R Lalique Cire Perdue Wasp Vase by Rene Lalique


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A Fabulous Well Curated Collection Comes To Auction At Bonhams London On February 20th!

Rene Lalique Alicante Vase In Multi-Cased Green And Opalescent Glass Close-Up

This is one of those few times that we are going to give the ending before we report the story. And the ending is this:

Any serious collector of R. Lalique within a days traveling distance of London by air or train would be nuts* not to go and preview this sale.

Considering the number of rare and hardly ever seen objects, combined with the incredible attention to quality, and the discernment with which this collection was assembled, what we have here is a tour de force of many areas of the collecting field that will astound fans of the great Rene Lalique.

Basically, it’s a graduate level course on what the goods** can look like. And for a serious number of the lots, you can count on one hand how many current collectors have ever had that particular model item in their hand.

If you go to Bonham’s to see and handle all the pieces in this sale, it will likely change your outlook about what constitutes quality. And now to our story.

On February 20th at Bonham’s Knightsbridge in London, over 200 R. Lalique items from a single UK collection will be offered. The collection was assembled over several decades by a low-key, persistent, diligent, and well-informed R. Lalique lover who traveled the world to acquire the various objects on offer.

A numbers breakdown does not do justice to the rarity and quality of the various groups of objects, but here are the approximate counts:

Cire Perdue 1, Vases 47, Paperweights 32***, Car Mascots 40***, Statues/Statuettes 7, Perfume Bottles 9, Boxes 13, Glasses 4, Decanters 8, Seals 24, Bowls 6, Decorations 6, Ashtrays 3.

In addition to the above there are some single lots of particular types including an Invitation, Menu, Pendant, Perfume Burner, Candelabra, and Knife Rests.

Rene Lalique Vitesse Car Mascot In Opalescent GlassBut the story is in the models. Looking at paperweights for example, ignoring crossover mascot/paperweight models, the paperweights comprise all the known commercial examples except a single religious theme 1943 paperweight. That means the incredibly rare Crab, Lobster, and both Sardine Paperweights are offered!

The are about 2 dozen seals comprising many extremely rare models including Chamois, Les Sources, and Pigeons. And there are yellow amber examples of both Bressan and Soucis.

The 8 decanters have early and rare models including Aubepines, Masques (with the rare metal stopper), Lezards, and Six Tetes.

Only 4 glasses? How about Quatre Grenouilles, Bague Lezards, and not one but two Mouettes, the seldom seen model made for the Queen of England on a State visit to France in the 1930’s.

The boxes? There are hard to find models like Guirlande de Graines and Louveciennes, but also the impossible to find and totally cool Faune et Figures Box.

The handful of bowls include the rich blue Anges Bowl, the opalescent Cyprins Coupe Refermee, and the opalescent, enameled, and patinated Fleur Bowl.

The car mascots are almost all there. And the quality and rarity will jump out at you. Who do you know with an opalescent Vitesse Car Mascot and an opalescent Chrysis Car Mascot in their collection? How about two different blue Tete De Paon Mascots?

Even the ashtrays have bragging rights to include an alexandrite Alaska and a yellow amber Ecureuil.

Finally, the vases are very heavy in early and hard-to-find, in addition to their extremely high quality. Grande Boule Lierre, Lezards et Bluets, Hirondelles, Inseparables, Camees, Lutteurs, Sirenes et Cabochons, Montargis, Bordure Epines, and Quatre Groupes De Lezards are all offered. And there are some great rare colored vases as well to include the ice blue glass Pigeons Vase and the multi-cased green and opalescent Alicante.

A lot of collectors and dealers toss around the phrase “museum quality” to describe a piece. In this sale, you don’t have to take the seller’s word for it. Here, you have a large number of pieces that were actually exhibited at a museum. And it wasn’t just any museum, it was THE museum. Many of these items have been on loan to the Musee Lalique in France for years, and others were loaned for special exhibition there.

Rene Lalique Frise Monnaie Du Pape Cire PerdueAnd the provenance on many of the other pieces is notable. We’ll give just 2 examples to make the point. The single Cire Perdue traces to the milestone December 1995 Kagan Sale in New York City. And the great Mouche Seal traces to the December 2005 sale in Paris of items from the estate of Marie Claude Lalique.

The wrap-up: This collector was not just checking off boxes****, he was filling them in.

There are opportunities here that a typical collector will likely never have again. If you are serious about your R. Lalique, you might plan accordingly.

All the lots can be seen HERE!

* Nuts has many meanings, but here we use it to mean crazy and all the associated words such as mental, bonkers, loco, scatty, meshuga and the like.

** “The goods” in this use is not intended to be the opposite of “the bads”, though these goods are surely so. Here we use it to mean “the stuff” or “the merchandise”.

*** There is some crossover of models for mascots and paperweights.

**** “Checking off boxes” is used here as a metaphor for checking off things on a list by just going thru the motions to complete each task to the most minimum standard.

Rene Lalique Trois Sardines Paperweight

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