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Rene Lalique Ashtrays and the R Lalique Theory of Buses

One of the nice guys (you might ask if there are any other kind) in R Lalique collecting has what we call The R Lalique Theory of Buses. He says, with the frustration of a collector that can’t find what he’s looking for: “R Lalique pieces are like buses. You can never find one when you are looking for one, but when you aren’t looking, they just keep coming down the road.”

Rene Lalique Ashtray PelicanWell, his theory was proved right once again last night with the appearance on Ebay of another rare Rene Lalique Ashtray Pelican in Opalescent Glass. This would be the second one in less than two months! We wrote at the end of July about the appearance of one of these rare Rene Lalique Ashtrays that came up for auction with a very low starting price and no reserve. It made $1343, a price we considered extremely reasonable at the time.

The latest entry in the pelican contest appeared with a low reserve of $200 that has already been met. The seller has a clean rating and states:

Condition is excellent with no chips, cracks, or restoration.

Here is a link to a saved/cached image version of the original 110436377977 listing online. 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 Pelican AshtrayAnd for those of you on the edge of your seats who are wondering about the history of all this: The first known public bus was introduced by none other than Blaise Pascal, the great French mathematician and philosopher in Paris in 1662. It consisted of a multi-seat carriage. And unknown (until now) to our frustrated collector friend who put together the whole R Lalique Theory of Buses, that is the historical tie that connects the works of another great Frenchman (the one we are most interested in), that came along centuries later, to the whole worldwide bus continuum*! Who could have guessed?

And who is the philosophizing collector, the Pascal wannabe that came up with all this bus stuff? Well, we won’t throw him under the bus** by revealing his identity. Sorry, we couldn’t resist that one.

You can also find this item listed in our Rene Lalique Auctions section here at RLalique.com.

*Until the movie Back to the Future came out, most people had never heard the word “continuum“. It was used in the movie in the phrase “The Space-Time Continuum“. Continuum refers to a coherent whole that can be characterized as a progression or sequence. And no, we are not going to discuss the flux capacitor. That is beyond the scope of this article.

** Throw Under The Bus is a recent American phrase, coming into use in the last 20 or 30 years. No one knows (well, no one that we know knows) the exact origin, but generally it’s used to indicate betrayal, or sacrificing someone else, such a friend or colleague.

December 3rd, 2009 Update: Switched Item Link To Cached Image Version

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