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Lalique Bacchantes Vase: Post War Opalescent Cristal Lalique Bacchantes Vase in Roadshow Video

Bacchantes Opalescent Lalique Cristal VaseThe modern Lalique Company has reproduced the Rene Lalique Bacchantes Vase in crystal basically continuously since production of Lalique crystal began after the end of World War II. These crystal reproductions have continued to bring this iconic Rene Lalique design into the homes of tens of thousands of people worldwide even to this day.

The Bacchantes Vase has been reproduced most commonly in clear and frosted crystal, but also yellow amber and gray colored crystal as well.

Unfortunately, some of these modern crystal vases have appeared with altered signatures and sometimes added patinas to be passed off as original R Lalique Bacchantes Vases. By far the most common vase seen in this altered state has been the clear and frosted version. And this has created problems for unsuspecting collectors of the works of the great Rene Lalique.

But little known is the fact that the Bacchantes was also reproduced after the death of Rene Lalique in opalescent crystal, appearing with the signature LALIQUE CRISTAL FRANCE! Pictured here is just such a vase and two photos of the signature. One of these crystal opalescent versions appeared at the U.S. Antiques Roadshow in 2003 in Oklahoma City and we thought bringing this Roadshow Video to your attention would be a good opportunity to talk about the existence of these crystal reproductions and give a little information and advice about what to look out for.

A modern opalescent Bacchantes Vase has also appeared with a typical script Lalique France signature, and bearing all the other signs of post war production as discussed below.

Bacchantes Opalescent Lalique Crystal Vase Signature

The hallmark of the post war crystal reproduction Bacchantes is that the bottom of the vase is flat and does not have the concave or indented center section to the underside of the base which is typical of original Rene Lalique Bacchantes. This is the key point to look out for. Does this mean that any concave bottom Bacchantes is guaranteed to be an original Rene Lalique vase? No, and for two reasons.

First, we cannot say that there was never a concave bottom crystal version made post war OR that a flat bottom Bacchantes was never made by Rene Lalique. Anything is possible. But even the Oracle has never seen a flat bottom Bacchantes vase that was definitely an authentic original Rene Lalique Glass Bacchantes.

Bacchantes Opalescent Lalique Cristal Vase Signature

So in any event, for R Lalique collectors, we recommend avoiding any flat bottom Bacchantes Vase even if you believe it to be an authentic original. It’s just not worth being wrong, and getting one with the concave bottom eliminates many risks and concerns. So when they tell you “It was made that way”, just reply, “I’d like one made the other way“!

But the second point: It is possible to alter a flat bottom vase and polish out a concave center section to the underside of the base. It’s a lot of work and will involve some expense and some risk, but the stakes are high, with the original R Lalique vases being worth much more than the post war crystal reproductions. At the time this article was originally written it said: “We have not seen such a vase, but technically it is possible and just something to keep in mind.” However, we have seen several such vases in the years since this article originally appeared. We have seen modern colored Bacchantes that were altered by experienced glass workers from the Alsace region of France, including making the bottoms concave and adding forged pre-war signatures. The perpetrators were apparently caught but not until after some number of forged Bacchantes had made their way to the market. Those expertly altered and forged vases are almost certainly still out there in various collections and will appear in the future.

There actually is a third point, that there might be close copies out there! But none are known so this is not an issue.

Bacchantes Opalescent Rene Lalique Authentic Glass Vase Concave Underside and SignatureOnce you are past the flat bottom (see photo on left for an authentic Rene Lalique Glass Bacchantes Vase concave underside), all the regular general rules of evaluation apply. Three sample criteria to keep in mind are:

1. Crystal is heavier than glass, and it feels different. Your best defense is to have handled thousands of pieces of R Lalique so you might know just by handling if you have an original glass version, or a later crystal reproduction.

2. An equally good defense, especially with the amounts of money involved, is to hire an independent reputable Rene Lalique Expert Consultant to evaluate or locate potential purchases. Getting independent advice from a reputable source flows nicely to our third sample criteria:

3. Deal with an honest and competent seller!!! Dealing with an honest and competent seller is not the end of all potential problems, but if you have a choice, an honest and competent seller is the way to go. Not starting out every purchase having to think about how the seller is trying to get one over on you* does provide some assurance and makes the collecting experience a lot more enjoyable. Of course when buying online or making one-off purchases thru similar methods, you may not know much about the seller and we highly recommend in any event getting as educated as you can and spending your time focusing on the item you plan to purchase.

But if you know your seller or dealer makes a living selling R Lalique, then you definitely want to be dealing with someone that is both honest and competent. And when you combine dealing with an honest and competent seller with getting independent expert advice from a reputable consultant, you have drastically reduced the chance to have regrets and you are much more likely to obtain high quality examples at fair prices and build a great collection in a much more pleasant way.

So on the day when the flat bottom opalescent Bacchantes comes your way, you will know to say: I’d like one made the other way! And yes, we know poetry is not our strong suit** here at RLalique.com!

And if you want to know more about Lalique Crystal, the crystal items made after the death of Rene Lalique, a good starting point is the Lalique Crystal section of the Rene Lalique Biography at RLalique.com. There you’ll find links to all the information on RLalique.com about Lalique Crystal, and also a link to the website of the modern crystal maker Lalique S.A.

*to get one over on you – to try and slip something by you, to dupe, trick, fool, or deceive you. On the other side of the pond there are similar expressions with similar meanings in use in different parts of the country – “get over on you”, “to have you off”, or “to have you on” are three examples.

**strong suit – something at which one excels

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