Rene Lalique was represented by just 5 items in the sale of Important 20th Century Design at Sotheby’s New York on December 16th.
But those five Lalique sale items gave this Sotheby’s decorative arts sale the highest price total for R. Lalique in a single auction for the year 2010, with the 5 lots all selling, and making a premium inclusive total of $1,301,500!
Things started off well, with the Lalique Chandelier Normandie (Sotheby’s took pains to point out that this R. Lalique Normandie Chandelier was not on the ship of the same name) making a high bid/premium inclusive total of $55,000/$68,500 against an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.
Next up was the unique and totally cool roughly 2 foot by 2 foot four inch pastel, water color and pencil Rene Lalique illustration done by Lalique for the cover of the Christmas Issue of the famous French magazine L’illustration. Named “Noel”, the original Lalique work on paper reached $30,000/$37,500 against a conservative estimate of $15,000 to $20.000.
Following the successful offering of the painting, was a great looking Rene Lalique Peacock Table Lamp “Paons”.
This approximately 16.75 inches tall lamp did not have the pierced shade with finial attachment often seen on this model and of course, it’s an early (1910) well coordinated design between the glass shade and the lamp base decoration.
For the third time in as many lots, the great Lalique item topped it’s estimate, making $80,000/$98,500 against a pre-sale of only $40,000 to $60,000.
The fourth offering was the 1914 Cire Perdue Vase Baies De Cornouiller. The vase is a classic Lalique vase form, with a widening body coming up from the base and then pulling back over the shoulders of the vase into a rim whose width nearly matches the diameter of the base. This classically shaped vase had the added bonus of the high relief floral design wrapping around the great early cire perdue.
The Lalique Vase was a bit under 8 and 1/2 inches, and between two determined phone bidders it made $410,000/$494,500, topping the already strong estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.
The fifth and final item, was the Lalique Cire Perdue Statue Figure Femme Et Guirlande De Fleurs. This statue had been seriously damaged, having been broken into at least two pieces earlier in it’s life, and it has been said that it was put back together and restored under the supervision of Marie Claude Lalique.
Twice this statue was offered for sale at auction in France in recent years, where it failed to sell at much more conservative estimates, albeit in more conservative times for prices as well.
But every statue has it’s day, and in this strong market, and on this day the very optimistic estimate of $600,00 to $900,000, was buttressed by a write-up by Felix Marcilhac as a catalogue note, in which Mr. Marcilhac related that Marie Claude Lalique felt this specific statue was her grandfather’s most important work
The statue was the day’s high R. Lalique seller and at the same time was the only R. Lalique sale item whose bid price did not get into the estimate range, let alone exceed it. Fabulously, the tragic cire perdue statue made $500,000/$602,500 to top all Lalique and pull the sale total for the five lots well over the $1,000,000 mark. In dollars the statue’s price represented nearly 1/2 the R. Lalique sale total for the auction.
This price also made the R. Lalique Cire Perdue Statue the highest selling individual R. Lalique glass work at auction in quite some time. Quite a long time.
You can find all the resources at RLalique.com about Rene Lalique’s Cire Perdue Glass in the Cire Perdue Section of the R. Lalique Bio. This R.Lalique Statue is also listed in the Lalique Cire Perdue past auctions section at RLalique.com.
We seem to be wrapping up a lot of these reports with the observation that for the great Lalique, prices continue strong (but not overheated), great items are getting scarce, and the market continues to expand. What the heck, good news is always welcome!
This sale marks a strong note as we near the finish line in a great year at auction for R. Lalique. This is especially impressive when considering the state of the world economy, and the increased supply that has appeared on the market.
We’ll try to do at least one more Lalique sales results article before year end, to catch up on some odds and ends from the last month or so, that by themselves were quite impressive, and that in total lend more credence to the notions expressed on these pages about the current state of affairs.