R Lalique Cire Perdue Wasp Vase by Rene Lalique

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Welcome To The R. Lalique Blog

June 12th, 2024

Glad you stopped by to visit! 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!

Swatch Confirms There Is No Document in the ATO Archives Linking Rene Lalique To The Normandie Clock

February 28th, 2024

February 28, 2024: Earlier this month, we contacted the Japanese watch company Swatch. Swatch is in possession of the ATO archives. We asked them to research the archives to answer one simple question: Is there any actual documentation in the archives connecting René Lalique in any way to the clock that ATO created around 1935 as a commission from CGT (the boat owner) for the maiden voyage of the Normandie Ocean Liner?

They agreed to research the ATO archives for us and several days later responded indicating there is no document in the ATO archives linking René Lalique to the Normandie Clock. All our communications with Swatch are documented; there was no phone call or chitchat.

This should end the ridiculous false claims and false inferences made-up by auction houses that say there is a document in the ATO archives somehow linking René Lalique to the ATO Normandie clock. Sadly, these claims have been made by several auction houses that were informed of the falsity of the claims of René Lalique’s involvement prior to their selling a Normandie clock or a later knock-off/close-copy version of the original commissioned Normandie clock with the claim of Lalique’s involvement. Just referring to the knock/off close-copy version as a Normandie Clock is ridiculous especially when you are aware that ATO removed all Normandie and boat owner markings from the original clock in order mass-market their later knock/off close-copy of that original clock. That later version was “de-Normandized” and then mass-marketed! So the value of the much more common knock/off close-copy mass-market version is not the same as the value of an actual Normandie Clock that has NORMANDIE spelled out on the dial, and the molded boat owners name on the reverse. There were a limited number of original Normandie Clocks made, and they were turned over to CGT to give to passengers on the first voyage. We have seen some clever wording and false statements in various auction house listings conflating the two clocks when the one they have is the much more common less valuable later knock/off mass-marketed close-copy.

Further Note: This ATO Archives false document claim when made is always made by auction houses and their “experts” and not by any credible institutional organization! We have never heard this claim being made by any museum including the Musée Lalique in Alsace (who also confirmed directly to us that they have no evidence to support a claim of René Lalique involvement with the clock). And now we know for certain, this false claim is not supported by any document in the ATO archives. It’s just a made-up and false claim by formerly respectable auction houses and their various “experts” that could never point to any evidence of the truth of the claim. It is now completely debunked by Swatch. And needless to say, we are gratified that Swatch agreed to undertake this time-consuming research on our behalf. They had no obligation to do so, and their assistance will obviously help put an end to this nonsense and make our collecting field a safer place for typical collectors.

And as always, if anyone out there in Lalique land thinks we have anything wrong in this announcement, please leave any comments about the announcement at Reality Check. We will promptly and cheerfully make any necessary corrections! Note that to leave comments you have to register. Registration is typcially quick and simple. We prefer that comments get made at the previous link where unless they violate our terms of use or are inappropriate in other ways, they will become available to all readers. If you don’t want to register and comment in the blog, you can email us at info@rlalique.com with NORMANDIE in the subject line. We reserve the right at all times to make use of incoming emails as we see fit, including but not limited to copying and pasting them directly into the appropriate linked section for blog comments on this topic.

This announcement was updated with additional information, commentary, and commenting options on March 1,3,5 2024.



Auction Houses We Recommend Typical R. Lalique Collectors Avoid!

February 21st, 2024

Dear Readers, this will be a slow growing post beginning with the creation of a list of auction house names. Time permitting explanations will be added for many auction houses explaining why we included them on this list.

And when we say “Typical R. Lalique Collectors” we are excluding sophisticated and knowledgeable collectors with many years of collecting experience who may have already amassed large collections or been involved with R. Lalique for decades. Most R. Lalique collectors have a few to a few dozen pieces. They have bought things they liked, and are looking for opportunities to acquire more R. Lalique items that appeal to them. They don’t have the expertise of long time collectors because they don’t have the same level of experience in the collecting field. From our experience, many or most typical collectors are hoping that the items they buy will appreciate in value over time, and provide some kind of return on their investment while they enjoy their items as decorative objects.

Also, many of the places that we will refer to as auction houses, are just retail stores running online auctions as part of their marketing strategy. Some are just people in an office so there is no store, AND no live events. So it’s not just places that have a live auction that you can attend. For many of these “auction houses”, the only way to bid is online as they don’t conduct live in-person auctions. Finally, we will not list auctions on our main auction page that are being conducted by any of the “auction houses” on this list. And as is always our position, if anyone has a problem with any information contained in the following list, we will cheerfully and promptly make an necessary corrections.

So enough with the chitchat, the first entry is a no brainer.

1. HERITAGE AUCTIONS – DALLAS TEXAS. Heritage is one of the largest auction houses in the world by total sales, and they may be one of the top five auction houses in the world when ranked by sales. Heritage is generally well respected. Unfortunately, Heritage has a history of offering fake non-R. Lalique items as R. Lalique. They claim their expert in the works of René Lalique is the leading U.S. authority! Here it is from their website: “He has held an annual exhibition and sale of Lalique glass hood ornaments at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance since 1993, and is considered this country’s leading authority on the work of Rene Lalique.” So out the window go the ignorance and mistake excuses:). We’ve written several blog posts about the goings on at Heritage in regard to fake offerings, one of which got nearly $12,000 at one of their sales, and another of which is the bizarre Square Plate with the phony signature that is still on the Heritage website as we write this (Feb 21, 2024) looking for a sale, being re-offered apparently by the lucky winning bidder through some kind of re-offer program (pass the trash?) that Heritage has in place for those fortunate winning bidders.

2. GOLDFIELD AUCTIONS – WEISWAMPTACH LUXEMBOURG.

They had a blue fake Ecailles Vase coming up in their September 2023 auction. We notified them with all appropriate information and evidence that it was a fake. They went ahead and sold it anyway. The got €1980 for it according to their own report of the sale.

3. ACTIVITY AUCTIONS – DOVER DELEWARE

Activity auctions has a business model that if potential bidders knew what they were up to, they would have no bidders!

We aren’t sure what to call this place. Their business model appears to be as follows: Find Ebay auctions with brand name items. Take info from the Ebay listings including photos, and list it in their own online auction elsewhere at a higher price than the Ebay listing without of course mentioning that they do not have possession or ownership of the item they are “auctioning” off, or that it is available for less money on Ebay, or that they have no authority to sell the item. It seems you can just look at any item in any of their online auctions that appear in LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, and Bidsquare, and just go to Ebay and pay less.

Assumedly if someone bids at their auction on LiveAuctioneers/Invaluable etc. and the bid is higher than the Ebay fixed price, they will then buy it from the Ebay seller if they can, and deliver it at the higher price to their winning bidder. What could go wrong 🙂

Basically it appears they are auctioning off things they do not have possession of, that they are not in control of, that they do not have on consigment in any way, and that they have no authority to sell because they do not own or have the item in their possession. Based on their apparent business model as described above, no one should ever buy anything from Activity Auctions as it seems it will always be cheaper going to the current owner and possessor of the item on Ebay. Obviously the bidders in their online auctions are not aware of the this information. And thinking about their business model, who would want to involve themselves with these people if they were aware of what they were doing? Nobody.

4. NCM Auctions (UK)

NCM auctions has a statement in their auction listings: Multiple Site – Delivery Arranged. That raises questions about what their business model looks like, so we sent them the following email just asking some simple questions:

Hello. We were considering listing your upcoming sale on our website but wanted to confirm a couple of things based on information in the lot listings. Our questions:
Are you currently in possession of the items to be auctioned? If so what is their current physical location? What does the the statement “Multiple Site – Delivery Arranged” indicate?

Please let us know,

Thanks,

Greg

After waiting over a month for a reply, we sent another email as follows:

Hello. Hoping to get a response from the below email (that was just a copy of the previous email). Please let us know.

Thanks

Greg

NCM never responded to our emails including not responding to the question if they are in possession of the items they are auctioning (seems like an easy yes/no answer). As a result we recommend you avoid this auction house until such time as they decide to give more details about their business model so that collectors bidding at their auctions can assess what risks there may or may not be when bidding with NCM.

Normandie Loose-Copy Not R. Lalique Clock At Auction June 24th!

Diogenes Would Be Smiling!

May 8th, 2023

We can’t start without saying that we have never seen a scintilla* of evidence linking René Lalique to the commissioned Normandie Clock or to this later loose-copy of that clock. The clocks are great art deco objects! But evidence free claims do not make them R. Lalique! No such claims are being made for the clock discussed below.

Diogenes Statue in his birthplace Sinop Turkey

The 5th/4th Century BC cynic and philosopher Diogenes spent much of his time pushing back against what he saw as the base and corrupt Greek society in which he lived. He harassed and criticized Plato, dogged the Greek philosopher Antisthenes, and mocked Alexander The Great to his face! Diogenes would walk the streets during the day carrying a lamp, and when asked what he was doing replied “I’m looking for an honest man.” **

We don’t know if he ever found an honest man, but we have! And his name is Romain Merien.

On June 24, 2023 in Orleans France at the Pousse-Cornet – Valoir Auction House, a later loose-copy of the original Normandie Clock is coming up for sale as Lot 115. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a description for this clock at auction that is even close to accurate, but the dry spell will end in Orleans on June 24th!

Here is the lot description in French followed by the Google translator English Version:

Maison ATO
Rare pendulette en verre opalescent moulé à décor en léger relief sur le cadran figurant le paquebot Normandie.
Elle repose sur une base pyramidale simulant des vagues
Marquée a revers ATO – Made in France
H: 15 cm Un micro éclat dans la partie supérieure
Modèle proche de la pendulette offerte lors du voyage inaugural du Normandie en 1935

ATO House
Rare molded opalescent glass clock with light relief decoration on the dial depicting the Normandy liner.
It rests on a pyramidal base simulating waves
Marked on the reverse ATO – Made in France
H: 15cm A micro chip in the upper part
Model close to the clock offered during the maiden voyage of Normandy in 1935

If you’re looking for one of these clocks, we recommend you consider this one. Why not support the honest offerers as opposed to those making baseless, undocumented, ridiculous, and flat out false claims.

For extensive discussion and information on our site about this clock see the Normandie Later Loose-Copy Clock Page.

Normandie Later Loose-Copy Clock Not René Lalique

NOTE: Following is the link to the original Lot 115 Clock listing on drouot.com.

You can contact Romain at +33 02 38 54 00 00 / orleans@poussecornet.com and the web site is Pousse-Cornet.

* Scintilla is a tiny trace.

** There is some debate about the translation typically used in English whether or not it’s just “man” or “honest man”, but the “honest man” version we are using literally creates the theme for our article so of course we went with it! At World Headquarters we call it Literary License!

*** Diogenes Statue Image Credit Michael F. Schönitzer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Square Deal On Offer At Heritage?

December 29th, 2022

Back on October 22, 2015 Heritage Auctions sold a fake plate as an “R. Lalique Clear and Frosted Square Plate circa 1930. 6 inches long”. The plate is obviously ridiculous and any signature on it for R. Lalique in any way would be a forgery. Bravo, the lucky winning bidder for the total nonsense plate paid only $187.50 all-in according to the Heritage website as shown in the screen shot below. What a bargain.

Assumedly, that lucky winning bidder, apparently trying to turn their supposed luck into actual profits, has the fake plate for sale for $995 on the Heritage website through some kind of private sale or re-offer program that Heritage has for its customers.

If you believe the Heritage description about the expertise of their Lalique “authority” (according to the Heritage Bio: so and so “is considered this country’s leading authority on the work of Rene Lalique”), putting the fake plate into circulation at one of their auctions cannot be some kind of mistake, misunderstanding, or oversight. It’s a joke, and unfortunately the joke is on the current owner assuming they actually paid the $187.50 shown on the Heritage website for the fake plate.

This is not the first time we have highlighted fake items offered as R. Lalique through Heritage in recent years. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were the last time? The “authority” at Heritage sold their reputation for just under $12,000 with the obviously fake Ecailles Vase. A previous post concerning the infamous fake “Unfinished Pink Acanthes Vase” put the value of the authority’s reputation at $500 (but apparently you could have made a lower offer). And now we see this fake plate that drops that value to under $200. How low will this go before it stops?

Below is a screen shot of the square deal on the Heritage website. And here is a direct link so you can see the Fake Square Plate for yourself at Heritage.

Louis Cartier & René Lalique Rare Brooch At A Christie’s Paris Online Jewelry Sale

July 27th, 2022

    

    

    

OUTER SPACE

Selling on July 7th, 2022 as Lot 17 in a Christie’s Paris online auction finally appears evidence of the long rumored collaboration between Cartier and Lalique! The unlikely confirmation came in the form of a stork, wolf, and sun motif platinum and rock crystal 8-sided boatload of rose-cut diamonds and a couple of square-cut sapphires brooch that the auction house dates to 1910. Crazy when you think about it that this masterpiece of early 20th century design has seemingly remained hidden from public view (or at least hidden from our view) for over 110 years until it came out in Paris in July. And sure enough, when you turn it over, there are signatures for both Cartier and Lalique! What are the odds that it appears in our lifetimes? How blessed are we to even see a picture of it?      

    

    

    

    

    

PLANET EARTH

Now, returning to planet earth, there was no rumor of collaboration between Cartier and Lalique that ever reached our rumor piqued ears, we made that up. And conceding we don’t know everything (just don’t tell our kids that), in the last 110 years no evidence of any such collaboration has appeared. When asked, the auction house said the only evidence they have for saying anything about a collaboration is the R. Lalique signature on the back of the brooch. And there we have it of course. Wishful thinking standing reality on its head with no documentation. In keeping with our often stated advice to typical collectors, signatures, no matter how much wishful thinking is floating around in outer space above, do not typically authenticate R. Lalique pieces down here on planet earth. Most signatures are easily faked. And while some signatures are obviously fake (we’ll leave you to judge for yourself which category the R. Lalique signature on the brooch fits into from among the several possible options), it is meaningless to evaluate a signature if you cannot document or back-up the piece the signature is on. We advise collectors to evaluate the piece first, and then look to the signature for confirmation on their judgment. In this case, the first obvious question would be “What was Lalique’s contribution to this piece?”. Was it the wolf, the stork, the sun, the shape, the diamonds filled surround, the sapphires, the platinum, the rock cyrstal…? Another might be … What about the design, materials, and style of this piece tells you it’s from our guy? And one more thought you might have is …… Why is this the apparently first we’ve heard about it in 110 years? If you conclude it’s just not him, then no signature should convince you otherwise. Lalique kept lots of records, drawings, etc. We assume Cartier did the same. And a piece assigned this level of importance would hopefully have been mentioned or pictured in period publications. These guys were in business to make money. Why collaborate if you aren’t going to tell anyone :). The judgment of the market? At a seemingly low estimate of €20,000 – €40,000, the brooch made €22,680 all-in. Heck, even FAKE molded all-glass dome shaped mass-produced commercially sold rings falsely claimed to be R. Lalique have made around that much without any signature at all and with a much shorter story. Maybe the “We’ll take your word for it” crowd has a spending limit in that €20,000 or so range?

As is our modus operandi, if anyone out there in R. Lalique Land thinks we have anything wrong in this post, please let us know by posting a comment here. We will promptly and cheerfully make any appropriate corrections. And we welcome any comments from anyone having additional relevant information.

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

July 8th, 2021

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

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

Im Kinsky Auction House Vienna CEO And Equity Partners

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

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

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

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

Im Kinsky Auction House In Vienna Offers A Fake Ecailles Vase as René Lalique On July 6th, 2021

June 29th, 2021

Fake Ecailles Vase At Im Kinsky Vienna Austria Falsely Advertised As René LaliqueAuthentic Ecailles Vase by René Lalique Pictured on Page 51 Of The Book The Glass Of Lalique By Christopher Van PercyAnother fake Ecailles Vase has appeared, this time in Vienna at the auction house Im Kinsky.

The blue vase pictured to the left is being offered as Lot No. 627 in the Im Kinsky July 6th, 2021 auction and it carries the Est: €2000 – €4000.

Here is a link to see the listing on Invaluable for that Fake Ecailles Vase.

Humorously in Im Kinsky’s lot description for the fake, they point to Page 51 in the 1977 Christopher Vane Percy book The Glass Of Lalique as a reference for their fake vase. We show you the Percy vase on the right.

Of course Percy has an authentic Ecailles in his book as you can see here. So there is no way the design on it matches the fake at Im Kinsky.

Just below we have also included a photo of the “Source Of The Problem Vase”. The pictured vase is a model by an unknown maker. Someone got their hands on one* of those models and removed the top rim and part of the neck and put a forged signature on the underside to create the fake Ecailles Vase above. Obviously the original designer/maker of the “Source Of The Problem Vase” was not trying to make a copy or deceive anyone. It’s the later alterations that create the problem. And then of course, once the fake vase shows up on Im Kinsky’s doorstep, they inexplicably offer it as René Lalique Vase “Ecailles” after at a minimum having seen the Percy photo.

Loose Copy With Rim Of Ecailles Vase - This Is The Source Of The Problem VaseWhen we saw the fake being offered we sent Im Kinsky a detailed email on June 21st to their office@imkinsky.com email address with an explanation about the vase, directing them to the various reference places and evidence on the website.

Their website has the office@imkinsky.com email address as the contact for the 2 people pictured under the heading “CEO and Equity Partners”. We figured we’d go right to the top!

Following is the text of that email.

Note: We converted the three information links in the email for purposes of this article to clickable links for the convenience of our readers, and we corrected typos:

Hello. In regard to Lot 627 July 6th – René Lalique Vase “Ecailles”, the vase in your photo (attached to this reply) is a fake. It’s not R. Lalique and it does not match the reference you have given in your lot description for the photo in the Percy book. Any signature on (the) vase in Lot 627 for R. Lalique is a forgery.

We commend our article on this subject to you:

Ecailles Vase Copies On The Loose

And we recommend you refer to the model page on the website for the Ecailles Vase to see many legitimate examples of this vase and see what authentic Ecailles Vases look like:

Ecailles Vases

You can also see the following page that has several of the same fakes as yours in different colors:

Ecailles Vase Close Calls

If you have any doubts after reviewing the article and the other pages, we strongly recommend you consult a local expert with knowledge of R. Lalique that you are familiar with.

We will look forward to hearing from you, and if you have any questions, we would be happy to answer them if we can.

Best Regards,

Greg

Your description:
Description: René Lalique Vase “Ecailles” blue opalglass, satin-coated; carved signature on the bottom: “R. Lalique France N: 1080” h. 25.3 cm Christopher Vane Percy, René Lalique. Das Glas, Würzburg 1981, p. 51


Greg Zimmerman

RLalique.com

Free R. Lalique Authentications For Auction Houses

Free Worldwide R. Lalique Auction Listings For Auction Houses

END OF EMAIL

Not having heard back from the auction house after a few days, on June 24th we forwarded the same email to a person listed on their website as an Expert for Art Nouveau & Design, and to another person listed on their website as an Expert Assistant for Art Nouveau & Design. That area of Expertise just seemed to be the closest to R. Lalique on the list of all the many experts and areas of expertise they advertise they have at Im Kinsky. And we wanted to try to make sure the email got into the right hands.

However as of June 29th, 2021, a full week from our first email, we have not heard back from anyone at Im Kinsky and the vase remains on-offer in their auction catalogues with the false claim of René Lalique Vase “Ecailles” for the auction that is now only a week away. As a result we decided to go ahead and publish this article so that interested parties and anyone doing research in the future may be aware that the vase in Lot 627 on July 6th, 2021 at Im Kimsky is in fact NOT a René Lalique Vase “Ecailles”. It is an unrelated vase that was purposefully altered by a person or persons unknown who also added a phony signature to the vase. That phony signature includes the René Lalique & Cie model number for a real Ecailles Vase. The addition of that forged model number eliminates any doubt that the alterations were all done to facilitate the false and ridiculous claim (Grandma would say “outlandish” claim) that the vase is an authentic R. Lalique Ecailles Vase.

You may have heard the expression: “You can write the word dog on the side of a cat, but that won’t make the cat bark”. Hopefully all the various relevant experts at Im Kinsky (whoever they may be) will realize there is no barking going on here. But if they do hear the barking, and if they see their blue fake as identical to the Percy vase, someone might want to look into group discount rates at local Vienna audiologists and optometrists to schedule ear and eye checks.

As usual, we emphasize that what the seller or auction house knows or doesn’t know, did or didn’t do, thought or didn’t think, and all that kind of stuff, is not really important to you as a buyer when building your collection. The only thing is for you as a collector to be sufficiently knowledgeable and careful to avoid nightmare items such as this one and get the right stuff.

UPDATE July 8, 2021: Im Kinsky scandalously went ahead and sold the fake vase at their July 6th, 2021 sale. It made a hammer of €5000. See our succinct Im Kinsky Sold The Fake Ecailles Report detailing their disappointing action. END OF UPDATE

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

*It’s possible that they got their hands on two of the same color of this model. Time will tell.

Worldwide Auction Listings Guideline Changes

June 24th, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ebay’s Hardweejun Rides Again

March 27th, 2021

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

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

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

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

Let’s get right to a couple specific examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coty Galeries Lafayette La Feuillaison Perfume Bottle Advertised as Rene Lalique

March 26th, 2021

Rare Rene Lalique Galeries Lafayette La Feuillaison Perfume Bottle – 82694 Updated 7-4-21 to delete link to Ebay listing that no longer works.

You know when you see a listing like the one at the above link; the seller usually has some knowledge on some level. After all the bottle is not signed for Rene Lalique, nothing on the bottle or label would point you to Rene Lalique, and there is no authoritative documentation of any kind that would back-up the false claim that Rene Lalique had anything to do with this bottle. Yet the seller proudly claims out of thin air* “…..made for Galeries Lafayette by Rene Lalique.” Starting off the listing title with the word “Rare” is just icing on the claim cake.

Coty Perfume Bottle Labeled For Galeries Lafayette La Feuillaison UnsignedSure enough when questioned, the seller pointed to the Utts’ groundbreaking 1990 book Lalique Perfume Bottles as the source of the information to back up the Rene Lalique claim, including a specific page number that made this an R. Lalique bottle.

Answer
“We found it on Lalique Perfume Bottles by Mary Lou and Glenn Utt page 137 and also if you google it you’ll find some people who have their own sites specializing on Lalique bottles, no one has it and or are looking for it.”

Of course the Utts’ book doesn’t say this bottle is R. Lalique. It’s a pretty good looking bottle that has value on its own, but it’s obviously not R. Lalique. The bottle in the listing is nowhere to be found in the Utts’ book. However, the actual R. Lalique Perfume Bottle for Galeries Lafayette La Feuillaison** is pictured and described on Page 24 of their book with the original label still in place.

Here’s a link to an actual R. Lalique La Feuillaison Perfume Bottle on the website that is the same as the bottle documented in the Utts’ book.

Obviously the Ebay bottle is just an unsigned*** bottle Coty supplied to the store with the perfume.**** The bottle has nothing to do with Rene Lalique. The EBay seller is stumptownusa.

Post Publication Update: At the time we posted this article, the seller had one bid at the starting price of $298. That bid was revoked. When the listing expired the seller removed the “Rare Rene Lalique” start of the title, and also removed “by Rene Lalique” from the description, and re-listed the bottle. End Of Update.

*Out of thin air from https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/out+of+thin+air “Out of nowhere; out of nothing.” And also “Auster spins stories out of thin air.” Our Note: The opposite meaning is also in use today as in “vanished into thin air”. The first known use of the phrase “into thin air” and what got the whole thin air thing started was in 1610 in the Shakespeare play The Tempest. There we hear Prosepro say: “These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve”. Our note: A true thought to keep in mind as you decide how you spend your short time in this world.

**There is a 2nd R. Lalique bottle that was used for La Feuillaison eau de toilette.

***Unsigned: We regularly advise typical collectors never to purchase any unsigned piece. Never Ever, Never Never.

****We are not Coty experts. Coty was known to supply bottles and perfume to Galeries Lafayette (and other stores) and La Feuillaison was a Coty fragrance. It was a sizable part of Coty’s business to anonymously supply complete presentations labeled for stores.

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

January 29th, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So here it is:

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

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

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

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

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

* Peter Pan’s neighborhood is Neverland!

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

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

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

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

Ecailles Vase Copies On The Loose!

April 17th, 2020

The article was published on April 17, 2020. It was updated on June 25, 2021. See the end of the article for that update.

Ecailles is the French word for scales. What could be fishy about that, right? Let’s see what happens.

Ecailles is a great looking and reasonably hard to find vase. Its claim to fame is that it’s giving Biskra and Davos Vases a run for the money in the “Worldwide R. Lalique Rare Vase Colors Competition”. Ok, there’s no real competition like that. But it makes sense they are a colorful trio because Biskra, Davos, and Ecailles were all created early in the Great Depression in the same 30-day period during the spring of 1932. Apparently Lalique picked that time period to liven up the new offerings with new colors.

Moving along, these first two photos are of a blue Ecailles Vase that sold at Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville New Jersey on September 22, 2017 as Lot No. 26. What a great looking vase. It sold for $6500 all-in.

  • Rene Lalique Ecailles Vase In Blue Glass Side View

    Rene Lalique Ecailles Vase In Blue Glass View From Slightly Above

  • This 2nd pair of photos is of a vase that sold as an Ecailles Vase at Heritage Auctions in Dallas Texas on November 23, 2015 as Lot No. 60224. This vase sold for $11,875 all-in. Please go ahead and compare the Rago Ecailles above to the Heritage vase below. And if you decide to check further and do some research, obviously only the Rago vase above is going to match the literature and documentation for Ecailles.

  • Ecailles Vase Loose Copy In Blue Glass Side View

    Ecailles Vase Loose Copy In Blue Glass View From Slightly Above

  • Finally, this 3rd pair of photos is of an unsigned vase by an unknown maker. Let’s call this the “source of the problem vase”. It fills in all the blanks. You can imagine what a haircut might make it look like, or you can just scroll back up to the Heritage vase.

    Ecailles Vase Loose Copy With Rim In Blue Glass Side View

    Ecailles Vase Loose Copy With Rim In Blue Glass View From Slightly Above

  • You can see a few more examples of the copy in other colors on the Copies and Close Calls page at Ecailles Copies.

    Obviously the “source of the problem vase” was not originally made with the intention to deceive anyone. It’s only the later alteration of the vase, and/or the addition of a forged signature, and/or just the representation that it’s R. Lalique, that make it problematic. Whoever created this vase didn’t include some spurious signature on the underside, and they obviously did not intend to make an exact copy.

    As usual, we emphasize that what the seller knew or didn’t know, did or didn’t do, thought or didn’t think, and all that kind of stuff, is not really important to you as a buyer when building your collection. The only thing is for you as a collector to be sufficiently knowledgeable and careful to avoid nightmares and get the right stuff.

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

    Article Update: June 25/July 5, 2021 – The listing for the Ecailles Vase vanished from the Heritage website at some point after we first published this article. That’s not really a bad thing because fakers can use that auction listing as a reference and evidence that their fake vase is real when trying to pass it off on somebody. On the other hand, having the evidence of the original listing in the proper context such as this article is important as well. So we have included a screen shot below. Also, now that you know how this fake was created, it’s worth pointing out at the bottom of the screenshot is the Condition Report’s hilarious statement of fact: … “neck has been chamfered slightly”.

    Ecailles Vase Loose Copy Heritage Auction Listing Showing Sold That Since Vanished From Heritage Website

  • Inept R. Lalique Forger

    November 9th, 2019

    Lalique Cristal Avallon Vase

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

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

    Be careful out there!

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

    June 27th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Opportunity Knocks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
     

    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.