R Lalique Cire Perdue Wasp Vase by Rene Lalique

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In What R. Lalique World Will Any Of This End Well?

April 1st, 2014

In the mailbox yesterday:

Rene Lalique Meduse Vase in Green Glass” …… It is possible that both the opalescent Bacchantes and Green Medusa Vases currently being offered on eBay may not exist. I think they are being offered by the same party. I have sent four emails asking about condition on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and requesting additional photos as of now I have received no response. These same prices were up for sale several months ago and I know they sold. My email address is ……”

Read-in to that email what you like, it’s probably all there.

Rene Lalique Ronces Vase in Blue GlassLet’s talk about the warning signs for a suspected stolen photo online offer:

1. Zero feedback seller.

2. Recently registered seller.

3. High value items, and known to be such, starting out at a low price, no reserve, and FREE shipping.

4. Totally different photo background in each of three listings from the same seller.

5. Seller will not provide specific, or recent, or any photos. Ask for something very specific if you are going to waste your time: a photo that is unlikely to be available to a seller that does not have possession of the item (send me a photo of the piece next to a soda can or other specific household item, or with a pencil laid across the top rim). For high value items, what seller ignores you and fails to provide a requested photo?

6. You find the same item and photo background in a previous sold auction listing at RLalique.com and the current seller is not the previous seller, nor is the current seller the previous buyer. **

Of course, for confirmation you can see if you get the great reply to a buy-it-now offer: “Wire me the money so I can save the Ebay and credit card fees and I’ll accept!”

Rene Lalique Bacchantes Vase in Opalescent GlassDoing some reading-in to all of the above, we recall fondly the great W.C. Fields 1939 movie: You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man.

For additional information on this topic see our previous article about suspected stolen photo auction listings.

And a reminder that while we don’t catch everything, if an online auction appears problematic, you might find it in the Suspicious Auctions listings! We usually have 100 to 200 current listings there at all times!

Of course opinions vary, and if anyone doesn’t find these 3 listings suspicious and wants to throw caution to the wind (how many times are you going to ask for photos? :), we want to be the first to congratulate you and wish you good luck with your new bargain purchases!

** Check out the Meduse Vase model page in the Rene Lalique Catalogue here at RLalique.com. Courtesy of the Oracle, the original Ebay listing link from July 2013 for the green Meduse Vase has been restored so you can check out the original auction and the photos. Funny how history repeats; the old sold item has a title incorrectly calling it Medusa, just like the new suspicious one! Hmmmm.

R.Lalique Creation – Creation R. Lalique – Creation Lalique: Signatures That Say “Not R. Lalique”

March 30th, 2014

R.Lalique CREATION Signature That Is Modern Post-War on Dans La Nuit Perfume Bottle For Worth

Glass items that have an R. Lalique signature along with the word CREATION are often a source of confusion for owners and potential buyers. However, there is no authentic R. Lalique pre-war item made during the lifetime of Rene Lalique that has the word CREATION as part of the signature.

Dans La Nuit Perfume Bottle For Worth With R.Lalique CREATION Signature That Is Modern Post-WarBut these CREATION items account for a regular supply of listings on the Suspicious Auctions page here at RLalique.com because they are often falsely represented as period works of Rene Lalique.

The R. Lalique CREATION signature at the top of this article is typically found on the blue Worth round flask shaped bottles as shown in the second photo.

The only real difference in this example signature and similar ones found on other flask style blue Worth bottles would be the volume of the bottle in ml as shown for different size bottles.

Before we get too far into this, we want to remind everyone that we assume that most owners of these items offering them up as R. Lalique period pieces actually believe that they have a genuine R. Lalique pre-war item.

Dans La Nuit Stars Perfume Bottle For Worth With CREATION R.Lalique Signature That Is Modern Post-WarBut whether it’s duplicity, ignorance, or wishful thinking on the part of a seller is irrelevant to a potential buyer.

As a buyer, you want to be educated enough to either have the facts or to know where to get them. To be savvy enough to rely on your own analysis and research and not on what a seller might or might not say.

In short, it’s best to spend time checking out the facts and the piece, and not fretting over what the seller might or might not know.

Dans La Nuit Stars Perfume Bottle For Worth With CREATION R.Lalique Signature That Is Modern Post-WarAll the perfume bottles pictured in this article contain the CREATION signature. All are post war modern bottles, and none are authentic R. Lalique pre-war bottles notwithstanding the molded signatures.

And as an item of interest but not relevant to authenticity as R. Lalique, some or all of these bottles were not even made by the modern Lalique company.

The third photo above is the signature on a mid-1980’s modern reproduction of the ball shaped Dans La Nuit Stars Perfume Bottle for Worth shown in the fourth picture.

We’ve also included the modern Molinard de Molinard Perfume Bottle with the CREATION LALIQUE signature as shown in the two photos below.

CREATION Lalique Signature That Is Modern Post-War On A Molinard De Molinard Perfume BottleThere are some third party reference materials out there that say (directly or by inference) that this model Molinard bottle is a reproduction of an original Rene Lalique design (see Lalique Perfume Bottles by the UTTS Page 85 and the 2004 Catalogue Raisonne Red 3rd Edition Page 945, both saying this is a 1929 R. Lalique design for a Molinard Bottle named Iles D’Or, but all references to this bottle are omitted from the most recent 2011 Green Edition of the Cat Res). So we figured to show it just make sure there is no confusion.

Molinard De Molinard Perfume Bottle With A CREATION Lalique Signature That Is Modern Post-War Of course, if you just remember the general rule that the CREATION mark on the underside means modern, then you won’t be confused.

Obviously it would have been better if like the collectible auto business here in the U.S. they had used the phrase “recreation” (or with the hyphen “re-creation”) as the meaning would then be hard to miss.

All these modern signatures (and quite a few others) are documented and discussed in the signatures section here at RLalique.com, on the page for post-war modern crystal Lalique signatures.

Rene Lalique Calypso And Ondines Light Fixtures – The Mailbag

January 30th, 2014

R. Lalique Calypso Opalescent Bowl Converted To A Hanging Light Fixture

Ok Ok, there never was a Rene Lalique Calypso Light Fixture back in the day. But somehow they keep popping up, and we’ve had a few questions about them in our overloaded mailbag from time to time. So we figured with the latest inquiry, to clear it up not just for our current readers, but for anyone down the road that might be looking up at 5 or 6 mythical nude siren figures swirling around an overhead opalescent glass bowl shaped light fixture sporting an R. Lalique signature!

The inquiry:

I would be grateful for any help you can give me in authenticating a chandelier I own.

It would appear to be an Ondines Chandelier by R Lalique but I cannot find any reference on your or other websites to chandeliers appearing with the Ondines design.

R. Lalique Calypso Opalescent Bowl Converted To A Hanging Light Fixture Shown From AboveI believe that the item has been in my family for at least 60 years. The bowl itself is 9 cm high and 30 cm diameter (approximately). The faint R Lalique stamp appears in the centre of the base of the bowl.

I attach three photos including one showing the Lalique stamp.

I am hoping that you can let me know whether the chandelier was made as such, is a bowl later converted into a chandelier, and in either case whether it is a genuine Lalique piece.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Mr. X

The reply:

Hi Mr. X. Thanks for visiting the website and for contacting us.

The bowl is not Ondines (6 sirens), but Calypso (5 sirens).

https://rlalique.com/rene-lalique-calypso-bowl

This appears (we don’t authenticate items that are not fully visible, and with the hardware on, your piece it is in that category) to be a converted bowl, with all the hardware added. Forgetting all the facts, think about Rene Lalique …. the undecorated flat bottom is the giveaway…. it wouldn’t** be like that for something made and sold by him as an overhead fixture …. it just doesn’t go over.

R. Lalique Ondines BowlBecause Calypso is bigger (Ondines bowl is 8 inches), it is more often seen converted to a hanging or ceiling fixture.

This is not the first of these we’ve seen of course:

https://rlalique.com/rene-lalique-calypso-chandelier

And see this very similar 2-siren model, which was sold as a fixture for the difference in how it would look from below as an original light fixture design by R. Lalique:

https://rlalique.com/rene-lalique-deux-sirenes-chandelier

Best Regards,

KOL

We could have skipped a lot of typing by just observing that it appears the sirens are still busy luring the unwary onto the rocks! **

R. Lalique Deux Sirenes Light FixtureAnd we didn’t get into the number of hanging cords with the questioner, but it appears from the photos that there are only three, and four would be much more typical for these hanging bowl fixtures from Rene Lalique.

Finally, on a more esoteric level, there is the whole question of altered items typically being deemed drastically less desirable and less valuable (or nearly valueless in many cases) by collectors when Lalique himself never would have put a curse on pieces put to good alternate uses. Usable art glass brought into the homes of everyday people; Lalique himself spoke about it. Heck, he invented it.

The Siren - An Oil On Canvas Painting By The 19th Century British Artist Edward ArmitageAnd about alterations, he drilled holes in many bowls (but not Calypso or Ondines) to attach hanging cords, and marketed them as light shades. He cut bowls in halves and quarters and called them appliques. He affixed seals to small dishes and called them ashtrays. He sold car mascots as paperweights, and re-used parts from some pieces to make others. He even drilled holes into the sides of vases for running electric cords to convert them to lamps. Heaven Forfend!

Just thinking out loud ……. well actually, just typing silently :).

** Of course a plain bottom did not prevent the marketing of Madagascar as a light fixture. But this is not really a direct comparison as the bottom of Madagascar though big, is crudely ancient (not in a bad way) and not flat.

*** In Greek mythology, the sirens lured nearby sailors to wreck their ships on the rocks by attracting them with wondrous sounds. Just above is The Siren, a wonderful painting by the 19th century British artist Edward Armitage. Even today, the phrase “siren song” is used to describe something that sounds great but is not going to end well.

A Rene Lalique Tristan Vase In Blue Glass Sells For $125,000 At Sotheby’s New York

January 19th, 2014

Rene Lalique Tristan Vase In Blue Glass

If you always wondered what King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, 16th Century Portuguese explorers, the movie “Legends of the Fall”, U.S. baby naming preferences, and Rene Lalique have in common; well we have the answer right here!

Tristan And Iseult In An Arthur James Draper Depiction In Arthurian legend, Tristan (as shown here in an Arthur James Draper depiction) is the 12th century** Cornish Knight of the Round Table having a scandalous relationship with Iseult, the wife of the King. Incidentally, this tale of complicated involvement was kept alive in story form in France by hundreds of poets over the following centuries.

A few hundred years later, the Portuguese explorer Tristao da Cunha stumbled upon what is now the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, around 1750 miles south of South Africa. He named the main island and the island group after himself. Go figure.*** The islands have a bit of a colorful history being used as a weather station and U-Boat monitoring facility during World War II; being visited by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1957 (with the pictured main town Edinburgh of the Seven Seas then named after him); and being dang close to a late 1950’s U.S. Atomic Bomb test!

Edinburgh On The Seven Seas Settlement On Tristan Island But before the 1900’s, when the Brits got a hold of the islands (formerly annexing them in 1816 just after the first permanent settler from of all places Salem Massachusetts landed in 1810), they dissed Tristao and changed the name to Tristan da Cunha, a name that has been shortened colloquially to Tristan. Note that the Queen of England still reigns over Tristan and it’s 250 or so inhabitants.

In 1928, Rene Lalique, a man not unfamiliar with complicated involvements, introduced his vase model no. 1013. The vase was a heavy plain round container, with a pair of opposing large upward pointing and outward curving leafs. He named the vase Tristan.

Legends Of The Fall Partial Movie PosterA little closer to our own time, after the great movie “Legends of the Fall” was released in 1994, Tristan, the name of the character in the movie played by Brad Pitt, became (and remains to this day) one of the top 100 baby boy names in the United States! Sadly, the author of Legends Of The Fall, Jim Harrison, passed away in Patagonia Arizona March 26th, 2016, not far from World Headquarters. He had moved from rural Michigan to Montana (the setting for the story), and Arizona. In each place he wrote in solitude, surrounded by natural beauty. And while he stood on the shoulders of Thoreau, his writing was uniquely his own. He was regarded by many as the greatest living American fiction writer.

And in our own time, and perhaps more important to most readers than all the preceding (unless of course you are a relative of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland author Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, whose younger brother was a missionary and schoolteacher on Tristan); on December 18th at the Sotheby’s salerooms in New York City, a cobalt blue Rene Lalique Tristan Vase appeared as Lot No. 122. The 8 inch by 13 inch vase, with its unique form and rare coloring was estimated at $45,000 to $60,000. But by the time the hammer came down it had more than doubled the high end of that estimate with a final sales price including commissions of $125,000!

Yogi Berra In New York Yankees UniformThat price makes the blue Tristan Vase total, one of the five highest auction sale prices that we know of having ever been recorded for a colored glass R. Lalique commercial vase, putting it in close company with the red Hirondelles Vase, the cased yellow Oranges Vase, and the blue Poissons Vase.

Another world record auction price for an R. Lalique Vase. It’s like déjà vu all over again.****

** 12th Century: or 11th or 13th, you can never be too approximate with legends.
*** “Go figure” is an American slang with a few related uses, including the one here to emphasize and ridicule that the obvious or expected had happened.
**** “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” is one of many famous expressions from the New York Yankees great Yogi Berra. He had a well-deserved reputation for entertaining phrases including “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” When asked about his reported ability to twist a phrase, he replied “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

Rene Lalique’s Perruches Vases Fly High: New Records At South Kensington

November 25th, 2013

Rene Lalique Dinard Box And Cover With All-Over Roses DesignR. Lalique once again made a strong showing at the Christie’s South Kensington semi-annual Lalique sale on November 21st.

Vases led the way with several world record prices, yielding a sale total including buyer’s premium of £596,875 (all results are reported to include the premium), or about $960,000 at an exchange rate used throughout this article of about 1.61 U.S. dollars per British pound.

Of the total 157 lots in the sale, approximately 37 were modern crystal reproductions or just modern crystal designs, leaving 120 original R. Lalique pieces on offer. Of those 120 works of Rene Lalique, 20 failed to sell, for a take-up rate of about 83% on the original works. The 100 sold R. Lalique items added up to £484,724 or an average price of about £4850 ($7800) per lot.

Rene Lalique Serpent Vase In Frosted GlassTop sellers were led by a Perruches Vase in blue glass that made a surprisingly strong £55,000, or about $88,500. Next was a tie between two lots: an amber glass Perruches Vase and a pair of Lausanne Light Fixtures. Each of these lots made £32,500 or about $52,500. Fourth place went to a frosted Serpent Vase making £30,000 ($48,500) followed by another Perruches Vase, this one in opalescent glass, which sold for £27,500 ($44,500).

The top five lots accounted for £177,500 or over 1/3 of the R. Lalique total. 4 of the top 5 prices were for vases, and 3 of those vases were Perruches Vases.

Rene Lalique Blue Glass Perruches VaseSome other notable prices include an opalescent Ceylan vase for £13,750 ($22,000), a Dinard Box at £11,250 ($18,000), and a Quatre Cigalas Perfume Bottle at £4,375 ($7,000).

The price of the blue Perruches Vase, the last lot of the sale, represents a world record price at auction for a blue Perruches Vase, and for any Perruches Vase, exceeding the price of approximately $75,500 set in these same salerooms just 6 months ago. The price on the Ceylan is also a world record price for any Ceylan Vase at auction, as is the price for the frosted Serpent Vase, though colored glass Serpents have sold higher. Finally, the Dinard Box total also is a likely world record.

Rene Lalique Lausanne Hanging Light FixturesHere is a link to all the results (including the lot descriptions).

As usual, the staff at Christie’s South Kensington, led by the experienced Joy McCall, did a great job of assembling a diverse group of attractive and desirable items, and working with all potential bidders in a pleasant and professional manner.

Another successful sale for Christie’s South Kensington and another great day for the great Rene Lalique.

A Hibou Car Mascot Appears At Auction: Buckle-Up!

October 19th, 2013

Rene Lalique Hibou Owl Car Mascot

October 20th at Artcurial in Paris will see the first appearance at a major auction of a Hibou (Owl) Car Mascot in many years.

The general storyline amongst many dealers and collectors is that the Renard (Fox) Car Mascot is the rarest of the commercial models. But there have been several foxes appear in the last decade, and only a couple of owls (not including for either model any that have appeared as part of an entire R. Lalique Car Mascot collection). It is easily possible and even likely, that the rarest of the commercial mascots is not the fox, but is the owl.

How will this translate into price for the rare Hibou? We will all know soon enough. There are many variables but there are also many collectors missing the owl from their mascot collections. And times have changed in the bidding scene at auctions.

In the past, only a bidding ring of dealers might know about a particular piece at auction and possibly a small number of collectors or others that could be co-opted, cajoled, or threatened into not competing against them **. But this has changed dramatically with the appearance of this website and the attendant individual collector bidding on major pieces triggered by the Worldwide Auction Listings at RLalique.com. Now all interested parties can find out about most items that appear at auction, and individual collectors and others can compete worldwide with dealers, museums and other collectors for rare pieces. And notwithstanding reports of continuing efforts to suppress bidding at auction by certain notorious persons, now there are often just too many outside bidders for conspirators to even know about in advance, let alone “get to” ***.

Rene Lalique Hibou Owl Car Mascot -  Front ViewAlso, other techniques such as trash talking a piece, claiming it’s fake, or claiming it’s fatally damaged in order to put potential bidders off the item are also common techniques for some. We even received on email from one regular dealer in R. Lalique claiming this owl was cracked. Hmmmmmm. We’ve seen this barking before with a great opalescent Vitesse and a Renard at auction as just two examples), but of course, the pool of potential bidders is now so large, it’s just difficult to put them all off with wisecracks **** about likely fairy tale condition issues. And of course, most serious bidders will confirm condition directly with the auction house, and/or engage an independent consultant on major purchases.

The auction house has placed an extremely conservative estimate on the owl. In 1987 for example, before the peak of prices around 1990, a Hibou appeared at auction and sold for over 378,000 French Francs including the buyer’s premium. At the time, 26 years ago, this was the equivalent of over $66,000.

We are aware of reports of Hibou sales made privately in the past several years including at least one sold through this website, for prices that are multiples of the previous record auction price discussed above. These sales range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. To put this in perspective, we are aware of a sale of an owl mascot to a dealer in the last decade for a reported $150,000.

With the Fox Car Mascot making successive auction price records at its two most recent auction appearances (Fox Record Price 1, Fox Record Price 2), we would expect no less from what may be an even rarer chance to obtain this elusive prize.

SignShould be a wild ride ending a bit above the estimate :).

** See a series of articles published at RLalique.com discussing bid rigging at auctions.

*** “Get to” in this usage means influence.

**** A “wisecrack” is a clever remark.

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. Undoubtedly 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 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 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.

RENE-LALIQUE-FLACON-FOR-COTY-AMBER-ANTIQUE-CIRCA-1910 Item: 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.

Lalique Dealer pinkcupcakes-uk Selling Rene Lalique Glass On Ebay: R. Lalique Buyers Beware

February 23rd, 2013

It’s been a while since we have been motivated to write about an Ebay seller of the works of Rene Lalique. The last time was to bring the practices of the Ebay screen name Dounial, aka Naim Bouchareb, dba Renaissance Antiques of Iowa to your attention.

But we write today to discuss three offerings on Ebay from pinkcupcakes-uk (we shorten that up to “Pinky” for brevity), a Norwich UK regular dealer in R.Lalique items.

Rene Lalique Ondines Plate With Significant Modifications

While you are looking at Pinky’s offerings, keep something in mind. It’s not just what an ad says that can cause a buyer to be misled. It’s also what it doesn’t say. The seller in this case is a regular dealer in R. Lalique. When you look at the first ad at the link below, think about not just what the ad does tell you, but what this Lalique Dealer doesn’t tell you.

And our usual reminder that the motivation of the seller is irrelevant to your decision about buying from or dealing with a particular seller. A seller may not be intentionally misleading or purposefully putting out false information, they might believe their own false claims. But purposeful or not, the end result of relying on false claims is the same for the buyer. So it’s not really worth spending a ton of time pondering the question of malice or ignorance. The damage to a buyer can be just as great from dealing with an ignorant dealer as a dishonest one. We’ve railed* before that if you are going to buy from a regular seller of R. Lalique, how important it is to deal with a competent and honest dealer. So we deem it best to just be as knowledgeable as possible and to avoid dealers that fall into either category.

With all that said, here is the title of the first offering:

rene lalique opalescent glass ondines plate c 1921 marcilhac 3003.

This representation from this regular seller of R. Lalique items appears in the ad:

“very unusual shape of plate no chips /cracks/or hairlines”

Lalique Moissac Footed VaseA representation that word by word could be claimed to be true. We can see you at the used car dealer now, when the salesman tells you the car you are looking at has no dents, no scratches, and no paint chips of any kind! The only problem is that the front bumper, both front fenders, and the hood are missing. But not a scratch, not a dent, and no paint chips anywhere. Hmmmmmmmm.

The second listing is titled:

rene lalique vase “moissac” thickly adjoining pointed leaves c 1927 model no 992.

Funny how these footed Moissac Vases with R. Lalique signatures always seem to come thru a dealer. Note in the photo below that in this example the R. does not appear to line up with or match LALIQUE.

Lalique Moissac Footed Vase R Lalique Signature

We don’t know of any evidence that these footed Moissac Vases were made before the war. That is why footed Moissacs do not appear in the Rene Lalique Catalogue here at R.Lalique.com. We also note that they do not appear in the 2011 R.Lalique Catalogue Raisonne by Monsieur Marcilhac. We of course would welcome any factual evidence from anyone to back up the claim that these Moissac Vases with the wide base are authentic pre-war R. Lalique items.

Rene Lalique Deux Sirenes Box For D'Orsay With Non-Original Glass Bottom And Missing SignaturesThe third and final listing we want to bring to your attention has met the difficult task of hitting a trifecta** of issues in just one listing. A trifecta within a trifecta when considering the entire situation really.

Item 251231416506 stunning rene lalique d orsay powder box of mythological maidens c1920!

1. The glass bottom to the box is not original to the piece. Hard to have a box without the bottom. Not a lot of picture is given to that glass bottom in the photos. “pristine condition” is the claim at the top of the ad from this regular seller of R. Lalique items.

2. The box appears to be cut down. The molded signatures are not shown on the lower portion of the top piece where you would expect to find them. “pristine condition” is the claim of this regular seller of R. Lalique items.

3. This is almost laughable. Pinky shows you two pictures of a signature in the ad. But they aren’t from the box, we think they’re likely from a Gui Vase. Now that’s a mark of authenticity and reliability when a seller shows you photos of the signature, even when it’s not on the piece in the ad, right?

So to review, we have a mutilated plate with no cracks, chips, or hairlines, a highly questionable vase, and likely just part of the top of a box, mated with a bottom not original to the top, and a signature from some other item showing in the ad. Oh yea about the box… “pristine condition”.

All for sale at the same time by the same lalique dealer. Do you think this dealer may have had his share of complaints? Check out the comments about Pinky from some satisfied customers:

I purchased it as a relisted item …ignored emails and then said “dog ate it”

Seller response to my query was abusive

BEWARE OF SELLER!!!!!!!!

Item had big chip not described at all in description. I wouldn’t buy from again

BEWARE .THIS SELLER DOES NOT TELL THE TRUTH. USE YOUR BUYER BEWARE WISELY!!!!!!!

Item had faults not described at all in description. I wouldn’t buy from again.

Worst transaction I’ve had, never again!!

Item damaged. Was returned. They relisted as PRISTINE !!!!!!!!!

Seems like more than your run-of-the-mill*** issues for a seller with a 123 feedback rating.

If more R.Lalique listings with questionable and/or outright false claims continue to appear from Pinky, we’ll update this article with the new material from time to time.

* Railed is used as the past tense of the verb “rail” – to strongly espouse a position. An example would be “The speaker railed against corruption in politics.” Typically you would “rail” against something. Here, we “rail” for something.

** A Trifecta in horse racing is correctly picking the top three finishers in order in a race. But like so many other sporting expressions, it is now used more off-handedly to include any triple accomplishment, be it good or bad. Consider a lousy restaurant trifecta – bad service, horrible food, and high prices.

*** Run-Of-The-Mill is an American expression from the late 1800’s ramp-up into the industrial age, where ordinary production of items from a mill, nothing special, were referred to as run-of-the-mill. It’s now used in a variety of run of the ____ phrases to mean ordinary, common, or usual.

Rene Lalique Sales Records: Highest Selling Lalique Auction Total In History With Just 16 R. Lalique Lots

February 18th, 2013

Rene Lalique Femme Ailee Balustrade Cire Perdue Bronze From the 1900 Paris ExhibitionThere’s no more appropriate place for the sale of great R. Lalique items than Paris. Rene Lalique spent most of his life in Paris. He lived and died in perhaps the greatest of the European metropolises. Most of his inspired and unique works were created there, and it was there in 1900 and again in 1925 that Lalique rose above the fray; rose above the crowded field of artists and designers, and left his contemporaries behind as he captured the attention and the imagination of the world.

Many of his works, both unique and commercial show a heavy Japanese artistic influence. In a way, you could predict that perhaps the greatest of all French decorative artists, growing up in the rich pastoral countryside would embrace the natural world motif as a primary artistic expression in the same way that countless generations of Japanese artists had done before him.

Rene Lalique Femme Ailee Balustrade Cire Perdue Bronze From the 1900 Paris ExhibitionBut you could not predict the new heights to which Lalique would take this traditional expressive motif, as he applied his interpretation of the surrounding world not only to artistically unique objects, but also to the mass production of the new art glass which he brought into the homes of so many people around the world. Echoing an old 20th century American summer camp fireside story, the “foo is on the other shoot”. For today, a whole new generation of eastern artists is trying to build upon the works of the great Frenchman; works that stand squarely on the shoulders of their own native ancestral designers.

So it is only fitting that the collection of Tokeo Horiuchi, the enthusiastic collector of turn of the century French decorative art; art which so clearly echoes the motifs of his homeland, would be destined for sale not in Tokyo, a center of high level natural world artistic efforts for so many long past generations, but would instead be brought to Paris, the scene, the home and the leading light of the great wave of the genre that brought Lalique’s work not just to one city or one country, but to most of the civilized world.

It’s also fitting that in a sale heavily laden with so many of the names you would expect to hear when assembling an entourage of the great decorative arts achievers of the day; names like Brandt, Cartier, Baccarat, Daum, Dunand, Frere, Galle, Guimard, Jallot, Majorelle, Sevres, Mackintosh and Morris; that the high seller in such a sale would be a non-commercial object made for the very 1900 exposition which was the foundation event for the assemblage. Yes friends, in the rural Midwestern United States, an area not unfamiliar to this writer, they call it a rail or a railing. And no, when they say rail, they aren’t talking about the bird family that includes the coot, though there are quite a few old coots ** and old railbirds *** back in the Western Reserve ****.

Rene Lalique Bats And Butterflies Rene Lalique Serpent Topped Pocket WatchHeck, when you think Midwestern railing, you think of a split piece of timber laying horizontally between two posts somewhere outdoors that keeps your livestock in place, and not exhibition visitors both astonished and at bay. For something like that, you’d need a fancy name and material other than timber, and in Paris for a high seller they had both.

Cire perdue bronze, in the form of a nude butterfly woman; a rail piece that can stand on its own with no fence posts needed :). And a railing that can stand on its own when compared artistically and monetarily to the best of the best in the 1900 design world. Oh yea, and it’s not a railing in Paris, it’s a balustrade…. a great French word that means “railing”. So yes, there are thousands of miles of balustrades in the rural midwest, but of course most of the inhabitants (the cows AND the people) can’t speak French so they don’t know it!

Rene Lalique Nude Nymphe Amongst Branches Pendant And Comporting ChainThere were 137 lots in the February 16th sale at Sotheby’s, of which 17 were the works of Lalique. Against an estimate of €200,000 – €300,000, the great Femme Ailee rail sold for a hammer price of €1,050,000 and a premium inclusive total of €1,240,750. At today’s exchange rate of about 1.375 dollars to the Euro (a rate used for all other approximate dollar prices in this article), the railing part made $1,706,000.

This same railing had previously sold at Christie’s New York Rockefeller Center Salesrooms as Lot 111 on December 10th, 1998 where it made $134,500 including the buyers premium *****. That’s less than 1/12 of the current price! It is one of five railing parts (having three different designs), several of which are shown in an iconic photo of the Lalique display at the 1900 Exhibition Universelle in Paris.

The sale price is likely the 2nd highest price ever achieved at auction for a single work by Rene Lalique, the Lady Trent Doors being the highest. We can safely say it’s the highest price at auction for a Rene Lalique Railing piece and it most definitely was the high selling item in the entire Sotheby’s sale.

Another new high seller for Lalique, and a world record price at auction for a Lalique Pocket Watch, was the very cool Butterflies and Bats Pocket Watch. It was also the 2nd highest selling lot in the entire sale, outselling an amazing Bureau Aux Archidees Louis Majorelle Desk! The small 2 inch wide jewel of a watch made an all-in €696,750 against a pre-sale estimate of €150,000 – €200,000. In dollars it’s about $958,000.

Rene Lalique Butterfly Brooch
After the watch, things fell off really quickly (just kidding), as the third high seller for Lalique and fourth for the entire auction, the quintessential nude female pendant with comporting chain, sold for €312,750 or about $430,000, once again blowing out the estimated price of €100,000 – €120,000.

Rene Lalique Female Face BroochFourth in line for price honors was the 9 centimeters long and stunningly realistic enamel, gold, silver and diamond Butterfly Brooch which hit €300,750 all-in, or about $413,000 against an estimated price of only €60,000 – €80,000.

Fifth in the price department was a fabulous and so R. Lalique Brooch featuring the classic Lalique drop baroque pearl under a female face spreading to detailed enamel work. The estimate was €100,000 – €120,000 but the price was €216,750 or about $298,000.

In some ways the most surprising price of the sale was for lot 126, a clear and frosted Sauterelles Vase with patina that against a reasonable to strong estimate of €4000 – €6000 made an all-in €13,750 or about $19,000.

All in all, of the 17 Lalique lots, 16 sold, the only exception being the lowest estimated of them all, a Font-Romeu Vase with heavy patina estimated at €2500 – €3500.

The 16 sellers made €3,410,975 or $4,690,000 making this the highest selling group of R. Lalique at any single auction in history. Quality not quantity was key. Furthermore, every one of the 16 lots that sold made an all-in total that exceeded its high estimate. The average price for the sold lots was €213,186 or $293,000. An amazing group of numbers and another great day for the great Rene Lalique.

** In the U.S., an “old coot” is a kind of a simple minded harmless older person. But you can add some words like crazy or senile to the beginning to give it a more robust and a bit less harmless meaning.

*** A “rail bird” is a member of the rail bird family, which as we mentioned includes coots. But if you put the two words together, “railbird” in the U.S. is any sports enthusiast, but specifically a horse-racing fan who sits on, leans on, or hangs out near the track rail at horse races or workouts.

**** At the time of the founding of the USA, the 13 colonies agreed to compromise many of the land claims found in their original land grants, specifically the ones that gave them all the land to the next ocean. In return the new government assumed the States’ debts from the Revolutionary War. When Connecticut gave up its expansive land claims, it retained a claim to over 3,300,000 acres on some land in the Northwest Territory that was set aside for future settlement including land reserved for those who lost their homes in the war. That land, which now comprises part of Northern Ohio, was (and still is) called the Western Reserve; land reserved in the west. If you go there today, and head out east of Cleveland (named after the head of the Connecticut Land Company survey crew Moses Cleaveland … a printer dropped the first “a” from his name to save space) to Chagrin Falls and the Chagrin River Valley, you’ll find an amazing idyllic architectural and geographic make-up very much like the old Connecticut countryside. And if were wondering, 3,300,000 acres would equal nearly 6% of the entire UK.

***** The sale catalogue from the 1998 Christie’s New York Sale on December 10, 1998 is available for purchase (including the sales results) in the Decorative Arts Catalogues section in the Library here at RLalique.com. This Library section alone has nearly 500 different auction catalogues of sales, all of which include some Rene Lalique works in the catalogue. These are in addition to the separate Library section which is devoted to totally Lalique Auction Catalogues. Over 100 of those are listed there for sale.

Rene Lalique Senlis Vases – Rene Lalique Cluny Vases: R. Lalique Collector Alert

December 17th, 2012

The appearance of the heavily damaged, cracked and stapled dark glass R. Lalique Senlis Vase at Skinner’s Auction House in Boston on December 15th provides a good opportunity to bring to your attention the potential for trickery in the sale of Cluny and Senlis Vases, two great R. Lalique models.

Rene Lalique Senlis Vase That Has Been Cracked And StapledBoth the Senlis and Cluny Vase models are based on an undecorated glass body with two bronze mounts. The Senlis bronze has a leaf decor, the Cluny a more intricate masque and serpents motif. The bronze mounts are held in place thru an attachment on the inside of the vase which secures a protrusion emanating from the bronze that goes thru a drilled hole from the outside to the inside of the vase. The location of the hole is behind the masque on the Cluny and behind the largest part of the leaf on the Senlis.

The drilled hole has caused some issues over time as the different expansion rates of the glass and the bronze during temperature changes as well as the contact of the attachment and the glass at the point of the drilled hole has resulted in many examples with spider or more severe cracks. In addition there are vases of both models that have just been damaged over time from any kind of impact from dropping, bumping, hitting a shelf, etc. And there are plenty of other ways to crack a glass vase; even something as simple as leaving it in a spot where it is heated up rapidly by strong sunlight can do the trick in many instances. And in the case of these two models, grabbing it hard enough by one of the mounts could also cause damage.

Rene Lalique Senlis Vase Showing Bronze Mount Detail And Stapled Crack In GlassThe problem that has been created is that the undecorated glass body of the vase can be duplicated! Yes, it is not all that difficult to make a credible copy of the plain glass body, drill holes in it, and attach a set of handles removed from a damaged Cluny or Senlis. Especially with the current pricing in the market of these vases (a Cluny recently made near $200,000 at auction), the cost of creating a new glass body is nothing compared to the value of an undamaged example.

So just checking the math here, an extensively cracked and stapled Senlis Vase sells for $3000 plus commissions. A perfect Senlis Vase is worth for arguments sake $150,000 – $200,000. So you have a bit of room, say roughly $145,000 to $195,000 of room in this example to create a new body! Heck, super models don’t even spend that much to transform their bodies. And note that we do not know the identity of the buyer of the cracked and stapled Skinner’s Senlis Vase. We are just using its appearance to help increase the awareness of our readers. For all we know the buyer may be a collector that was happy to get the stapled version for 98% less than the cost of one that’s in good order. Or someone may have wanted the bronze mounts to use as custom door pulls on a set of doors (not a bad idea). Heck, some Art History PHD candidate doing a thesis on the history of glass repair could have bought it. You get the point.

However, this writer was reliably informed that at least one R. Lalique dealer has in fact commissioned the making of a new glass body to replace a damaged Senlis/Cluny glass body and thus created an undamaged example from a nearly worthless one.

Rene Lalique Cluny Vase That Sold For Almost $200,000So, is there anything wrong with “fixing”, some would say “saving” a damaged vase in this fashion? Of course not, so long as you make mention of it when you sell it!

This brings us back to our often sung refrain: When doing business with a dealer, make certain that the dealer is honest and knowledgeable. Not just honest, and not just knowledgeable, but both honest and knowledgeable.

How can you know? Well, you can ask other collectors that have been collecting for a long time. You can search the internet for information by typing into a search engine the name of the dealer along with other phrases such as lalique, or a city or company name etc. You can ask the dealer for references from collectors that the dealer has a longstanding relationship with. And you can get independent advice concerning your purchases.

Rene Lalique Senlis Vase Showing Stapled Crack In Glass

To summarize, the point about the Cluny and Senlis Vases and the dealers you choose to do business with is simply to be smart and be careful. Arm yourself with the most knowledge you can. And be as wise in spending your money as you are in making it. Amen.

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.

Rene Lalique Perfume Bottles: World Record Price For Any R. Lalique Perfume Bottle And For ANY Perfume Bottle At Auction!

October 14th, 2012

Rene Lalique Sirenes Cire Perdue Perfume BottleThere is a saying in Japan, “食欲の秋”, that describes the harvest season thusly: “Autumn, a season for strong appetite!” Occurring from late September to late November, Autumn is the harvest time in Japan for everything from rice, to Matsutake mushrooms and sweet chestnuts. Apparently Rene Lalique Perfume Bottles will have to be added to that traditional list :). For in Roppongi Hills, located in the Minato Ward of Tokyo, at Est-Ouest’s ** annual Autumn Sale, buyers from around the world displayed a whole lot of appetite for the great Rene Lalique Perfume Bottles which were the heart and vast majority of the over 100 R. Lalique glass lots offered on October 6th, 2012.

The Est-Ouest sale got off to a great start, with the first 98 lots being R. Lalique Perfume Bottles. All but 5 sold, for an over 90% sales rate to start off the sale. There were a few more perfume bottles offered later in the sale mixed in with a handful of other R. Lalique items, but these did not fare as well as the great opening run.

Rene Lalique Deux Danseuses Perfume BottlePrices were solid to strong across the board, perhaps echoing the French literary figure and philosopher Albert Camus closer to their ancestral home: “Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower”.

Two world record prices were set when the 10 centimeters tall Lot 41 came under the hammer. Sirenes, the 1905 mythical sirens and algae motif glass bodied near tear dropped shaped Cire Perdue Perfume Bottle under the bronze sympathetically designed cap, may have peaked the interest of just one bidder at its lofty pre-sale estimated price. It sold for about 90% of the low estimate (Est: JPY28,000,000 – JPY40,000,000) for a hammer price of JPY25,000,000 and a total price of JPY28,750,000.

Rene Lalique Bouchon Fleurs De Pommier Perfume Bottle The premium inclusive total is about $370,000 at an exchange rate (used throughout this article to estimate the dollar cost) of 77.7 yen to the dollar. A world record price for a Rene Lalique Perfume Bottle at Auction, and likely the world record price for any perfume bottle at auction regardless of manufacturer.

Next high seller was the extremely rare 1912 production bottle Six Danseuses selling as Lot 40. The great bottle featured a design of three pairs of dancing nudes intertwined with a trailing garland, the body of the bottle reminiscent of the shape of many of the Lalique Inkwells. The brown stained bottle, against an estimate of JPY3,000,000 – JPY5,000,000 made a hammer price of JPY2,700,000, and a premium inclusive JPY3,105,000 or about $40,000.

Again, the hammer being 90% of the low estimate, this may have been another one trick pony *** but it looked to this writer like a condition dependent fair deal for the new owner.

Rene Lalique Bouchon Mures Blackberries Perfume BottleThird high seller was Lot 42, the tiara stoppered 1919 model Bouchon Fleurs De Pommier, which hit a hammer of JPY2,000,000 against an estimate of JPY1,000,000 – JPY1,500,000. The premium inclusive total of JPY2,300,000 represented about $30,000, exceeding the high estimate.

Fourth best seller was Lot 44, the Bouchon Mures Perfume Bottle with a black glass tiara stopper, also known as the Blackberry Perfume Bottle.

This clean looking example made JPY1,700,000 compared to a pre-sale estimate of JPY1,500,000 – JPY2,500,000 and its all inclusive total price of JPY1,955,000/$25,000

Rene Lalique Lezards Perfume BottleLot 36, the Lezards Perfume Bottle also exceeded the high estimate, making a hammer of JPY1,600,000 against an estimate of JPY800,000 – JPY1,300,000. The premium inclusive total of JPY1,840,000/$23,500 made this the fifth high selling bottle in the sale.

And of course, to access the extensive information at RLalique.com about the great R.Lalique Flacons, go to the Lalique Perfume Bottles section of the Rene Lalique Bio.

We will leave you all with the words of George Eliot ****, which echo the feelings of so many Lalique Sellers in the current ebullient market: “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

** Est-Ouest is East-West in French. In Japanese it’s Est-Ouest!
*** One trick pony is an American expression from the early 1900’s describing an animal at one of the many small traveling circuses around the country that could only perform one trick. The expression was later made more famous by Paul Simon as the title of his 1980 movie and song of the same name. Call our use a bit of literary license.
**** George Eliot is the pen name for the 19th century English writer Mary Ann Evans. She published her works under a male nom de plume feeling her writing would be taken more seriously. Her seminal novel Middlemarch is considered by many to be one of the greatest works in all of English literature.

Rene Lalique Vase World Records Fall: R.Lalique Cire Perdue Vase Makes $555,000

September 15th, 2012

Rene Lalique Deux Figures Femmes Ailees Cire Perdue VaseNamed for the wooden castle built by a son of William the Conqueror near the Tyne River in 1080, the British City of Novum Castellum, (now Newcastle upon Tyne) is rich in history, having seen everyone from the likes of William Wallace (courtesy of King Edward I) to William the Lion (who was imprisoned there in the late 1100’s). Newcastle thrived in the late 1500’s as a coal production center. Later, in the first half of the 1600’s, about a third of the residents were killed by the plague, and even King Charles spent some time in prison there in the mid 1600’s as a guest of the Scots. But by the late 1700’s, it was a great printing center, and also a producer of flint glass. Closer to our time, the first art gallery opened in Newcastle in 1904, a gallery that still exists today.

And it is in this formerly walled city, the former northern fortress of England during the middle ages battles with the Scots, that saw 3 likely auction sale records set on September 11th, courtesy of a diminutive 16 centimeters tall R. Lalique Cire Perdue Glass Vase found in a box in a house during a routine evaluation of the estate of a deceased individual. The 1922 vase featured a design of two voluptuous winged women with outstretched arms in relief on the exterior.

Rene Lalique Deux Figures Femmes Ailees Cire Perdue VaseNormally, we think of R. Lalique Cire Perdues as one-of-a-kind creations, because due to the method of manufacture, the mold is broken and cannot be re-used. However, an original artistic model can be used to make another mold, and while another vase made this way starting with the same model will not be identical, it can be real close. For the Rene Lalique Vase Deux Figures Femmes Ailees, there were 4 such vases recorded as having been made of the same design. And the one of current interest was the first, having been marked on the underside “1/4” (one of four) in addition to “415-22” (the mold number and the year 1922) along with the typical wheel cut R. Lalique signature.

The appearance of the vase generated worldwide interest, having been appropriately cataloged by the auction house, and having been listed well in advance of the sale in the Worldwide Rene Lalique Auction pages at RLalique.com. The auction house, which wiped away the green ring evidence on the interior that the vase had been used to hold flowers (heaven forefend on both counts :), and reported that the vase was in generally very good condition save minor nicks, properly put a conservative sales estimate of £20,000 to £30,000 on the vase, an estimate which would have to be rounded by the addition of another zero to match the roughly tenfold final price :).

Rene Lalique Deux Figures Femmes Ailees Cire Perdue VaseWorldwide bidding interest, a packed house and full U.k. and international telephone lines saw extended bidding lasting several minutes leading to a final bid price of £280,000, which along with the buyers premium of 19.5% or £54,600, made the total sales price £334,600 or about $555,000 US dollars figuring an exchange rate in actual practice of about 1.66 British Pounds per Dollar for the American buyer.

The likely records are as follows: For the locals, according to the auction house, this vase represents the highest price paid at auction for a decorative art object in the northeast of England this century. For the R.Lalique enthusiasts, this is likely not only the highest price ever paid at auction for any Lalique Cire Perdue Vase, but also the highest price paid at auction for any Rene Lalique Vase.

Our take on the price is simple. The market for R. Lalique, especially but not only for high-end vases is hot. For Lalique’s Cire Perdue, it has also been very strong. Also, we have seen from experience that most Cire Perdues that appear at auction have significant condition issues. This vase reportedly did not. And not much Cire Perdue appears with nude women, which are an ever-popular decorative motif from the period, making this vase extremely desirable on all fronts in the current market.

Rene Lalique Deux Figures Femmes Ailees Cire Perdue Vase Signature

Buyers apparently looked past the fact that other Cire Perdue vases of this same design exist, and grabbed at the opportunity when it presented itself. Think about R. Lalique Cire Perdue this way: in any given year there are limited chances to buy R. Lalique Cire Perdue Vases at auction, usually a few at most. If you want to obtain Cire Perdue vases, you have to go after what appears. In a sense, you do not choose the Cire Perdue, but by its appearance it chooses you. In a rising market, Cire Perdues usually lead the way, and this week in this market was no exception. Add to that the condition of this example, the design, and the good job done by the auction house, and you have on many levels a Cire Perdue Trifecta and another great day for the great Rene Lalique.

For additional information on Lalique Cire Perdues, check out the Lalique Cire Perdue section of the R. Lalique Bio at RLalique.com.

 
 

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