthly sales as part of a retail marketing strategy: There are retail stores and dealer stall type locations that run regular auctions with high reserve merchandise that hardly ever changes much, and we see the same items over and over again. We typically don’t list those kinds of auctions.

7. Item Overkill: We may not list an auction where the item or items are extremely common pieces for which we have a huge number of examples in the catalogue, and that are valued in the low to mid-hundreds of dollars when in excellent original condition. There are several reasons for this including just a lack of time as we have lost contributors during the past few years. Note: We are always looking for help!

8. Online auctions such as Ebay: Online auctions that are not conducted by physical auction houses have a different set of guidelines and are not affected by the above changes.

Ebay’s Hardweejun Rides Again

March 27th, 2021

It can be a dangerous world out there for online purchasers of R. Lalique. Our experience is that most people are honest, but there are always a few rotten apples to be avoided.

All the way back in in 2014 we wrote an article titled: Pierre Leblache – Hardweejun On Ebay – Buyer Beware. And we updated it a couple of times over the years.

But the hits just keep coming* and we decided it’s time to refresh and publicize part of the litany of false statements and false claims that characterize so many of his sales efforts with regard to various “R. Lalique” items. Keep in mind just as bank robbers don’t rob every bank they drive by, every single listing by Hardweejun may not contain false representations about the item he’s selling. But rest assured there is plenty of material out there.

Basically this guy just makes stuff up and in an apparent attempt to appear erudite tells longwinded stories about history that have so many fantasy or undocumented aspects we don’t have the time to catalogue the whole mess. All of this of course is to make a few dollars off some uninformed buyer of an “R. Lalique” item in various online sales listings, many of which are rife** with false representations. And he’s doing all this to get a couple of hundred bucks. We don’t know what his hourly rate is, but with the time involved in writing up some of this nonsense, doing the photos, and then creating the Ebay listing it seems like a low-return scam. Certainly a lot less than those 30 pieces of silver you’ve heard tell about.

Let’s get right to a couple specific examples:

Rene Lalique 1924: First Blue Bottle for Worth’s “Dans La Nuit” 5 1/2″. Signed. Updated 7-4-21 to delete link to Ebay listing that no longer works.

So obviousy what he is selling is post-war (the Utts say 1985) modern copy (with changes you might notice in the picture), of what was originally an R. Lalique design. The bottle is marked R. Lalique CREATION to the underside. We don’t even know who Worth had make it for them. Oh, and there is the metal neck collar that even though not red, would normally trigger a red alert.

Keeping the preceding in mind about what he is actually selling, let’s review some of his representations:

1. An original from between 1924 and 1930. (Our Note: An original from the around the 1980’s and transported back in time by the seller)

2. It is also the first (only?) time that Lalique sculpted into the bottle’s face the words “EAU DE TOILETTE” (Our Note: Lalique was long dead before anything was “sculpted” into this bottle)

3. signed R LALIQUE underneath (Our Note: Oops, left out that CREATION word that is so blurry in his photo if you don’t know what it says before looking, you likely can’t make it out. That blurry picture was a nice touch as if the camera suddenly stopped working properly. In certain circles they call this kind of activity – the specific omission and the blur – “consciousness of guilt”***. R. LALIQUE CREATION is the modern glassmaker giving credit to Rene Lalique as the original designer.)

4. Original/Reproduction: Original (Our Note: no comment required)

5. You can buy it with confidence (Our Note: No need to send in the clowns****, everybody’s already laughing)

We know Hardweejun follows and reads the website, because he quotes from it and refers to it in various of his listings. He also says he is an over 20 year collector of R. Lalique.

All of the model pages on the site for the dark blue round flask form R. Lalique Perfume Bottles for Worth state the following:
Also Note: Any bottle with the molded word CREATION on the underside is a post-war copy.
Also Note: Examples with metal coated necks and/or rims will also be post-war copies.

You can see all those models at Rene Lalique’s Worth Perfume Bottles.

If anyone thinks any of the numbered statements from the listing accurately reflects what is true about this bottle, please leave a comment here and we will promptly and cheerfully make corrections of any errors. And for this entire article, if anyone thinks we have anything wrong…. cheerful corrections will be made if we screwed something up.

Post Publication Update: The bottle did not sell, but has been re-listed. Two points to make, one old, one new. The old point: Pierre makes the following statement/claim in the old and new listings: This “Dans la Nuit” bottle is repertoried and photographed in the large Marcilhac book, the unofficial; “Lalique Bible” on page 951 of the French 2010 edition under reference “Worth 2″ (photo 8). The signature, R LALIQUE, is under the base (photo 7).” The first sentence is just made-up. There is no Dans La Nuit bottle pictured where he says, that has a silvered neck or the phrase R. LALIQUE CREATION on the underside. That’s because Rene Lalique did not design or produce a silver necked “CREATION” bottle or ANY “CREATION” bottle for Worth. So obviously “This” bottle is not repertoried or photographed anywhere in the entire book he cites. The 2nd point is humorous. Apparently you can no longer buy the bottle with confidence. The phrase “You can buy it with confidence” has been removed from the end of the description in the re-listing. End of Update.

And in case you thought maybe the above listing was just a one-off error of some kind totally filled with good intentions, check out this gem:

Rene Lalique 1929: Smallest Bottle (Version 3) for Worth’s “Je Reviens” 3″. Updated 7-4-21 to delete link to Ebay listing that no longer works.

False statement: Here is one from around 1929 (Our Note: The stopper did not exist in 1929)
False statement: Original or Reproduction: Original (Our Note: Ditto)
False statement – This combines a false statement with a ridiculous story: Also, and although this was the launching year (Our note – he is referring to 1929), he insisted that Lalique develop a softer material for the stopper as he feared that the rare blue marble envisioned would prove too expensive. This was born the bakelite stopper, one of the World’s first plastics 15 years before but sufficiently down in price to be affordable while looking just as good and also achievable in any color, which had not been possible before. (Our Note: Knowing the stopper on this bottle did not exist in 1929, this story is made-up out of whole cloth*****. The Ebay listing says the item location is New York, but it’s more likely to ship from Fantasy Island******.)

The fact that Pierre did not show a picture of the signature or mention anywhere in the listing what the signature says, we’d bet our bottom dollar******* it’s some version of the post-war modern Lalique France signature. Consciousness of Guilt Rides Again! Post Publication Update: The Je Reviens bottle sold for $60. All this for $60 … less Ebay commissions? Really? End of Update.

Be careful out there!! But remember, it’s not what the seller says or doesn’t say. It’s what you know. The more you know the better off you are and the better off you will be in building your R. Lalique collection.

* Hits just keep on coming: We are using this expression in the sarcastic sense, in the same way it was used by Tom Cruise in the movie A Few Good Men. When he was informed by his co-star whom he seriously disliked and had no control over: “I’m going to Cuba with you tomorrow”, he replied “And the hits just keep on coming”.

** Rife means an abundance of something usually undesirable or harmful.

*** Consciousness of Guilt is a concept in the U.S. court system where inferences can be drawn from a person’s own actions. We are using the phrase here to make the point that he did things that had the effect of hiding or obscuring accurate and relevant information that would have contradicted the false statements in the listings.

**** Send in the clowns: In the 19th and 20th centuries when circuses were a huge entertainment spectacle in many parts of the world, whenever tragedy struck during a performance (like the high wire guy fell off the wire – splat), the management would give the order “Send in the clowns!” to distract the audience and get the laughing going.

***** Made-up out of whole cloth: From https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ “To fabricate something entirely fictional or utterly false and not based on reality at all.” And from “https://grammarist.com/idiom/out-of-whole-cloth/ “Out of whole cloth describes something that is untrue and has no grounding in the facts.” Our Note: You also hear it as “cut from whole cloth”.

****** Fantasy Island: The setting for the late 70’s/early 80’s TV fantasy show starring Ricardo Montalbán and Hervé Villechaize.

******* Bottom dollar is your last dollar.

The Value Of R. Lalique Vases With Holes …. And Cracks

January 29th, 2021

The bottom line is: A typical collector should never buy a vase with a hole in it to add to their collection. Never Ever. Never Never. And while we’re writing that never never thing, it applies to cracks too. And about cracks, we mean any crack of any size anywhere on the vase. Cracks reflect light, so it’s easy to differentiate them from wandering press marks made when the piece was molded. And as long as we’re rolling, you also don’t want any vase whose description includes the word glue or anything to do with pieces being re-attached. You’re already in Peter Pan’s neighborhood* with a crack, so broken-off and re-attached is basically La-la Land**.

Rene Lalique Perruches Vase With Later Drilled Hole in Center of UndersideBack to holes, here are our seemingly random hole thoughts that will be tied together neatly at the end as they just were at the beginning.

If the holey nature of the vase is specified by the seller, most condition reports on these religious objects usually end with a phrase like “otherwise in excellent condition”.

Condition Report: Part of the rim is missing and the part that remains has several large chips and a hard to see hairline crack. There is an old well-done staple repair to the body and a professionally drilled hole in the center of the underside. Otherwise in excellent condition.

And for a lot of vases that are still part of an assembled lamp, the seller doesn’t even mention the good news about the hole.

A few housekeeping matters and corner cases should be cleared-up before we talk money.

Lalique did sell a small group of vases as reflector lamps, and those had a pencil sized hole drilled just above the base on the outside of the vase.

Unless that side-hole vase comes as an original lamp, with all the original parts, the market treats it the same as the vases with the big hole in the middle of the bottom. And even if you had a complete original reflector lamp, it would still be a tough sell.

And of course we have seen some vases with the little pencil hole on the side that were later drilled by someone else.

We saw just such a vase up in the northeast at a major auction house some years back. It creatively had a thick paint-like covering around the underside and outside of the base (it wasn’t red paint but still….. red alert, right?) The specialist told us that the vase was being deaccessioned (a foofy*** synonym of “dumped”) by a museum. She said the material was dried out sticky stuff that was the museum’s practice to apply to glass pieces to hold them in place in their display. Yea sure. The vase was like one of those scratch-off lottery cards except with the lottery card when you scratch off the coating, you have a slim chance to win. Who could have guessed that of course there was a hole under the paint as found out by the lucky buyer who paid somewhere around the $20,000 full retail value of the non-holey version of the vase.

Most lamps made from vases were done for and by retailers and others looking to add value and make more money. It was a common practice in the 20’s. Lalique did not sell lamps made from vases with big holes in the underside.

Finally, for truly unique objects, such as a Cire Perdue Vase, there would still be a good (just likely nowhere near as good) market for the vase.

And you have to consider that there are some realistic non-collection reasons for someone to buy such a vase. They may just like the lamp made with a good-looking vase and be happy to own it as a decorative object for pennies on the dollar. A museum looking to stretch the acquisition budget can get somewhere around 5 to 15 times as many vases for the same investment as 1 good vase, and of course the people seeing the vases at the museum will not see the holes. A buyer may not be able to afford their favorite R. Lalique vase and going to church is the only way to get one.

If it weren’t for these corner case reasons, there would be no market at all for these things. So, as long as you have your eyes wide-open while praying for a miracle, you don’t overpay (we’re getting to that), you don’t have an expectation of a profit, and you know finding a buyer when the time comes will be harder than for “whole” pieces, there’s nothing wrong with buying one of these shiny objects.

Rene Lalique Poissons Vase With Later Drilled Hole in Center of UndersideWhat does eyes wide-open mean? This is an important question because for example collectors familiar with other collecting fields that don’t care about pot holes may not realize just how big the financial hit will be. And beginners or newer collectors dealing with major and reputable auction houses may not realize the value hit of that fully disclosed hole and pay some ridiculous price that can never be recovered. And adding insult to injury unless you can find the right plastic plug at Ace Hardware, you can’t even put real flowers in your new acquisition. That’s not a small point. Anyone tries to tell you any reason to buy a vase with a hole in it for your collection, let them know their reason doesn’t hold water****!

So here it is:

1. The re-sale market is extremely limited for these items. There just aren’t a lot of people chasing damaged goods.

2. When you do find your buyer, it won’t be a serious collector.

3. All other factors being equal, the market value of these vases is usually around 10% to 15% of the value of an example of the exact same vase that can hold water. These estimates only apply to commercial vases that if perfect would be valued at less than $20,000 in the market at the time. For higher value vases, the percentages would drop as the value rises. And in any event, if it’s not an attractive colored vase that displays well, the percentage can be much less, or the vase can be basically unsalable.

4. Think of that hole as an open drain and imagine your purchase price being flushed down it. So if you are looking for appreciation over time, or just hoping to be able to get your money back when the time comes, you may be disappointed.

The bottom line: A typical collector should never buy a vase with a hole in it to add to their collection. Never Ever. Never Never. And the same applies to cracked pieces, and to pieces that have gone to pieces*****.

* Peter Pan’s neighborhood is Neverland!

** La-la Land from the American Heritage Dictionary: A state of mind characterized by a frivolous or unrealistic lack of seriousness. From Merriam-Webster: A euphoric, dreamlike mental state detached from the harsher realities of life. And humorously at both Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster.com the No. 2 definition for La-la Land is a nickname for Los Angeles (L.A.) California. Who could have guessed that?

*** Foofy is an American slang adjective meaning excessively puffed-up with the intention of making something seem more meaningful, serious, or important than it really is. Consider this: Honey, I’m going to deaccession my cracked coffee cup today. Where’s the garbage can?

**** Doesn’t hold water is an expression that means a statement, argument, reason, or story is false, bad, unreal, flawed, or unsound. From https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/hold-water: The jury convicted her because her story just didn’t hold water. Our note: If her story did hold water, it would be the opposite of all the preceding. No one knows the origin of the expression but consider Jeremiah 2:13 from the Old Testament: My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

***** Gone to pieces or Go to pieces from https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com: 1. To fall apart into many pieces (the vase …… went to pieces). 2. To become nonfunctional (his plan went to pieces). 3. To have a mental collapse or experience a mental or emotional breakdown. Our note: No 3. is what can happen to someone when they realize all their No. 1 and No. 2 acquisitions are nearly or totally worthless. 🙂

Inept R. Lalique Forger

November 9th, 2019

Lalique Cristal Avallon Vase

We see a lot of stuff as time goes by. But this one is too humorous to pass up. Here you have an Avallon Vase that was created pre-war in glass, and reproduced after the war in leaded crystal. It appears someone decided to age this Avallon Vase a bit and add an R. Lalique France signature. And they didn’t do too bad of a job… at least not embarrassingly bad. But it seems they failed to remove the original Lalique France signature! Way too funny. See for yourself.

Rene Lalique Avallon Vase With Original Lalique France Signature And Forged R. Lalique Signature

Be careful out there!

The Czech Ring Box Is Outed – Not R. Lalique Boutons De Fleur

June 27th, 2019

Curt Schlevogt Czechoslovakian Glass Ingrid Catalogue Picture of Two Ring Boxes and Two Rings

First, a little bit of background on what was a long wait.

Curt Schlevogt Czechoslovakian Glass Ingrid Ring Box With Lid Off title=

Here at World Headquarters, we have a list. In the course of things, we can’t chase everything down in an instant, so as questions arise or specific stuff pops up that might cause a raised eyebrow with all the people that help out with the site, some stuff just gets put on the list. And we wait.

Sometimes the wait is a few weeks or a few months. Sometimes it’s just a phone call or can take a few years. Sometimes it’s longer. For just one small example, in 2008 we wrote an article about an R. Lalique Fake “Seal” that had been sold to a collector. We were pretty sure there was no such authentic seal :), but we didn’t know exactly what it really was. The purchase was from a “reputable” regular dealer in R. Lalique. It wasn’t until 2017 that we were able to definitively identify the “seal” as a stopper to a specific perfume bottle made by an American glass company when one of the great volunteers that help out on the site came across the bottle. 9 years later, what the heck.

Curt Schlevogt Czechoslovakian Glass Ingrid Ring Box And An R. Lalique Feuilles Menu Holder And A Crystal Lalique Base To An Oil And Vinegar Set Selling Together in One Auction LotAnyway, for why we are rambling, back around 2011 a brown patinated two-part egg shaped flower motif Ring Box sporting a double row of facets appeared in the literature as R. Lalique. And it was also appearing at well known auction houses. And crazy enough, the money was pretty big. Reports we received put it selling with a ring in 2011 at €15,000 hammer, another example came in 2012 with sepia patina and a ring for €9500, and one with a brown patina and a ring went all-in in 2014 for about $20,000.

All the while, we had never had our hands on one of these boxes, but we weren’t going to throw away 5 figures to prove ourselves right. And with those prices, actual reputable sellers, and the literature, we decided to keep an open mind (no matter how slightly) that we might be mistaken, even though it’s true that if you listened closely enough when seeing a photo, you could hear the box whispering “Czech, Czech, Czech”. So we waited.

Opportunity Knocks!

Then back in April 2019 at a small online house sale in Columbus Ohio, appears a mixed lot with 3 items: A modern base to an oil & vinegar set, an R. Lalique Feuilles Menu Holder, and there on the left of the photo was a hazy shaped depiction of THE ring box. It was faintly whispering. Our only question was how the auction knew to describe it as “Ingrid Crystal”.

Not being one of those auctions with stuff like a live auctioneer or live bidding, and with no way to get questions answered, we waited. In the end our winning bid was $45 plus shipping across country, around $65 all-in! Yippee! And in due course the goods appeared in the daily shuffle of deliveries piling up inside the main entrance.

Curt Schlevogt Czechoslovakian Glass Ingrid Ring Box Signature Under Heavy LightOther new ground was broken with this purchase, because it’s a pretty hard rule with auctions of R. Lalique that if we are planning on bidding on something R. Lalique at auction for ourselves or on behalf of anyone else, we list that auction on the website and compete with everybody else. And in this case, the Feuilles Menu holder was surely an authentic piece of R. Lalique. But given our altruistic* intent on this one, not wanting to throw away thousands of dollars on a Czech box, and wanting to keep another example of this thing out of circulation, we were not exactly quick in listing it on the site.

In due time the delivery was un-packed, and it took several minutes with just the right light to see the answer to the Ingrid I.D. The bottom was signed INGRID Czecho-Slovakia as shown in the photo here. After that it was easy to find the right documentation through the Czech glass links you can find in the Sources of Fakes section of the website. And we found many examples of the same signature with the same issue of getting the light just right and at the right angle on other Ingrid items. We’ve included 2 photos of the underside of one of the ubiquitous green malachite looking perfume bottles that appeared recently at auction. The two green photos shown here are of the same underside of the same bottle. One looks blank; the other has the right lighting and angle of photo to reveal the signature.

The other thing that everybody ignored about this box was the most obvious. Can you imagine walking into the Lalique shop in Paris in the 1932 and seeing a double faceted brown patinated box holding a green or blue ring of entirely different design? That incongruous presentation would have stuck out like a sore thumb.

Curt Schlevogt Czechoslovakian Glass Ingrid Perfume Bottle Underside Without Heavy Light Looks Like No SignatureAnd did you notice in the Ingrid catalogue photo shown above that in-between the two ring boxes are two rings? Buckle up if you paid 5 figures for an unsigned or suspiciously signed ring that looks just like one of those! There may be turbulence ahead. See the Fleurs-2 and Fleurs-3 Rings.******

You can see all the previously mentioned sales on the Czech Ingrid Bouton De Fleur model page we’ve left up in the Box Category of the R. Lalique Catalogue so interested persons can find and properly identify their box. Obviously some are floating about with R. Lalique signatures or missing Ingrid signatures. And anyone who insists this is an R. Lalique Box, we will make you a real cheap deal compared to those auction prices on the one we have 🙂 … NOT!

Also, this is probably a good time to mention for the umpteenth** time that typical collectors should avoid unsigned and undocumented pieces. There is an amazing selection of great R. Lalique items out there. Over 99% of those pieces are properly signed and fully documented. What’s the point? And collectors should trust their instincts. If it feels like a fish, swims like a fish, looks like a fish, and smells like a fish ……………. something may be fishy***.

Curt Schlevogt Czechoslovakian Glass Ingrid Perfume Bottle Underside With Heavy Light Signature AppearsAnother point to keep in mind. The Ingrid line of Czech glass was not made with the intent to deceive anyone. The Czechs have a rich and centuries old glassmaking tradition. A few designers did jump on the emerging 20th century consumer glass bandwagon with pieces in the Lalique style. But the great early designers in this area such as Heinrich Hoffmann and Curt Schlevogt****  had zero reason to deceive anyone. Schlevogt, the creator of the Ingrid pieces had the Ingrid signature proudly placed on the box we bought. It’s only the later representation that this model is R. Lalique, and/or the removal of the Ingrid signature and/or the addition of a phony R. Lalique signature, that makes one of these boxes problematic in the R. Lalique marketplace. They are less valuable but not problematic at all in the proper context.

And lest we forget, there is a 2nd blue glass Boutons De Fleur Box for which we have never seen a scintilla of documentation. It’s a bit more convincing than this Czech box (not a high hurdle really), it has a much cleaner yet more detailed design, and there is a ring that matches it in both color and decoration. But it’s un-documented nonetheless. Who knows what future house sales in America’s heartland may uncover!

And as is our MO*****, if anyone out there thinks we got anything wrong in this article, we will be happy to hear from you, and we will promptly and cheerfully correct any factual inaccuracies. So please no complaints about run-on sentences, our mangling of the English language, made-up words, or any of the numerous grammatical errors. To paraphrase Dragnet’s Joe Friday “Just the facts ma’am.”

*Altruistic means to show an unselfish concern for others ………as we break our elbows patting ourselves on the back.

**Umteenth or Umpteenth is a real word! It’s the last in a never-ending or indefinitely long series or repetition. Think about a parent saying to their kid: “This is the umpteenth time I’ve told you to straighten-up your room.”

***Something is fishy: An expression that can be traced to before the Civil War. It has come to mean that something is suspicious or not right. Think of a good-looking fish at the market that when you get close enough and pick it up you find it’s really slimy or slippery (a word that has its own alternate related meaning) and has started to smell.

****Curt Schlevogt worked for Hoffmann and in 1928 married Hoffmann’s daughter Charlotte. Charlotte died in childbirth giving birth to their daughter Ingrid, after whom his first collection of glass (introduced and exhibited in 1934) was named.

*****MO (pronounced by saying the names of letters “Em Oh”) is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase Modus Operandi. It’s the typical mode or method of operation; how one usually does things. In the current culture, “this is how we roll” would be a comparable expression.

******Fleurs-2 and Fluers-3 Rings: These 2 links were added in September 2019.

The Czech Forest Vase – A Common R. Lalique Forgery

October 11th, 2017

The Czech Forest Vase is one of the most often seen vases with a forged R. Lalique Signature. But in last week’s mail came an inquiry from a purchaser who had bought the vase on hope alone without even the phony signature in place. The correspondence speaks for itself. **

Czech Forest Vase Sold As R. LaliqueDear Madam or Sir,
I bought this vase on a budget resolution and I am not sure if this is a
real vase from R. Lalique.
It would be great if you can help me out.
The vase has no signature or a mark at the bottom. The weight is 3267 Grams.
On the floor of the vase there are strong traces of use.
I was searching your website and I did find this vase. The model looks
like a fake one, but the color is different.
I am a collector and it would be great if you could tell me more about it.
Attached you will find some pictures of the vase.

Thank you in advance for your effort.

Kind regards from Stuttgart,
Hopeful Buyer

Our reply:

Hello Hopeful Buyer. Thanks for contacting us.

The vase in your photos (1 is attached to this reply) is a Czech forest vase.

You can see it in a Czech glass catalogue at this link in the Sources of Fakes section of the website:

Czech Glass Catalogue

Also here is an Ebay search for the phrase Czech Forest Vase where you can see some for sale:

Czech Forest Vases For Sale On Ebay

And another Ebay search to see some that actually sold:

Sold Czech Forest Vases On Ebay

General Rule: Do not buy any piece of “R. Lalique” that is not signed and documented.

Best Regards,

RLalique.com

And the buyer’s follow-up:

Czech Forest Vase Shown From Above Sold As R. Lalique
Dear RLalique.com,
Thank you for your Mail. You have a great website!
The next time I will be more careful.
Kind regards
Hopeful Buyer

Obviously the buyer should have checked (there is a bad pun in there somewhere) the website before the purchase and not after 🙂

** The emails were cleaned up slightly to remove personal info, compact the content, and correct errors/typos etc.

Rago Auctions Presents Another Great R. Lalique Collection September 22nd!

September 20th, 2017

Post-Sale Update:

The short version: What A Great Sale!

The rest of the story:

68 lots were offered at the auction, one of which was a small book lot that sold. Of the remaining 67 lots, all of which were R. Lalique items, 65 sold and 2 remained unsold. The overall sale rate for all lots in the auction was over 97% based on the number of lots, and over 99% based on the estimates, the 2 no-sales being relatively low value items.

Against a total estimate range of $253,300 to $362,700, the hammer prices of $375,400 exceeded the high estimate, and the total sale including the buyers premium of $469,250 was well outside the high estimate. The top seller was Lot 1, the Tortues Vase in alexandrite glass that made $30,000 all-in. On the same basis 2nd place at $25,000 went to Lot 7, the red Escargot Vase; in 3rd place was the blue glass Martin-Pêcheurs Vase as Lot 5 at $23,750; and in 4th place was the Lot 3 amber Serpent Vase for $20,000. The average price for the 66 sold lots was $7,110.

It was yet another amazingly successful sale for the works of Rene Lalique at Rago. The high selling lot accounted for only about 6% of the sale total. And the depth of interest revealed itself in the large number of bidders with Rago reporting over 2 dozen buyers from 5 different continents.

End of Post-Sale Update.

Hot on the heels of its highly successful R. Lalique Solana Collection sale in May of this year, RagoArts in Lambertville New Jersey is bringing yet another decades old single owner collection to auction on Friday September 22nd, 2017. The Lexora Collection consists primarily of highly desirable colored vases and features both rare models and rare colors of commercial vases.

Four examples tell the story.

Lot 1 is an Alexandrite Tortues Vase (Turtles Vase) that changes color under different light sources. **

Tortues Vase In Alexandrite Glass Color 1 of 2

Tortues Vase In Alexandrite Glass Color 2 of 2

Lot 5 is a rare blue glass Martin Pêcheurs Vase.Martin Pêcheurs Vase In Blue Glass

Lot 33 is a green opalescent Avallon Vase.Avallon Vase In Green Opalescent Glass

Pigeons Vase In Ice Blue GlassAnd Lot 35 is an ice blue Pigeons Vase that combines a rare model with an equally rare color.

Of the 68 total lots, all but 7 are vases, and all but a handful of the vases are colored glass. And the remaining 7 lots have some great models including a black glass Biches Inkwell and the blue glass Mesanges Bracelet.

More good news is the reasonable estimates for some great highly marketable pieces, and the online condition reports that Rago represents to be accurate.

It shapes up to be a great looking sale with the opportunity to acquire some seldom seen items, and also to have a chance at some great popular colored vases and other models at reasonable prices.

You can see the entire sale catalog HERE!

And don’t miss the additional R. Lalique items on September 23rd in Rago’s Decorative Arts sale. Here is a link to that listing in the Worldwide Auction section.

** Alexandrite was first discovered in the Ural Mountains in 1830. It was named after the young heir to the Russian throne Alexander II.

R. Lalique Pink Vase Collectors: This is your chance! The Pink Acanthes Vase has appeared!

June 18th, 2017

Unbelievable really, when you consider the odds. In our lifetimes the mythical pink glass R. Lalique Acanthes Vase has appeared for sale. Mind boggling the long shot chance of this happening, and right under our noses at one of the world’s major auction houses.

Acanthus Vase Highly SuspiciousThe vase went unsold as Lot 61288 at Heritage Auctions in their June 10-12 Fine & Decorative Arts sale in Dallas. Against a seemingly giveaway estimate of only $800 – $1200 for this rarity, it failed to ignite the crazy bidding war one might expect of such a rare colored vase. Perhaps the fact that we didn’t list it in the Worldwide Auctions Section here at RLalique.com caused it to be passed over, we don’t know, it’s just such a mystery.

But God knows Heritage certainly wasn’t hiding it. Here is the title of the lot listing:

An Unfinished R. Lalique Acanthes Frosted Pink Glass Vase, circa 1921
11-1/4 inches high (28.6 cm)
M p. 417, No. 902.

For whatever reason it just slipped thru everyone’s fingers.

But just when you thought an incredible opportunity has fallen away, do not despair. The Lalique Gods have smiled on all you Pinkos* and given you a 2nd chance to fill in that gaping hole in your otherwise complete collection of the pink vases of Rene Lalique.

Yes friends the pink wonder is back as a post-auction offering at the following link:

Pink Vase

For only $500 all-in (and apparently you can even make a lower offer), you can hitch a ride on the pink frenzy and take your collection to new heights!

And for any doubters out there, like one of our great volunteers that contacted the auction house directly to question if it’s too good to be true, here is the reply by a representative of Heritage Auctions:

“Thanks for your input on this and I am already aware. My experience with Lalique suggests this is as catalogued, despite being not of Lalique standard, unsigned and atypical in many ways. I would be happy to hear conclusive findings that is was not made by Lalique, for educational purposes.

Respectfully,

VP
Heritage Auctions”

Note: We intentionally omitted the name of the VP of Heritage.

So, what we have from the VP are things seemingly turned on their heads**.

We recall the opening line in the famous poem by the great Elizabeth Barrett-Browning:

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

1. A vase that is not of Lalique standard.
2. A vase that is unsigned.
3,4,5,6 ……. A vase that is atypical in MANY ways.
Note: Numbering, caps and emphasis added by us.

Acanthus Vase Highly SuspiciousWe cannot know the extent of the MANY ways the VP had in mind. We would take a stab at the color, the apparent poor quality of the decoration, the all-over frosting, and the neck. But in-hand who knows what other loving thoughts might be added to the list.

All this brings us of course to our continuing caution to typical collectors (as opposed to extremely knowledgeable and sophisticated collectors), that we strongly recommend you avoid unsigned and undocumented items. Here the piece is unsigned and it does not match the documentation. And there are other “atypical” characteristics as well. What is the point in hoping you found the (not) hidden treasure? And do you (or your heirs) really want to have to re-tell whatever the story is on the unsigned etc. item when it comes time to sell? There is a ton of great R. Lalique out there, the overwhelming majority is both signed and documented.

And of course, here we see the judgment of the market. This R. Lalique Unfinished blah blah blah could not be sold at under $1000 at a major auction house, and now sits at $500 hoping for a sale. Note that according to the Heritage website you only have until June 26th to avail yourself of the opportunity.

You might also check the Acanthes Vase on the Copies and Close Calls Page here at RLalique.com. What you’ll find is that if you can’t resist the pink vase, there are many more similar opportunities out there with a variety of “atypical” characteristics including some other great rarely seen colors that you can add to your collection!

And we would be remiss if we failed to mention that there was another item advertised as R. Lalique in the same sale as this vase; an item that did sell at the auction. We will simply link to the item for your information.

To summarize, we think you can stay in the pink*** by letting the really smart people**** fight over this vase.

* Pinkos (also Pinkoes) is primarily an American word usually used to derogatorily describe in politics left-wing thinkers and communists. But while a person might conclude that an admirer of this vase is not thinking right (hence they could be thinking left), we really only used the word because it kind of rolls off the tongue flowing with the theme of this article, and not to make any kind of political statement. 🙂

** “Turn on its head” is an expression about causing a radical or opposite change in something from how it used to be, or claiming the opposite of what is. The history teacher told the student “Your version of things has turned history on its head!”. Basically, if it’s on its head, it’s upside down.

*** Before 1600, in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, we hear Mercutio say to Romeo: “Nay, I am the very pinck of curtesie”. In that time it was an expression used to denote the best or the pinnacle of something. The meaning is thought to have evolved from the popularity of pink flowers to generally mean the best of something. The phrase and meaning has continued evolving since that time to primarily refer to one’s feeling good or being in good health, and “in the pink” is a phrase still used today. Consider this from Inimitable Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse in 1923: “‘I am in excellent health, I thank you. And you?’ ‘In the pink. Just been over to America.'”

**** With a hat tip to Orwell and Keating, we build on their expressions by opining: “Some ideas are so wrongheaded and ridiculous that only really smart people can believe them”.

R. Lalique Ashtray Ecstasy At Woolley & Wallis

October 7th, 2016

October 18th will be a date to remember in R. Lalique Ashtray History. Likely the best collection of commercial ashtrays ever to appear at auction together will offered in over 100 ashtray lots! And there are over 30 other non-ashtray R. Lalique lots as well that by themselves would make a nice sale of the works of Rene Lalique.

We decided to let the pictures speak for themselves, not just for the individual pieces, but also for the ashtray collection as a whole. Note that a couple of the pictured items are of unknown age and a few lots have multiple items where one or more are modern crystal pieces. And only the ashtrays are shown.

So check it out. A Trianon Ashtray? You see one or two of those per decade. Or the seldom seen Belier Ashtray? Color and rarities abound: blue this and opalescent amber and green that. Of course for those readers not bored by details, here’s a link to download the catalogue listing for all the R. Lalique Lots with most all the riffraff* removed.

And of course the auction’s listing from the Worldwide Auctions Section can be found HERE!

Your man at the sale is Michael Jeffrey: +44 01722 424505 / mj@woolleyandwallis.co.uk.

* Riffraff is usually used to refer to the rabble, the mob or the lower classes as viewed from “above” of course. The word comes from the Middle English riffe raffe (one and all). Of course in modern times the riffraff are just called “The Deplorables” (count this writer in). Riffraff has also come to mean trash or rubbish; groups of objects not just groups of people. So we mean to say (tongue in cheek of course), if it’s not R. Lalique, well what else would you call it? 🙂

 

R. Lalique Ecureuil Ashtray R. Lalique Ecureuil Opalescent Ashtray R. Lalique Canard Opalescent Ashtray R. Lalique Souris Opalescent Ashtray R. Lalique Chien Opalescent Ashtray R. Lalique Pelican Opalescent Ashtray R. Lalique Clos Sainte-Odile Ashtray R. Lalique Jeane Lanvin Ashtray R. Lalique Dahlia et Papillon Ashtray R. Lalique Souris Gray Ashtray R. Lalique Renard Topaz Ashtray R. Lalique Chien Topaz Ashtray R. Lalique Dindon Gray Ashtray R. Lalique Dindon Gray Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Canard Gray Ashtray R. Lalique Moineau Topaz Ashtray R. Lalique Moineau Clear Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Statuette De La Fontaine Ashtray R. Lalique Athletes Ashtray R. Lalique Naiade Clear Glass Ashtray And A Modern Reproduction R. Lalique Chien Yellow Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Ecureuil Amber Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Souris Yellow Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Moineau Yellow Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Lapin Yellow Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Dindon Yellow Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Renard Yellow Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Dindon Amber Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Canard Yellow Ashtray Lalique Caravelle Glass Ashtray Of Unknown Age R. Lalique Soucis Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Statuette De la Fontaine Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Chevre Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Bressan Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Souris Green Opalescent Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Chien Green Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Moineau Green Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Canard Green Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Dindon Green Ashtray R. Lalique Renard Green Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Soucis Opalescent Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Alaska Opalescent Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Lapin Opalescent Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Moineau Opalescent Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Deux Colombes Opalescent Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Dindon Opalescent Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Renard Opalescent Ashtray R. Lalique Archers Black Glass and Frosted Ashtrays R. Lalique Trianon Ashtray R. Lalique Soudan Ashtray With Modern Crystal Ashtray And Cigarette Holder R. Lalique Colmar Ashtray R. Lalique Eglantines, Verese and Alice Ashtrays R. Lalique Sumatra Ashtray With Three Modern Ashtrays R. Lalique Alice Ashtray Ashtray And Vezelay Ashtray R. Lalique Medicis Opalescent Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Vezelay Opalescent Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Feuilles Opalescent Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Antheor Ashtray R. Lalique Antheor Yellow Amber Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Serpent Opalescent Ashtray R. Lalique Deux Sirenes Opalescent Ashtray R. Lalique Grenade Ashtray R. Lalique Irene Ashtray R. Lalique Jamaique Ashtrays R. Lalique Dahlia Ashtray R. Lalique Simone Ashtray R. Lalique Louise Ashtrays R. Lalique Louise Glass Ashtrays R. Lalique Grenade Glass Ashtrays R. Lalique Tabago Glass Ashtrays R. Lalique Fauvettes Glass Ashtrays R. Lalique Vezelay Amber Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Rapace Blue Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Naiade Blue Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Feuilles Blue Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Deux Zephyrs Blue Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Irene Green Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Ecureuil Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Muguet Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Rapace and Pinson Glass Ashtrays R. Lalique Renard Clear Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Deux Colombes Clear Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Pinson Clear And Frosted Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Canard Clear And Frosted Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Pelican Clear And Frosted Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Caravelle Clear And Frosted Glass Ashtray With A Modern Crystal Reproduction R. Lalique Deux Colombes Clear And Frosted Glass Ashtray Along With An R. Lalique Pinsons Menu Holder R. Lalique Muguet Clear And Frosted Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Lapin Ashtray R. Lalique Dindon Clear Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Rapace Clear And Frosted Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Alaska Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Chien Clear Glass Ashtray R. Lalique Belier Clear Glass Ashtray And Box R. Lalique Sainte-Odile Ashtrays With A Modern Crystal Ashtray R. Lalique Berthe Glass Ashtrays, Nicole Ashtray, And Two Dahlia Ashtrays R. Lalique Anna Ashtrays And A Marguerites Ashtray R. Lalique Bluets Ashtrays R. Lalique Eglantines Ashtray And Extinguisher / Eteignoir R. Lalique Faune Ashtray R. Lalique Dahlia Clear Glass Ashtrays R. Lalique Deux Zephyrs Ashtrays RLalique.com Placeholder ImageRLalique.com Placeholder ImageRLalique.com Placeholder ImageRLalique.com Placeholder Image

R. Lalique Medusa And Serpent Ring Makes A World Record $322,000!

October 1st, 2016

R. Lalique Medusa And Serpent Ring

The whole Medusa And Serpent thing is a bit of a misnomer. In Greek mythology, Medusa was a winged Gorgon (one of three sisters) that had snakes for hair. People who looked at her turned to stone. It really should just be Medusa Ring and you can infer the whole serpent thing.

R. Lalique Medusa And Serpent Ring Opposing ViewsOf course the hero Perseus beheaded Medusa and even then her head was known to continue to turn those who looked at it to stone. Apparently the wings weren’t part of the stone effect*.

Even though the Greeks gave it a whole new name, I’ll bet a few of you readers know exactly what this whole Gorgon thing is all about. In modern times many people just call it “mother-in-law”.

OK, getting to our story, some incredible R. Lalique Jewelry has appeared with the Medusa theme, including the great Elizabeth Taylor Burton Pendant in 2014 that made over $550,000 at auction in New York. That pendant had a couple of snakes and a drop pearl around a dark masque.

The ring has but one snake with enameled scales that extend to the shank, and which shows a bit more dramatically surrounding a dark blue-green glass masque. 18 carat gold, enamel and glass!

When the Sotheby’s jewelry expert wrote us here at World Headquarters about the listing of the ring on the website, the only comment was “This is one of the most exceptional rings I have ever seen by Lalique”.

Apparently at least two bidders agreed!

R. Lalique Medusa And Serpent Ring Snake Head Close-UpWhen the hammer came down on September 22nd in New York at their “Important Jewels” sale, against an estimate of $15,000 – $20,000, the ring without “Jewels”, “Important” or otherwise, made $322,000 including the buyer’s premium.

That made it the 5th highest selling lot for the day, and obviously the only “Jewel” without one.

Just for comparison, the four pieces that went higher contained:
1. A 24 carat sapphire and 9 carats of diamonds;
2. A 10 carat diamond;
3. A 10 carat diamond;
4. Three items containing a total of (get ready) 264.9 carats of yellow sapphires including one that weighed almost 85 carats alone, 33 carats of blue sapphires, and 49 carats of diamonds!

Rene Lalique of course was not selling jewels. He was creating art. Over 70 years after his death, out of over 200 “Important” auction lots on a pleasant afternoon in New York, the art did pretty good. Émile Gallé would be smiling**.

It’s a new world record price for an R. Lalique Ring at auction. And not a bad day for the great Rene Lalique.

R. Lalique Medusa And Serpent Ring Face Close-Up

*   The Medusa stone effect should not be confused with the modern day stoner effect, where stoners sometimes try to fly off bridges without wings to no good effect!

** Émile Gallé called Rene Lalique “The inventor of modern Jewelry!”

Rene Lalique at the Corning Museum: Enchanted By Glass Exhibition

May 20th, 2014

Rene Lalique Enchanted By Glass Exhibition At The Corning Museum View Inside The Exhbition

Almost a decade before the birth of Rene Lalique, in a small but burgeoning town a few miles north of Boston, a not quite 40 year old Amory Houghton got in his mind to get in the glass making business. He started with a share in one small local glass company and later acquired other glassmakers. 13 years later, in 1864 Houghton took over the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company in Brooklyn New York. Even with the help of his two sons, the Brooklyn business was financially unstable. And of course the fire was a big problem too. But along came an inspired banker from the small town of Corning New York who convinced the family (naturally money was involved) to move their business to Corning.

Martin-Pecheurs Sur Fond De Roseaux Cire Perdue Vase By Rene LaliqueThe newly renamed Corning Flint Glass Works was up and operating in 1868, but by 1870 had gone broke. Fortuitously Houghton’s two sons were able to get the business back (sans Houghton Sr.), and succeeded in getting the company on a firmer financial footing, thanks to a small number of products such as colored signal lights for railroads!*

Through the years and plenty of ups and downs, the company has had an amazing run through American history. It worked with Edison on his glass for the light bulb, and for Steve Jobs it developed the glass screens for the iPhone. It created the glass for Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) and invented Pyrex. It made the mirror for the Mount Palomar observatory and supplied the glass for the primary mirror in the Hubble Space Telescope. And when responding to a 1960’s era request from the British Post Office for a better and more reliable transmission material, it created the optical fiber that has revolutionized communications. And this is just a small sample of the highlights!

Martin-Pecheurs Et Roseaux Model For A Vase By Rene LaliqueCorning has high tech, high talent, and very low turnover. They are so heavy on innovation and invention, you get the feeling that when a company needs a glass problem solved and approaches Corning, that more often than not a Corning guy in the room says, “We’ve got something on the shelf (from 1, 2, 10, or 20 years ago) we can make work for that.”

At Corning’s Sullivan Park Research Center, they obtain something in the neighborhood of 25 patents a month as Corning spends around 9% of all revenue for R&D.

But the company is also strong in community and social works. One such undertaking was conceived to help celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary: the establishment of the Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) in 1951.

Bishop Birds And Pearl Pendant By Rene LaliqueThe museum is an independent and not-for-profit organization whose mission it to tell about and keep alive the history and the art of glass. In addition to being an operating museum visited by something like 400,000 people per year, it also holds seminars, classes, demonstrations, workshops, and lectures. It has everything from glassmaking to glass breaking demonstrations, and museum visitors can literally make their own glass as part of their experience at the Corning. On top of all that, the museum is active in both scientific research and publishing on a wide variety of glass related topics.

All in all, the museum is nearing 50,000 different glass objects in its collection that span roughly 35 centuries of glassmaking.

Sarah Bernhardt Medal Created By Rene Lalique in 1896 For Party Guests With Each Medal Have A Personalized Inscription On The Reverse - This Medal For Author Gustav GeoffroyAlso part of the museum is the Rakow research library (named after significant benefactors of the museum), the leading research library on glass anywhere in the world. The library has an extensive collection of original period materials on all aspects of glass and glassmaking. Of note is that the collection includes some great original materials related to Rene Lalique (yes, we’re getting to that guy soon:) some of which previously resided right here at World Headquarters! Of course, these are but a small part of the over 2000 documents relating to Lalique’s glass production housed at the Rakow.

Of the tens of thousand of objects at the Corning, until recently only about 200 were directly related to Rene Lalique. Over half of those were acquired in the early 1980’s, comprising rare models and prototypes (work pieces) which had been kept together by a Rene Lalique et Cie factory supervisor from the period.

Lalique Dealer And Collector Standford Steppa Business Card FrontBut in 2011, Stanford and Elaine Steppa, New Jersey residents with a longtime involvement in the works of the great Lalique, donated about 400 items to the museum. Most of the items were commercial production pieces, which by their numbers sampled the largest part of the gamut, in time and types, of Lalique’s commercial works. And there were also a few amazing rare unique and nearly unique items as well.

So now with around 600 pieces representing everything from the conception to the process to the results, the reference material to back stop it all, and the ability to borrow objects to fill in a random blank or two**; suddenly the story appears in the totality of the materials and objects.

Rene Lalique Enchanted By Glass Exhibition At The Corning Museum View Inside The Exhbition Showing Amber Serpent and Green Ferriers Vases In Foreground

Suddenly, it’s not a good looking glass vase from 1922; it’s the story of the artist and his design development and influences (the swans on the pond or the birds in the trees at the country house). It’s how the glass thing got started (the jewelry, the bottles), how it was industrialized (the models, the patents), how the art was conceived (the drawings) and with what means and what steps (the work pieces) the final object was created. Suddenly, what we call a story, they call an exhibition!

It’s the visual and referential story of Rene Lalique, told one piece at a time through about 200 objects, and amazing period reference material. It’s “Rene Lalique: Enchanted by Glass” at the Corning.

The exhibition is already up and open (as of Saturday May 17th) and will continue through January 4th, 2015.

Athlete Et Feuillages Panel For The Wanamaker Store In Philadelphia 1932 By Rene LaliqueOur takeaway*** from an in-depth interview with the exhibition curator Kelley Jo Elliot**** can be boiled to down to one overriding message. The purpose of the exhibition is to tell the story. From the Cire Perdue Vase, to tell how he did it and how it came to be. From the 1893 exhibition medal, to tell what his goals were, what was important to him, and how he was trying to achieve his aims. From the round green glass invitation medallion, to show his technique and his touch. And from the iconic commercial R. Lalique items such as the Serpent Vase, the Tourbillons Vase, or the Suzanne Statue, to be able to explain in the context of Lalique, his world and his history, how these wonderful art glass pieces were developed.

To help put it all in perspective the exhibition is organized in a couple of ways, including by timeline. So the visitor can see the development of Lalique from unique jewelry all the way to the later big architectural pieces; which would include by the way, the amazing 1932 figural panel from the Wanamaker’s store in Philadelphia.

The museum is located in the Finger Lakes***** region of New York State. It’s 4 or 5 hours drive from NYC, and about the same from Washington D.C.. From Niagara Falls it’s about 3 hours. The closest decent size city is Ithaca, home to Cornell University. And there is small regional airport (Elmira/Corning) that is only about a 15 minute drive (paid shuttle available) to the museum that has flights from Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Orlando.

The exhibition is included as part of the general museum visitor charge. The museum is open 7 days a week from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM during the summer, but after Labor Day the closing time moves up to 5:00 PM. Further details can be found at the museum website.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum has also published a thoughtful and informative nearly 400 page reference book about Rene Lalique and the Corning, containing hundreds of photos of both commercial and unique pieces, and pictures of a large number of original models. The book is coincidentally titled “Rene Lalique Enchanted by Glass”. Shown here from the book, in addition to a photo of the dust jacket, is a photo of the extremely rare non-commercial Levrier Car Mascot created as a gift for the Prince of Wales in 1929, next to a photo of an original plaster model for that mascot. Who else but the Corning can tell the story like this? The book is out of print, but check the library here on the site or write us directly about getting you one.

Rene Lalique Enchanted By Glass Book

Our final thoughts:

This is not a show where a bunch of brightly colored vases, some valuable jewelry and a few unique objects are tossed together and the exhibitor is just saying, “Hey, look at this, didn’t this guy make cool stuff”. The Corning is fortunately situated with its collection and resources to bring this stuff to life, and to put it in perspective and context historically, educationally, artistically and industrially. It’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in the Rene Lalique and his works. And heck, it’s just an added kicker that the Finger Lakes region of New York is a great place to visit in the summertime!

* Persistence paid off for the Houghton clan. The 1957 Forbes Magazine list of the 76 richest Americans listed both Amory Houghton and Arthur A. Houghton Jr. at between 100 million and 200 million dollars each. In today’s dollars that’s in the billion range (give or take a few hundred million of course).

** Included in the exhibition are 14 unique items (designs, objects, jewelry) on loan from other museums. The lenders are the Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon Portugal; the Chazen in Madison Wisconsin; The Walters in Baltimore Maryland, the VMFA in Richmond Virginia; the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.; and the Musée des arts décoratifs in Paris, France. All are linked from our page listing over 80 museums around the world containing the works of Rene Lalique.

*** The “takeaway” is not a quote. It’s more like the gist, the central point, or the main idea as we took it.

Rene Lalique Levrier Car Mascot And Original Plaster Model By Rene Lalique For The Prince Of Wales 1929 Non-Commercial

**** Kelley is the Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at the Corning. She has a Fine Art Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s in Decorative Arts History and has worked with a range of museums. She has a strong interest and background in the works of Rene Lalique and in the French artistic glass and jewelry milieu from which he emerged.

***** The Finger Lakes region of New York State is so named because of the pattern of a string of long narrow (and narrowing) lakes which run down from below the New York State Thruway (AKA I-90 or the Thomas E Dewey Thruway) roughly bounded by I-390 in the west and I-81 in the east; kind of in-between but below Rochester and Syracuse. The lakes look like fingers on a map.

R.Lalique Leaves The Building: Prices Strong With Some Through The Roof At Christie’s London

May 4th, 2014

In any collecting field, when an auction puts down a new world record auction price or two, it’s a statement about the health of the market and the worldwide interest in the artist. This is about a sale with likely double-digit auction records.

Sauterelles Vase Rene Lalique Green Glass GrasshoppersOn April 30th, Christie’s cataloged 84 lots of R. Lalique at their King Street salerooms. All were from the same European based consignor and all apparently acquired in the last few years. So “fresh to market” would not apply here, with most of the goods having been to rodeo* quite recently.

To say that vases dominated the offerings and the results would be a bit of an understatement. Of the 84 lots originally cataloged, only 8 were not vases. With Lot 83, the highly questionable gray Bacchantes Vase being withdrawn** prior to the start, 75 of the 83 lots presented at the podium were R. Lalique Vases. The group included 3 cire perdue vases, both Cluny and Senlis Vases, and a total of 54 colored glass vases, assuming of course you regard gray and black as colors in the R.Lalique world! ***

Formose Vase Rene Lalique Cased Opalescent Blue-Green Agate GlassSo of the 83 lots offered, the auction house reports that 62 were sold****, for a roughly 75% sales rate on the lot numbers. The premium inclusive total (used for all the following sales numbers) was £1,361,375 or about £21,950 per lot average selling price. Using an approximate real life exchange rate of 1.71 dollars to the Brit Pound (again for all that follows), that makes the sale total about $2,328,000, or $37,550 per sold lot.

Let’s talk about the likely world record prices at auction for particular lots (keeping in mind the vagaries of what exchange rate to use for comparison, not knowing if the buyer had additional costs such as sales tax or vat, etc.):

Lot 3 Formose Vase (Agate) £23,750/$40,600 – for the model
Lot 7 Ronces Vase (Blue) £17,500/$29,900 – for the model
Lot 13 Penthievre Vase (Amber) £35,000/$59,900- for this color of the model, and likely for the model
Lot 15 Serpent Vase (Amber) £35,000/$59,900 – for the model *****
Lot 39 Esterel Vase (Amber) £6,875/$11,750 – for the model
Lot 47 Gros Scarabees Vase (clear/frosted) £17,500/$29,900 – for this color (well, colorless) of the model
Lot 51 Sauterelles Vase (Opalescent) £43,750/$74,800 – for this color (and for maybe 20 minutes) for the model
Lot 60 Ceylon Vase (Yellow Amber) £27,500/$47,000 – for the model
Lot 63 Sauterelles Vase (Green) £57,500/$98,300 – for the model
Lot 73 Borromee Vase (Blue) £32,500/$55,600 – for the model
Lot 77 Martin Pecheurs Vase (Black) £43,750/$74,800 – for the model
Lot 80 Montargis Vase (Black) £40,000/$68,400 – for the model

And a real close one:

Lot 54 Terpsichore (Opalescent) £37,500/$64,100 – for the model a very close 2nd place but considering the slightly higher selling vase had more than just a passing opalescence, this is a really strong result.

Cluny Vase Rene Lalique Bronze Masque And Serpent Attachments Over Smokey GlassThat’s a decent number of likely world record prices in a relatively small sale out of only 62 sold lots.

Lest you are tempted to let thoughts of the superior investing acumen of the seller fog your brain, let’s take a bit of If/If time here using the amber Serpent Vase as an example. The all-in price paid at Heritage was $56,762.50. That would be the buyer’s cost. But the hammer price (not the all-in price shown above that would include the auction house buyers premium, but the price relevant to the seller’s proceeds) at this sale was $48,880. There would also be some expenses off that $48,800 such as a likely a seller commission, shipping back and forth to parts known and unknown, etc. Surely the seller hit some winners and just as surely got nicked a bit here and there as well. All If/If of course:).

But to settle the big picture, it’s rumored that the consignor was sitting in the saleroom during the auction and did not appear to be dissatisfied with the ongoing results. Also likely satisfied was the single bidder that bought roughly a quarter of the lots in the sale (including the yellow Ceylan Vase, the green Sauterelles Vase, the blue Borromee Vase, the black Lezards Et Bluets Vase, and the agate Formose Vase), or all of the top five purchasers that accounted for roughly half the sale lots.

Serpent Vase Rene Lalique Dark Amber Glass Coiled SnakeThe high seller was Lot 25, the Cluny Vase which made £116,500/$199,200. The runner-up was the Cire Perdue Covered Vase Lot 45 which made £92,500/$158,200. Curiously, one disappointment of the sale was that the runner-up vase was the only one of the three cire perdue vases to sell. Of course estimates were high as they were throughout the sale owing likely to the high prices recently paid by the seller, but that didn’t stop many of the colored glass commercial vases from making strong numbers. Also with only three cire perdues, it might just be too small a sample to draw conclusions from. And there might be other issues concerning specific pieces that caused a lack of bidding.

Ceylan Vase Rene Lalique Yellow Amber Eight Birds Motif GlassOur thoughts on the market and the meaning of the higher prices have remained steady for many years now, and this sale does not alter them. Even the large numbers of world record prices do not signal some tulip bulb or Silicon Valley stock style bubble. In any rising market, especially art, there will be individual items that get a bit over-heated in an instance. But the overall market, even for colored vases and mascots (two sometimes hot areas) can best be described over the last 18 years, beginning in 1996, as making a steady and general uphill climb. A few examples to make the point:

10 to 15 years ago, an opalescent green Rampillon Vase sold for about $6600 on Ebay. Over a decade later, it made under $11,000 at this sale******. In the same time frame, some colored Ronces were selling in the $10,000 range. So 15 years later on outlier world record on one vase makes $30,000. But the group of Ronces taken together was certainly not out of control. Did the green grasshopper vase go through the roof? Sure. But that’s only one vase. The four Formoses as a group, notwithstanding the agate example going quite high, were strong but not crazy. All the Perruches Vases were also firm but not wild, and certainly not records. And even some of the likely record prices were close (arguably close) to previous record highs.

Rampillon Vase Rene Lalique Green Opalescent GlassYou also have to consider the venue and how that impacts pricing. Joy McCall and her staff have built a high quality reputation that gives comfort to all bidders, but especially new and inexperienced ones. The Christie’s sales of R. Lalique have tended toward the high side in recent years as they’ve drawn in some great material, and also attracted the then current crop of higher end bidders building up (and chasing up at times) collections. Those bidders feel that they can bid with confidence at these sales, and this impacts prices of course.

When owners come to RLalique.com for an evaluation of their items, we tell them that in addition to all the other considerations, that speed, cost, method, timing, and location of sale are significant factors in the expected value of art. These are not listed stocks where you call your broker and sell in an instant for the one penny spread. Confidence plays a great role in both the acquisition and disposition of art, and here we believe it has played a large one.

Overall, just the kind of results you could anticipate in a firm market, at the right venue, with solid material offered.

If you are looking for more information about any of the R. Lalique models that sold in this sale (or any that didn’t), check out the R. Lalique Catalog here at RLalique.com.

All in all, another great day for the great Rene Lalique.

* “Been to the rodeo before” or “This ain’t my first rodeo” are American expressions indicating that the same thing has happened or been experienced before, or something that’s happening is familiar.

** Here at RLalique.com, we noticed a couple of years ago during our daily worldwide auction searches, a spate of supposed grey glass R. Lalique Bacchantes Vases appearing at auction in Europe. They were highly suspicious for their numbers, and for a couple of other reasons best kept close to the vest. They had concave bottoms and what appeared to some to be passable signatures. But of course, R. Lalique Gray Bacchantes Vases do not drop like overripe mangos from a rainforest tree, so both eyebrows and alarms were raised. We talked to the purchaser of one of the vases, and it turned out in due time that this purchaser’s vase was in fact a modern crystal reproduction, heavily worked with a false signature applied, to be passed off as authentic R. Lalique. We can only assume 🙂 because of the vase, the color, and the timing of the consignor’s acquisitions, that the withdrawal was well advised and foreseeable.

*** Gray is a color, and for this color-blind writer (in both a physical and metaphysical sense), it is the most prevalent color. 🙂 Black on the other hand is really the absence of color, but black R. Lalique items are considered by most, from a collecting standpoint to be colored pieces. The Oracle says this is the correct view on all levels (again, both physically and metaphysically speaking), as Rene Lalique could not have produced a true, colorless black glass.

**** We have Lot 10, the red Escargot Vase, as having passed at £18,000 and not selling. The published sales results show that vase selling for £20,000 plus £7500 premium, for an all-in total of £27,500 and this amount along with the sale is included in the reported results above. We assume it sold after it passed (non-buyers remorse?), but fast enough to beat the results to press and be included just as if it sold from the podium.

***** The dark amber glass Serpent Vase in this sale is likely the previous world auction record holder from Heritage Auctions, where it made just a bit less. This standout example of the classic deco design graced the halls of World Headquarters for many years before being released to set the world record price for the model on now two different occasions.

****** Thankfully, the Christie’s London staff had the good sense not to repeat the November 1995 Park Avenue catalog calumny that only five of these green opalescent Rampillon Vases are known to exist. This author once had three of them in hand at the same time (yah yah, big hands) and pulled out that catalog just to have a good laugh.

R. Lalique Chardons Vase: Stolen Photo Auction Listing

July 13th, 2013

Like all other markets for just about any kind of product or service, the market for the works of Rene Lalique attracts new scammers from time to time. Note that we say “new scammers” to differentiate for purposes of this article any of the handful of notorious usual suspects that might be classified as “old scammers”! 🙂

Ebay is a bit of a magnet for scams, though safe trading on Ebay is as easy as being careful and following their procedures so that you can get made whole if your common sense gets pushed aside from time to time. Heck as we noted in discussing this problem previously, rumor has it one of the notorious usual suspects that you would think might recognize a scam when it appears is rumored to have been taken in by a stolen photo listing on an R. Lalique Red Poissons Vase a while back!

All that said, we thought we’d bring the latest reason to think twice before throwing caution to the wind. Here is a link to a saved/cached image version of the original 221253254631 listing online.*** It’s offered by a recently registered zero feedback user.

And we present two photos, one from the current Ebay ad, and one from a Chardons Vase listed here on RLalique.com. Twin vases, twin lighting, twin glare spots, twin photos! What are the odds?

Rene Lalique Chardons VaseRene Lalique Chardons Vase 2

How do you protect yourself from these types of scams? Here are few of the ways you can lower your risk of a headache, a loss, or both.

Always ask for additional photos; maybe one of the vase next to a soda can for example. Or one with a ruler laid across the top rim of the vase. Basically, any photos not likely to be in the seller’s picture inventory if they don’t have the item in-hand. You should also check RLalique.com’s new R. Lalique Catalogue and see if any of the photos look a little too similar to the ones in the auction you’re considering. Finally, never wire funds or pay by check for an online auction. Use a payment service such as paypal and a credit card to give yourself added protection.

Basically, when you’re ready to get rolling on your next must have online purchase, just keep in mind the iconic words of the late Michael Conrad!

*** You may have to use the zoom function of your browser (or whatever program opens images for you) to get the cached image to expand in the window if it does not appear full size. After clicking on the link to the item, a new window will open with the cached image in it. On a Mac, just click on the image and see if that expands it. If not, press the apple key and click on the cached image in your browser window. On a PC, hold down the alt key while clicking on the cached image.

 
 

Copyright 2014 by City Concession Co. of Arizona Inc. We are not affiliated with anyone using part or all of the name Rene Lalique. We are a gathering place for R. Lalique enthusiasts.