R Lalique Cire Perdue Wasp Vase by Rene Lalique

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Welcome To The R Lalique Blog

January 16th, 2018

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!

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 and the over 2 dozen buyers from 5 continents around the world.

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 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 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 the 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 for 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 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? 🙂

 

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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 takeway*** 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 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 “takeway” 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 Bachelors Degree and a Masters 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 world wide 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.

Rene Lalique Blue Perruches Vase & Comete Car Mascot Make R. Lalique World Records

May 24th, 2013

Rene Lalique Comete Car Mascot

The works of Rene Lalique, with some modern crystal pieces mixed-in, have been a longtime semi-annual attraction at Christie’s South Kensington in London. The first of this year’s Lalique sales had a total of 185 lots of which roughly 150 were R. Lalique. As usual most areas of the collecting field were on offer including everything from vases, perfume bottles, car mascots, and plates and bowls, to perfume burners, seals, architectural items, clocks, decanters, and lighting.

Rene Lalique Blue Perruches VaseThe sale started and ended with a run of vases, but the high seller was found among the car mascots, where Lot 99, a good looking Comete Car Mascot made £79,875 all-in, or about $121,000 at 1.51 Brit pounds per US Dollar**. This was against a pre-sale estimate of £35,000 to £45,000. The final price is thought to be a world record auction price for the Comete. Undoubtably the overall good condition influenced the final price, and overcame the fact that this rare model has appeared at auction at least once a year on average for the last 5 years. The runner-up bidder, a well known member of the local trade, was apparently somewhat disappointed in failing to secure the lot. It was reported that as the runner-up (to be) bid was topped, the runner-up bidder turned and walked out of the salesroom without waiting for the hammer to fall.

Next high seller was a good looking Red Hirondelles Vase, which made £73,875/$112,000 selling as the sale’s final Lot 185 against a pre-sale estimate of £40,000 – £50,000. The final total was about $20,000 below the record setting*** Hirondelles Vase which made over $132,000 in November of 2010.

Rene Lalique Cased Green Gros Scarabees VaseThis is a good time to note that for higher end items (a recent extremely rare car mascot a bit of an exception of course), the trend at Christie’s South Ken for R.Lalique under the direction of the knowledgeable and experienced Joy McCall, has been to go with conservative estimates and reserves. This policy appears to have paid off with generally strong to high prices from the resulting bidding interest. The Hirondelles and the Comete were no exception, a trend followed by all 15 of the high selling items, every one of which exceeded their high estimate on an all-in basis.

Tied for third high seller was a green glass Gros Scarabees Vase (Beetles Vase) which sold as Lot 181 for £49,875/$75,500 against an estimate of £25,000 – £35,000.

Rene Lalique Red Glass Hirondelles VaseA pre-sale run through of the sale lots would have have left most astute observers figuring that these three pieces in one order or the other would be the three high sellers.

But the other lot that tied for third high seller was a total surprise. The Blue Perruches Vase selling as Lot 182 in the final run of large colored glass vases. It more than tripled the pre-sale estimate for a world record price at auction for a Blue Perruches and a world record price at auction for any Perruches Vase making £49,875/$75,500, the same price as the Beetles Vase, against a pre-sale estimate of £15,000 – £20,000.

Reportedly, there was determined interest on the colored Perruches Vases in the sale from a Russian bidder. So it would only take one other competitor with a lot of money and not a lot of concern to make a show stopping price. For this model, in this color, this price is a show stopper no doubt. The previous alignment of R. Lalique planets would have the green Gros Scarabees making around 3 (or more) times a Blue Perruches. But here they made identical final prices.

Rene Lalique Merles Et Raisins Panel Featuring Blackbirds And GrapesIf the consignor of the Blue Perruches and the Gros Scarabees was the same, then considering the reported OK level of quality and condition of the two pieces, the two vase total strikes us as in the range of reasonable for the current market, but who would have guessed how they’d get to that total!

Rounding out the top 5 was a 42.5 cm by 52 cm rectangular panel originally designed for the the Cote D’Azur Pullman-Express. The panel Merles Et Raisins (Blackbirds and Grapes) more than tripled the low end of the £10,000 – £15,000 estimate for an all-in final price of £35,000/$53,000.

After the top 5 high sellers, the next 10 high sellers were all vases! And they all were outsold by the Blue Perruches! This group of 10 included an amber glass Gros Scarabees Vase at £33,750/$51,000 that sold to the Musee Lalique (which purchased around a half dozen R.Lalique items), an amber glass Serpent Vase which was about 12% below the world record for that model at £32,500/$49,000, a red Poissons Vase at the same price as the Serpent, a green Poissons Vase and a cased green Perruches Vase both at £31,250/$47,000, a green Perruches Vase at £21,250/$32,000, and a short looking but rare blue glass Milan Vase at £17,500/$26,500.

Rene Lalique Dinard Box Covered With RosesReasonably common perfume bottles were very strong throughout the sale (Ambre Antique £2500/$3800 or Le Lys for D’Orsay at £2375/$3600 for example), and one added price of note was the very strong world record auction price of £5250/$8000 paid for a Dinard Box !

On the flip side**** of the preceding, Seals (cachets) and Paperweights were notably so-so to soft, with the very rare Pelican Seal selling as Lot 85 for only £1063/$1600. Of course these are much more narrow collecting fields and it takes two to tango to the top, as American watchers of Dancing With The Stars might know.

Rene Lalique Perruches Vase In Cased Green GlassIn the end, we saw the usual worldwide smattering of bidders from the United States to Russia, Luthuania to France, and plenty of places in between that is the hallmark of demand for the works of the great Rene Lalique. The sale totaled £799,812/$1,210,000 or roughly $9,200 per sold lot with the modern crystal pieces bringing the average down of course. If you take out the 20 modern crystal lots which made £36,313/$54,800 for an average of about $2750, then you have 111 Rene Lalique lots making £763,499/$1,152,000 or an average of about $10,400. The 131 sold lots out of the 185 offered made the take-up rate a somewhat disappointing but respectable 70% (that rate would be higher if you ignore all the modern stuff). Christie’s noted that by value, the take-up was about 90%, so the majority of the unsold lots were the relatively lower value items.

The last 7 lots of the sale, all colored vases, accounted for £292,375/$441,500 or about 36% of the entire sale total. Not too far from that, the 7 high sellers made £354,250/$535,700 or about 44% of the sale. The vast majority of the sale in value was for the great vases. Here’s a link to the Results In Lot Order

All-in-all, another great day for the great Lalique!

** Unless mentioned otherwise, all prices in this article are on an all-in basis and at roughly a 1.51 pounds to dollars ratio. In practice of course, some buyers have the added expense of local VAT, while others may have their local import duties and shipping, and some buyers may pay several percentage points more for currency conversions based on their payment method and other factors.

*** The red glass Hirondelles which sold in November 2010 set the record for the highest price ever bid for an R. Lalique colored glass vase at auction. On an all-in basis, it was the 2nd highest priced colored vase ever sold at auction. And of course, it was the record at auction both bid and all-in for any Hirondelles Vase.

**** Flip Side for those of you into oldies but goodies, originated with 45’s; that is 45 rpm records. The hit song (the advertised song) would be on the A side. The B side, containing some other song you probably didn’t want to listen to, was called the flip side as you had to flip the record over to play it. Now it’s used almost in the same way as “the other side of the coin” (makes sense doesn’t it?), or the opposite side, such as the opposite point of view, or just oppositely (which is our use here).

Rene Lalique Replacement Parts: R. Lalique Boxes, Decanters and Perfume Bottles

May 16th, 2013

The bottom of the great and early R. Lalique Box was knocked off the counter and is gone forever. The R. Lalique Decanter bottom is krizzled, glass sick, or just cracked. The stopper to that great R. Lalique Perfume Bottle was dropped on the tile floor and is no more (that rhyme was not on-purpose). Many a collector, owner, or dealer has faced just these circumstances and many of these tales of woe find their way to the inbox here at World Headquarters!

One email on this subject, a non-woeful one at that, caused us to reflect a bit on these common occurrences and we thought we’d write a little about the whole subject of replaced parts because it comes up surprisingly often.

Rene Lalique Gui Box No. 65 Signature

For starters we want to limit what we are talking about. We are only talking about pieces that have common parts originally made just that way by Rene Lalique Et Cie prior to the end of World War II in France.

So modern reproduced parts are not within the scope, including anything made by the modern Lalique company in crystal after the death of Rene Lalique. Also, a part made new after the war to look like an authentic part is also not within the scope (see the Faked Cluny or Senlis Vase story).

Rene Lalique Genevieve BoxAnd this includes parts made from actual R. Lalique glass. So for example, if a dealer gets a glass guy to make a new stopper out of the thick base of a broken vase; to literally hand carve the thing from authentic Rene Lalique glass to the point where virtually no one would know the difference, this is not what this article is about.

And of course, the instance where a dealer takes the entire bottom off of a broken vase, and has it virtually seamlessly installed (better to say “unseemly” installed?) to replace the cracked bottom on another vase is definitely not for this discussion either.

We singled out boxes, decanters and perfume bottles because virtually every one of these items has at least two parts, and each of those parts was made in some volume. And that volume in many instances does not even have to be for the same model piece. For example many decanters share the same bottom; the same “blank”, and the only difference is the stopper (ignoring the addition of a signature, model number, and the scratched matching numbers on the stopper stem and decanter bottom to keep the pieces together during the finishing process). Ignoring the manufacturing differences in the mold blown decanter bottoms and the hand fitting and polishing of the stoppers, the decanter bottoms are meant to be identical in maybe a dozen or so original R. Lalique stemware sets. The bottom to a Colmar decanter is the same model as the bottom to a Obernai Decanter.

So in the spirit of the great American inventor Eli Whitney ***, the parts would be, in a perfect world, interchangeable. So if you break your decanter bottom, you can patiently wait on Ebay for the bottom to your model to come up. Or if you happen to have a model that has the bottom shared by others, for any one of them to come up. Or you can cruise the Paris flea market. Or you can contact RLalique.com and tell us about your “Want”. Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world but it’s close enough that many seemingly hopeless situations can be addressed.

Rene Lalique Gui BoxSometimes a complete decanter, perfume bottle, or box may come up for sale, but because of the model, or damage to one of the pieces, or just luck of timing, it may go for a low enough price that it pays to buy the whole thing just to get the undamaged part you want (and hope it fits of course).

Well, we thought about all of this when the following email arrived which references the 1st photo above. And note that the names have been removed to protect the innocent of course:):

Dear Info@rlalique,
I have a query that needs your help!
My name is XXX and I work for a YYY based auction house in ZZZ. We have recently had a group of Lalique items consigned to us from a vendor who was left them. Amongst them is a Genevieve powder box. On your website the box is listed as Model Number 57, the one we have has an etched mark but is numbered 65. I cannot find any record of a model 65, can you help me? I have attached a photo of the mark if that helps. Kind regards,
XXX

The good news is the auction house is on the ball. Let’s face it. You got ghosts, where do you go? Actually, does Ghostbusters even have a website? Ok, let’s just move on.

So right away you know the auction house wants to get it right because they got the goods and went straight to RLalique.com and the new Rene Lalique Catalogue here at World Headquarters to make the identification! And they were on the ball enough to know because of the markings on the base (shown in the photo of the signature near the top of this article) that something was amiss. The catalogue says it’s box number 57, the base says it’s number 65. Hmmmm.

Our reply (again with identifying stuff blanked out and some minor grammar fixes to make us sound like we were paying attention in 5th grade English the day they mentioned dangling participle and other unknowable grammar stuff :):

Hi XXX. Thanks for contacting us. We are familiar with your auction house as we list R. Lalique items that come up in your sales in our Worldwide Auction section of the site. The last time was QQQQ.

About your question, it’s not unusual for the bottoms of boxes to be switched as many boxes use a common bottom. This can happen where the same owner has several boxes of the same size that use the same common box bottom. Or if the bottom is broken or lost and a dealer or an owner obtains a good bottom that appears on Ebay or elsewhere (Paris flea market) that has had the top to it break or disappear. Even today, since most of the blank common box bottoms have a signature on them, they can be identified as R. Lalique. And a couple of times a year a blank box bottom appears on Ebay for sale.

With R. Lalique, the same thing can occur with say some of the tableware set decanters, where the same blank was used for the bottom (the container) on maybe a dozen models, and the only difference is the stopper. Bottoms to these decanters do show up on the market from time to time, just like box bottoms, and if your decanter bottom gets glass sickness or gets broken, if you have a model that shares a common bottom, you can find a replacement that may or may not have a different model number written on it. Of course the stopper fitting properly is a bit more problematic with the mold blown decanter bottoms and hand fitted stoppers, than for the much more standard press mold boxes.

Box No. 65 is a box called Gui and it’s a 10 centimeter box just like the Genevieve. These two models actually appear next to each other in the 1932 Catalogue. So what you have is the bottom to a Gui box under a Genevieve box top. The bottoms would be identical other than the signature with that number (assuming the bottom you have is clear glass and not opalescent glass), and for most people it would be a distinction without a difference.

https://rlalique.com/rene-lalique-gui-box (where you can see part of the bottom in one of the photos)

There is also a slim chance that the mistake was made at the factory as very, extremely rarely, we see a mis-numbered piece. But we’d bet on it being a switch or replacement as described above.

And it might pay to talk to the consignor (assuming it’s a private and not a dealer) on the chance the Gui box is with a different family member or can be located and the original mates restored.

If you have any further questions, let us know.

KOL

Of course, now that we let the “yes there are repair guys that can make a stopper from a chunk of glass” fact out of the bag, it goes without saying that a good glass guy could clean up the inscribed number on the bottom of a box :).

And of course, even with mold pressed smaller pieces, due to the manufacturing techniques of the day, as well as possible later polishing to either or both the top and bottom, there might be some minor “fitting” involved even when switching what should be the same basic bases among boxes. A hair taller, a hair thicker would not be out of the question. In that regards consider the following:

We contacted two different owners of incredible box collections. Each checked their Genevieve Box and Gui Box bottoms for us and sent us photos and descriptions. In both photos the Genevieve Box bottom is on the left and the Gui Box bottom is on the right.

Rene Lalique Gui and Genevieve Box Bottoms: Gui on Right and Shorter

Collector 1 sent a photo (just above) showing their Gui box bottom to be shorter than the Genevieve bottom. And noted that the Gui top could not fit properly on the Genevieve bottom unless that bottom was lowered (polished down) slightly.

Rene Lalique Gui and Genevieve Box Bottoms: Gui on Right and Taller

Collector 2 sent a photo (just above) showing their Gui box bottom to be taller than his Genevieve bottom! And this collector noted that the Genevieve box top would not fit over the Gui box bottom unless the Gui bottom was lowered slightly! This is exactly the reverse of Collector 1.

So, either it’s fit and finish at the factory owing to less than exact sizes coming out of the molds at the factory, or later polishing to either the top and/or bottom, or both. But again, the fact remains; the bottoms are basically interchangeable, possibly with some minor glass guy adjusting.

Here is another example of a different replacement part “Want” that was satisfied just last month:

Rene Lalique Ambre Antique Perfume Bottle Close-Up Showing CrackThe request (again, ID’s hidden and minor grammar corrections to make everyone look better):

good day to you from AAA, I am looking for the glass stopper for the COTYS AMBRE ANTIQUE perfume bottle. If anyone can help, many thanks BBB

Our reply:

Hi BBB.

Thanks for visiting the website and for contacting us.

BBB, the following Ebay listing appeared yesterday. The bottle is cracked and may sell very cheaply. The listing does not mention any issues with the stopper, though we’d suggest you confirm that with the seller before bidding. And also note that there is no assurance the stopper from one bottle will fit another. But it may be worth a chance.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RENE-LALIQUE-FLACON-FOR-COTY-AMBER-ANTIQUE-CIRCA-1910-/121087944635

Good luck if you decide to pursue it, and if you don’t get it, let us know and we’ll post your stopper in the wanted section.

Best Regards,

KOL

Their reply:

KOL, thank you so much for spotting this.I will give it a try and let you know. This is the first sniff of a stopper that I have had for a year, so fingers crossed. Best Regards BBB

Our further reply:

Hi BBB. We listed another one of these today that’s at a small house in PA. The pic looks rough, but the stopper may be in good order and it seems a reasonable chance for a bargain if it is.

KOL

Rene Lalique Ambre Antique Perfume Bottle Stopper Next To BottleAnd the last we heard:

Hi KOL, with the help from an American buddy here I managed to get that bottle. It has not arrived in the AAA yet but so pleased I have it. All thanks to you and your diligence, so again many thanks for your help. ( think I’ll look for a nice Perruches bowl next. ) BBB

And of course the big question, is there anything wrong here in replacing a missing or broken part with a supposedly or nearly identical original R. Lalique part? Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.

*** Eli Whitney was born in 1765 in Massachusetts. He invented the Cotton Gin in 1793. It’s an easily made machine that removes seeds from cotton much faster than the previous hand removal method of picking them out one by one. He later manufactured weapons such as muskets and was an aggressive advocate of manufacturing using interchangeable parts. Whitney had a major impact on the entire United States in the antebellum period. Counterintuitively, though the Cotton Gin was a labor saving device, it made slavery a stronger institution in the South and enriched the South by making previously unprofitable cotton types and fields profitable by lowering the cost of production. Cotton production skyrocketed after the introduction of the cotton gin, slave labor became highly profitable, and a declining slave industry was re-invigorated. In the 17 years after the appearance of the Cotton Gin, U.S. cotton exports grew by nearly 200 times! Not 200 percent, but 200 times! As a result, in the decades before the Civil War, cotton accounted for over one-half of all U.S. exports.

Eli Whitney Cotton GinOn the other hand, while the South was engaged in a vast agricultural based commercial and wealth expansion because of the cotton gin, his push to manufacture with interchangeable parts strengthened the North’s existing industrial advantage over the South, and thereby contributed significantly to the North’s victory in the Civil War.

Rene Lalique Palestre Vase Sells For $362,500: A World Record Price For Any R. Lalique Production Vase At Auction

December 14th, 2012

In ancient Greece, the Palaestra evolved into a wrestling center built in many cities at public expense. But they weren’t just big wrestling rooms or gymnasiums. They also had social rooms, dressing rooms, educational areas, and baths.

Rene Lalique Platestre Vase Featuring A Band Of Nude Male Athletes Reminiscent of the ancient Greek PalaestraWhile Homer’s Lliad describes wrestlers in loincloths (somewhere between 1200 B.C. and 800 B.C.), wrestling at the Palaestra later developed into a sport where both training and competition were conducted in the nude

The “no uniform” program is not as surprising as it might seem to some today, from a view looking backwards in time over 2000 years. Ignoring the fact that Spandex** had not yet been invented :), consider that the Greek version of wrestling was a stand-up battle where the object was to throw your opponent to the ground. If the opponent’s back touched the ground, the guy still standing got a point. The first person to get three points was the winner of the match. There was no rolling around on the mat in the way wrestling is practiced today. So there was no trying to pin your opponent. And any kind of hold you placed on your opponent was only permitted on the upper body. The sport is said in legend to have been invented by Theseus, a hero of Greek Mythology depicted below in the center of the photo.

And there you have in a few erudite paragraphs the historical and artistic inspiration for one of the largest and dramatic Rene Lalique Vases, the Palestre. 40 centimeters tall and first introduced in 1928 just before the start of the great worldwide depression, it features a design consisting of a band of nude male athletes in various poses surrounding the entire outside of the great R. Lalique Vase model.

Theseus: Greek Mythological Hero Said To Be The Inventor Of Wrestling Is Shown In The Center Of The PhotoOn December 12th at Christie’s Rockefeller Center in New York, Lot 35 in the sale of a private art deco collection was a frosted and stained version of this vase estimated at $80,000 – $120,000. At the estimate it would have been a record price for this model. However in frenzied bidding tapering down (as always) to the two most determined bidders, the vase made a premium inclusive total of $362,500.

The price is not only a world record price at auction for a Palestre Vase, but it’s a world record price for any commercial or production R. Lalique Vase. A few Cire Perdue Vases have sold for more (and possibly one or two auction sales of the early limited (a few or less examples) mold blown vases have topped this price), but no production vase in color or otherwise has reached this lofty height.

Even in this frothy market (a froth which mainly continues notwithstanding the spotty worldwide economic conditions), the result is a bit surprising. The final price, when viewed as part of the string of record price accomplishments for R. Lalique glass and other objects at auction this year, reflects the increasing appreciation among decorative arts buyers of the important artistic and industrial accomplishments of the great Rene Joules Lalique.

**Spandex was invented in 1959 in the Dupont Lab in Waynesboro Virginia by Joseph Shivers and C. L. Sandquist. The brand name Spandex is just an anagram for “expands”. Outside of the U.S. it is called different things in other countries such as the brand name Lycra in the U.K., elasthanne in France, and other local variants of elastane in Germany, Spain, Italy, and many other countries.

R. Lalique Renard Car Mascot Sets New World Record Price For A Rene Lalique Mascot At Auction

August 19th, 2012

Rene Lalique Renard Fox Car Mascot

It was just 9 months ago, that an unsigned Lalique Renard Hood Ornament appeared in the Pennsylvania countryside and made a world record price for any Rene Lalique Car Mascot at auction of $204,750. High prices and hounds are apparently the two things that can flush out a fox, and a signed example in apparent good order dutifully appeared in the sale announcement for the annual sale of automobiles and related items that Bonhams holds in Carmel California, timed around the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Car Show held each year.

Bonhams usually offers up a good supply of R. Lalique Mascots at this auction, and accompanying the Renard for the August 16th sale were about 20 other Rene Lalique Mascots as well as two brass copies of Rene Lalique Paperweights and Person Majestic copies of the Longchamp and Victoire Car Mascots.

Rene Lalique Tete De Paon Peacock Head Car Mascot In Blue GlassHigh seller was the great Renard as Lot 230 making $338,500 including the buyers premium, and topping the previous record by just about 65%. This example had the block letter signature on the side of the base, a little bit of scuffing, and was said by Bonhams to have great mold definition.

Note that we are reliably informed that this price fell just short of the highest price ever paid at auction for ANY car mascot of any manufacture. That record is said to be held by a Bugatti Royale silver plated standing Elephant mascot that made £205,000 in 2010.

Selling just before the Renard and making a likely World Record price of its own was Lot 228 the horse head Epsom Car Mascot which made $68,500 all-in against a conservative pre-sale estimate. Third place in price department went to a striking blue peacock head Tete De Paon Mascot, one of a pair that surfaced several months back, the first one of which was also sold by Bonhams earlier this year. This example made $43,750 all-in, outselling the first of the pair which had made a premium inclusive $40,000 in April.

Looking at price strength across the board, you might skip over the good all-in prices paid for the small dragonfly Petite Libellule Mascot ($17,500), the greyhound Levrier Mascot ($8,750), the guinea fowl La Pintade ($15,000), the frog Grenouille Mascot ($23,750) and even the ram’s head Tete De Belier ($12,500) and go straight to the usually more price restrained Lot 223 swallow Hirondelle Car Mascot, which made a strong $9,375 affixed to a custom base.

Rene Lalique Hirondelle Swallow MascotOverall, a pretty good run of results for the great Lalique Hood Ornaments ranging form the somewhat common to the extremely rare.

One more general comment about the Renard. It has become commonplace for folks to talk about there being only 5 or 6 or a “a small handful” of these fox hood ornaments in existence. And Bonhams had a catalogue note concerning the Renard to this effect. However, this writer would steer you to double digits, and whether that’s likely 20 or 30 or whatever is a discussion that will have to be left for another day. But take note that 3 have appeared at auction in the past nine months alone, the third being part of the complete Lalique Car Mascot Collection sold in Florida in March 2012.

In the meantime, check our Rene Lalique Car Mascots page here at RLalique.com. It has photos of each mascot in a catalogue format, and links to individual pages of photos and information for each Lalique mascot model.

Lalique Jewelry: Unique R. Lalique Art Nouveau Jewels Sparkle At Sotheby’s New York

February 11th, 2012

Rene Lalique Dragonfly Pendant

Rene Lalique Jewelry hit another auction sales home run at Sotheby’s Important Jewels auction on February 9th, 2012 in New York City. Tucked into the middle of the two session sale were four R. Lalique jewelry items, all thought to be unique pieces from the period before 1905.

Rene Lalique Pendant-Brooch with WatchIn summary, the four lots were estimated in total at $255,000 to $340,000. Against this estimate, the four made $652,000, or over 2 and 1/2 times the low estimate and nearly double the high one.

Lot 253 was the high seller of the group; a wonderful combination Lalique pendant-brooch, with a small watch where you might typically find the trademark suspended natural pearl.

Two coherent pieces, finished well both back and front, they made $188,500 against and estimated $75,000 – $100,000.

2nd high seller and a personal favorite of this writer was Lot 252, a typically designed and presented Lalique Pendant with an off-white enamel face, blue enamel poppies, yellow-green enamel leaves, and sporting a gray-lavender drop pearl. This wonderful Lalique Jewel is shown in a drawing on Page 274 in the seminal work by Sigrid Barten titled Rene Lalique Schmuck und Objects d’art which is available in the Lalique Books section here at RLalique.com.

This amazing piece of R. Lalique artwork made $176,500 against an estimate of $60,000 – $80,000.

Rene Lalique Pendant with Leaves and Poppies3rd place went to the Dragonfly Pendant-Brooch selling as Lot 254 and featuring two facing dragonflies done up in blue, teal, white, and plate blue plique-a-jour enamel, and having a central oval cabochon opal, white opal spindleberries, and stems enameled in white.

The missing pin did not deter bidders from pushing it up to $170,500 against an estimate of $60,000 – $80,000.

4th in price, was Lot 255, a two part offering consisting of a matching Lalique Brooch and Lalique Clasp. Each piece had a central amethyst, each featured white, cream and pink enamel work, each had a well worked mirrored gold patterned back, and the Brooch additionally showed clusters of iridescent glass raspberries.

The nice matched pair made $116,500 again the thrice low $60,000 – $80,000 estimate.

The nearly 400 lot sale at the company’s York Avenue salesrooms totaled just over $10,000,000, with the Lalique Jewelry comprising but 1% of the offered items, yet making over 6% of the sale total.

Once again, the market continues strong as more buyers recognize not just the attractiveness of the works of Rene Lalique, but also Lalique’s importance in art history and the art nouveau and art deco movements. You can find out more about Rene Lalique Jewelry and entire amazing story about the life of the great man by visiting the Rene Lalique Biography, here at RLalique.com: THE Worldwide Gathering Place For Rene Lalique Collectors and R. Lalique Enthusiasts!

Yet Another Rene Lalique Sibling Revealed: Sabino Lalique Makes It R. Lalique Triplets!

December 15th, 2011

Yes friends, you read it right. It turns out that there is a second identical twin of Rene Lalique (that would be identical triplets?), this latest one discovered by an enterprising R. Lalique dealer no less! You can see the amazing resemblance from the three photos that we dug out of the archives here at World Headquarters. The resemblance between the three photos is uncanny!

Rene LaliqueRene LaliqueRene Lalique

The hitherto unknown Sabino Lalique has apparently languished in obscurity for, well for over a 100 years until finally being discovered by an RLalique dealer moonlighting as a genealogist. We’ll just shorten that to Genie, which makes more sense than you might know. For as western readers of Arabian Nights will remember, Aladdin was granted wishes for doing what? For freeing the Genie from a LAMP! So Genie it is. And shown just below in the first photo is the Genie’s lamp, being sold under the auction title “Illuminated nude figure believed to be by Sabino Lalique”!

Sabino Lalique Glass LampAnd to think the fruit of all the Genie research is being given away for a mere £650 on Ebay no less. Just when the thought occurs to you that every story ever to be told has been told, a good morning laugh awaits.

Of course, all this would be merely ridiculous if some guy picked up a piece of opalescent glass at a garage sale and claimed or inferred some relation to Rene Lalique (of course maybe that’s what happened here :). But when a longtime R. Lalique dealer ties in the great Rene Lalique to this? Well, ridiculous would be most kind. We especially like how Genie tossed out Suzanne this and that in the auction ad. We’ve got a creative thinking Genie here for sure, with some real ingenie-ous tendencies!

Sally Rand Frankart Glass LampFunny thing is that even the Sabino thing might be questionable. We are not Sabino experts, so it might be Sabino for all we know. It might be Fenton too. Heck for all we know, it might be Picasso’s girlfriend in a one-off glass creation that old Pablo thought up after a basketball game.

Seriously, to be frank (and yes, pun intended as you’ll see shortly) if we had to throw out an equally likely possibility in our minds, we’d propose FRANKART glass as a good guess.

Frankart glass you ask? Well yes there is such a thing. And the 2nd photo shows what is advertised as Frankart and identified as a portrayal of Sally Rand (real name Harriet Beck), the famous Deco and Depression era flapper burlesque star! Sally was especially noted for her ostrich feather fan dance AND her balloon bubble dance!

In Chicago during the 1933 World’s Fair, Sally was arrested four times on the same day for indecent exposure while riding a white horse thru the City while seemingly (but not really) nude!

And ignoring Genie, whom we’ve never met, there’s more of an esoteric ying-yang relationship with Sally Rand and our own experience than meets the eye, all from reading the articles and never looking at the pictures of course, and which explains why we’re so interested in Sally. You see, Sally was arrested for going around creating the illusion of indecency, whereas some people we know in certain circles*** are busy doing just the opposite; going around creating the illusion of decency. Hmmmm.

Sally Rand Frankart Glass Lamp BaseSabino Lalique Glass Lamp BaseAnd when you look at the details of these two pieces together, the one attributed to Sabino Lalique and the one attributed to Frankart and to Sally Rand, well the thought occurs to expansive thinkers that old Sabino Lalique might have worked for Frankart at some point and used some of his old ideas to create similar glass figures. Heck, while Rene Lalique was busy associating with Sarah Bernhardt, old Sabino must have been out flapping his wings, taking in a little Burlesque, and associating with an entirely different group of glamorous people. How else would he have met Sally and known about the balloon bubble burlesque thing to use for a lamp design?

The whole thing is Genie-us!

The final touch in the online ad for the Sabino Lalique lamp are the entire “Terms and conditions of the sale”: “It is quite normal on R Lalique pieces to have a certain amount of bubbles or lines and small imperfections related to the manufacturing of the piece and also a certain amount of wear and scratches is expected due to their age. I would be happy to deal with any queries and explain the extent of these details about any item.”

Ignoring the obvious question: “What exactly does this have to do with the lamp?”, why not S Lalique? 🙂

*** Circle, as used here, has several synonyms in the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus including pack, ring, crowd, and bunch.

 
 

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.