R Lalique Cire Perdue Wasp Vase by Rene Lalique

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Posts Tagged ‘R Lalique Vases and Rene Lalique Vases’

Rago Comes With Great R. Lalique: The Tradition Continues!

October 11th, 2015

R. Lalique Elephants Bowl

When you think about auction houses around the world that handle large amounts of R. Lalique, you naturally think first of the 4 big companies that claim to have the highest total dollar sales. They all conduct auctions in multiple locations and they all get a substantial amount of R. Lalique.

But what you might not know, is that that the No. 5 leading auction house for R. Lalique items doesn’t have a salesroom in Paris, or London, or New York. Nope! And it’s not L.A. or Chicago either.

R. Lalique Cluny Vase In Topaz Glass With Bronze HandlesFor the No. 5 you’d want to take a trip to a former ferry location on the Delaware River just a stone’s throw from Pennsylvania. It’s a small town in a rural area that in the early 1800’s was named, in a longstanding American tradition, after a politician in same year it got its first post office! Well, 200 years later, there is still only one post office.

And while the town’s population seemed like it was going to break the 4000 persons ceiling in 1990 when it reached over 3900 residents, it still has not been able to do so even 25 years later.

To be fair, we keep calling it a town but it is a city; one of the smallest cities in the United States. And contrary to what might come to mind when the geography challenged neophytes that rely heavily on stereotypes might understandably think when they hear “New Jersey”, Lambertville is not Newark. Not even close.

Lambertville is a great quiet, artsy, quaint, antique haunt, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. When you throw in a surprising selection of unique restaurants and some amazing bed-and-breakfast lodgings, you have the makings of a very pleasant long-weekend only an hour and a half outside of New York City.

And getting to the point of our story, if you are an R. Lalique collector, well it can be really pleasant. Because Lambertville is home to the Rago Arts And Auction Center, likely the world’s No. 5 auction house seller of R. Lalique over the last 10 to 15 years. Rago has sold an average of around 200 R. Lalique pieces per year over that time frame.

On October 16th, 2015 Rago will add to their great R. Lalique history with a near 80 lot offering of a wonderful looking single owner collection.**

R. Lalique Six Tetes DecanterAbout 50 of the lots are vases, and about 30 of those vases are colored vases.

The biggest pre-sale estimate belongs to Lot 1, a topaz glass bronze handled Cluny Vase estimated at $80,000 – $100,000. The colored vase selection includes several Perruches, several Ronces, and 2 each of Monnaie Du Papes and Formoses.

For non-colored glass vases there is the seldom seen Los Angeles Vase and an enameled Antilopes Vase, as well as many others.

There are also some non-vase rarities including an Elephants Bowl ($12,000 – $16,000), a Caravelle Decoration ($65,000 – $80,000), and a Normandie Lamp ($6,000 – $8,000).

You can see all the lots in the catalogue online HERE!

Three great things about this sale jump out from the catalogue. First, overall the pieces look great. Second, the selection of items in the sale is exactly the marketable kind of items that many collectors are looking for today. And third, in the main*** the estimates appear very reasonable. It doesn’t look like they’re starting out at top dollar and hoping to move up from there. It appears they plan to sell the stuff.

Those three points are further enhanced by the fact that Rago states that they guarantee the condition reports that you will find online linked from every lot in the sale. If something looks good you can read the guaranteed condition report right there.

Frank Maraschiello, a former Director at Bonhams in New York City, has recently affiliated with Rago. A lot of the staff at Rago has handled a bunch of R. Lalique over the years, and Frank has seen a decent amount as well. He can be reached through the main phone number for the auction house: (609) 397-9374.

When you talk to Frank about the pieces of interest, also ask him about the guarantee of the condition reports. But remember, satisfy yourself first. Do your homework first. The guarantee is a great bonus, but it’s just that, a bonus. If they mess-up, and then you mess-up, you have another backstop. A backstop you should not be expecting to need because you did your homework!

With the great knowledge and experience of the Rago staff; the great looking selection, the reasonable estimates, and the continuing good market for R. Lalique, it has all the makings of another successful Rago sale, and another great day for the great Rene Lalique.

** Well there are actually two joint owners listed in the catalogue. But for “offering” purposes and assumedly some others, they are considered to be one. 🙂

*** “In the main” means “for the most part”.

R. Lalique Plumes De Paon Bowl In Blue Glass

R. Lalique Cire Perdue Vase Appears At Auction Online!

October 10th, 2015

R. Lalique Cire Perdue Vase Branches De Mures Formant Deux AnsesCire Perdue Vases don’t come up for auction very often. Usually just a few a year. And to say they don’t usually appear at the online auction websites such as Ebay would be an understatement. But a great looking Cire Perdue did just that this week when it appeared from a Wisconsin seller (with over 18,000 positive feedbacks) that had purchased it at an estate goods shop.

The starting price was $999 with no reserve.

You can see the online auction HERE!

The new arrival is the vase Branches De Mures Formant Deux Anses. The vase has been unknown in modern times, likely purchased back in the day and not having come back to market. It appears in the Catalogue Raisonne only as a drawing.

The mold number 193 and the year it was made 1920 both properly appear on the underside in the glass as 193-20 and match the information in the drawing of the vase.

The vase features a wonderful blackberries motif and is represented by the seller to be basically in original condition, save minor fleabite type stuff with no cracks or chips. Obviously there are manufacturing imperfections caused by the nature of the process used to create the great Cire Perdue.

The copious photos included in the auction listing appear to confirm the condition description.

We were alerted to the offering around an hour after it appeared online, and immediately posted the vase in the Worldwide Auctions Section here at RLalique.com.

There is also a close-up picture in the highlight photos at the top of the auction page with a text link to take you straight to that listing and save having to scroll through all the other listings that are on that page (82 as of this writing).

The vase is 6 and 1/4 inches tall and a bit over 4 inches wide at its widest point.

Several bidders and interested parties have contacted World Headquarters to talk about the vase.

Judging from the level of chatter (with possibly some educated surmise thrown in), it seems that the vase should do quite well.

R. Lalique Cire Perdue Vase Branches De Mures Formant Deux Anses Underside Showing Signature And Other MarkingsOf course as usual it will likely be a bit of a nailbiter** at the end as the hoped-for pre-arranged automated bids come in (or not) with seconds to go.

Additional information about Cire Perdue pieces, including an explanation of how they are made, as well as links to all areas of the website that might be informative on the subject, can be found in the Cire Perdue Section of the biography of Rene Lalique!

UPDATE 10-18-15: The vase sold for $65,100. Four different contenders had bids in at $45,000 or more.

**A nailbiter (or nail biter) is a tense or anxious situation, which is why many people chew on their nails to begin with.

Medically speaking, the habit of nail-biting is referred to as onychophagy. So if you bite your nails in public, you can rest assured that medically trained passersby may very well be referring to you in a smarmy manner as an onychophager, a word we just made up but seems right and it could even be a word.

And if all this is not bad enough, you might as well know that the American Psychiatric Association classifies nailbiters as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and words like “pathological” have often been used in conjunction with nail-biting behavior.

Basically it’s literally, figuratively, and literarily, about as close as you can come to wearing your bad habits on your sleeve (reaching back over 500 years to Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello – “But I will wear my heart on my sleeve”).

R. Lalique At Christie’s South Kensington: Strong Results!

June 24th, 2015

Christie’s June 16th semi-annual sale of R. Lalique added to what has been a long string of twice yearly solid to stellar performances stretching back for some time. The sale made a premium inclusive* £584,375/$911,625** of which £570,000/$889,000 was for the 91 sold R. Lalique lots, or an average of approximately £6264/$9800 for the R. Lalique.

R. Lalique Firebird Oiseau De Feu Centerpiece Missing Original Base

As is more often the case than not, most of the offered lots were vases (70 of the 128 R. Lalique lots***), and they took up the better part of the high sellers after the top spot. That honor went to the rare model Source De La Fontaine Statue that sold as Lot 50 for £30,000/$47,000.

R. Lalique Quatre Masques Vase With Handle” title=This shows that the sale had good depth when looked at by prices achieved, as no single lot accounted for even 6% of the sale total.

The next top four prices were all vases (save one item that tied for 5th place) as follows:

2. Lot 67 Perruches Vase Cased White Opalescent £23,750/$37,000
3. Lot 44 Perruches Vase Cased Red £22,500/$35,000
4. Lot 09 Quatre Masques Vase with handle £21,250/$33,000
5. TIE Lot 01 Serpent Vase with heavy patina £20,000/$31,000
5. TIE Lot 06 Firebird Decoration without the original base £20,000/$31,000

The sold percentage by lots was 98/137 or 71.5% overall, and 91/128 or 71% for the R. Lalique.

The opalescent Perruches Vase was a strong price. But one other sale item deserving of special mention was Lot 7, a clear glass Chamois Vase Model No. 1075 shown below.

This would typically be about a £500/$800 vase on a good day.

But with red staining and enamel it made £13,125/$20,500. Ignoring the fact that if the vase were red glass it may not have made that kind of number, somebody got themselves about $20,000 of red paint and enamel (P&E)!

We can’t say for sure if the applied coloring was original or not because we never handled the vase.

R. Lalique Chamois Vase With Red Enamel And Red PatinaHowever we can say without hesitation that with the high price paid for the P&E, we’ll undoubtedly be seeing more P&E vases with wonderful colors in the future.

That wry**** observation aside, once again Joy McCall and her great staff came through with a good selection of items including a lot of colored glass vases. Their presentation was top notch, the customer service was high level, and the promotion was thorough. The result was another good day for Christie’s and another great day for R. Lalique.

* All sale figures used are premium inclusive.

** All dollar amounts are based on the estimate of $1.56 per British Pound and are rounded.

*** 2 of the R. Lalique lots were only partly R. Lalique.

**** “Wry” is dry and sometimes ironic humor. Consider this from actor Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer talking to a bad guy on the American T.V. Series 24 – “The only reason that you’re conscious right now is because I don’t want to carry you.” Of course he might not have been joking. Interestingly, Kiefer’s full name is Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland. Aspirations of royalty? His dad is the great Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, who is kindly remembered for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the original 1970 movie Mash. Of course 45 years later, Donald is most famous for his role in the Hunger Games movies. However for true aficionados of mindless entertainment (count this writer all-in for that), his most important and lifetime achievement role (think Charlton Heston as Moses in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 movie The Ten Commandments) was in the 1978 National Lampoon movie Animal House. Most people I talk to (an admittedly and curiously narrow group) have seen that movie at least a dozen times.

R.Lalique Leaves The Building: Prices Strong With Some Through The Roof At Christie’s London

May 4th, 2014

In any collecting field, when an auction puts down a new world record auction price or two, it’s a statement about the health of the market and the worldwide interest in the artist. This is about a sale with likely double-digit auction records.

Sauterelles Vase Rene Lalique Green Glass GrasshoppersOn April 30th, Christie’s cataloged 84 lots of R. Lalique at their King Street salerooms. All were from the same European based consignor and all apparently acquired in the last few years. So “fresh to market” would not apply here, with most of the goods having been to rodeo* quite recently.

To say that vases dominated the offerings and the results would be a bit of an understatement. Of the 84 lots originally cataloged, only 8 were not vases. With Lot 83, the highly questionable gray Bacchantes Vase being withdrawn** prior to the start, 75 of the 83 lots presented at the podium were R. Lalique Vases. The group included 3 cire perdue vases, both Cluny and Senlis Vases, and a total of 54 colored glass vases, assuming of course you regard gray and black as colors in the R.Lalique world! ***

Formose Vase Rene Lalique Cased Opalescent Blue-Green Agate GlassSo of the 83 lots offered, the auction house reports that 62 were sold****, for a roughly 75% sales rate on the lot numbers. The premium inclusive total (used for all the following sales numbers) was £1,361,375 or about £21,950 per lot average selling price. Using an approximate real life exchange rate of 1.71 dollars to the Brit Pound (again for all that follows), that makes the sale total about $2,328,000, or $37,550 per sold lot.

Let’s talk about the likely world record prices at auction for particular lots (keeping in mind the vagaries of what exchange rate to use for comparison, not knowing if the buyer had additional costs such as sales tax or vat, etc.):

Lot 3 Formose Vase (Agate) £23,750/$40,600 – for the model
Lot 7 Ronces Vase (Blue) £17,500/$29,900 – for the model
Lot 13 Penthievre Vase (Amber) £35,000/$59,900- for this color of the model, and likely for the model
Lot 15 Serpent Vase (Amber) £35,000/$59,900 – for the model *****
Lot 39 Esterel Vase (Amber) £6,875/$11,750 – for the model
Lot 47 Gros Scarabees Vase (clear/frosted) £17,500/$29,900 – for this color (well, colorless) of the model
Lot 51 Sauterelles Vase (Opalescent) £43,750/$74,800 – for this color (and for maybe 20 minutes) for the model
Lot 60 Ceylon Vase (Yellow Amber) £27,500/$47,000 – for the model
Lot 63 Sauterelles Vase (Green) £57,500/$98,300 – for the model
Lot 73 Borromee Vase (Blue) £32,500/$55,600 – for the model
Lot 77 Martin Pecheurs Vase (Black) £43,750/$74,800 – for the model
Lot 80 Montargis Vase (Black) £40,000/$68,400 – for the model

And a real close one:

Lot 54 Terpsichore (Opalescent) £37,500/$64,100 – for the model a very close 2nd place but considering the slightly higher selling vase had more than just a passing opalescence, this is a really strong result.

Cluny Vase Rene Lalique Bronze Masque And Serpent Attachments Over Smokey GlassThat’s a decent number of likely world record prices in a relatively small sale out of only 62 sold lots.

Lest you are tempted to let thoughts of the superior investing acumen of the seller fog your brain, let’s take a bit of If/If time here using the amber Serpent Vase as an example. The all-in price paid at Heritage was $56,762.50. That would be the buyer’s cost. But the hammer price (not the all-in price shown above that would include the auction house buyers premium, but the price relevant to the seller’s proceeds) at this sale was $48,880. There would also be some expenses off that $48,800 such as a likely a seller commission, shipping back and forth to parts known and unknown, etc. Surely the seller hit some winners and just as surely got nicked a bit here and there as well. All If/If of course:).

But to settle the big picture, it’s rumored that the consignor was sitting in the saleroom during the auction and did not appear to be dissatisfied with the ongoing results. Also likely satisfied was the single bidder that bought roughly a quarter of the lots in the sale (including the yellow Ceylan Vase, the green Sauterelles Vase, the blue Borromee Vase, the black Lezards Et Bluets Vase, and the agate Formose Vase), or all of the top five purchasers that accounted for roughly half the sale lots.

Serpent Vase Rene Lalique Dark Amber Glass Coiled SnakeThe high seller was Lot 25, the Cluny Vase which made £116,500/$199,200. The runner-up was the Cire Perdue Covered Vase Lot 45 which made £92,500/$158,200. Curiously, one disappointment of the sale was that the runner-up vase was the only one of the three cire perdue vases to sell. Of course estimates were high as they were throughout the sale owing likely to the high prices recently paid by the seller, but that didn’t stop many of the colored glass commercial vases from making strong numbers. Also with only three cire perdues, it might just be too small a sample to draw conclusions from. And there might be other issues concerning specific pieces that caused a lack of bidding.

Ceylan Vase Rene Lalique Yellow Amber Eight Birds Motif GlassOur thoughts on the market and the meaning of the higher prices have remained steady for many years now, and this sale does not alter them. Even the large numbers of world record prices do not signal some tulip bulb or Silicon Valley stock style bubble. In any rising market, especially art, there will be individual items that get a bit over-heated in an instance. But the overall market, even for colored vases and mascots (two sometimes hot areas) can best be described over the last 18 years, beginning in 1996, as making a steady and general uphill climb. A few examples to make the point:

10 to 15 years ago, an opalescent green Rampillon Vase sold for about $6600 on Ebay. Over a decade later, it made under $11,000 at this sale******. In the same time frame, some colored Ronces were selling in the $10,000 range. So 15 years later on outlier world record on one vase makes $30,000. But the group of Ronces taken together was certainly not out of control. Did the green grasshopper vase go through the roof? Sure. But that’s only one vase. The four Formoses as a group, notwithstanding the agate example going quite high, were strong but not crazy. All the Perruches Vases were also firm but not wild, and certainly not records. And even some of the likely record prices were close (arguably close) to previous record highs.

Rampillon Vase Rene Lalique Green Opalescent GlassYou also have to consider the venue and how that impacts pricing. Joy McCall and her staff have built a high quality reputation that gives comfort to all bidders, but especially new and inexperienced ones. The Christie’s sales of R. Lalique have tended toward the high side in recent years as they’ve drawn in some great material, and also attracted the then current crop of higher end bidders building up (and chasing up at times) collections. Those bidders feel that they can bid with confidence at these sales, and this impacts prices of course.

When owners come to RLalique.com for an evaluation of their items, we tell them that in addition to all the other considerations, that speed, cost, method, timing, and location of sale are significant factors in the expected value of art. These are not listed stocks where you call your broker and sell in an instant for the one penny spread. Confidence plays a great role in both the acquisition and disposition of art, and here we believe it has played a large one.

Overall, just the kind of results you could anticipate in a firm market, at the right venue, with solid material offered.

If you are looking for more information about any of the R. Lalique models that sold in this sale (or any that didn’t), check out the R. Lalique Catalog here at RLalique.com.

All in all, another great day for the great Rene Lalique.

* “Been to the rodeo before” or “This ain’t my first rodeo” are American expressions indicating that the same thing has happened or been experienced before, or something that’s happening is familiar.

** Here at RLalique.com, we noticed a couple of years ago during our daily world wide auction searches, a spate of supposed grey glass R. Lalique Bacchantes Vases appearing at auction in Europe. They were highly suspicious for their numbers, and for a couple of other reasons best kept close to the vest. They had concave bottoms and what appeared to some to be passable signatures. But of course, R. Lalique Gray Bacchantes Vases do not drop like overripe mangos from a rainforest tree, so both eyebrows and alarms were raised. We talked to the purchaser of one of the vases, and it turned out in due time that this purchaser’s vase was in fact a modern crystal reproduction, heavily worked with a false signature applied, to be passed off as authentic R. Lalique. We can only assume 🙂 because of the vase, the color, and the timing of the consignor’s acquisitions, that the withdrawal was well advised and foreseeable.

*** Gray is a color, and for this color-blind writer (in both a physical and metaphysical sense), it is the most prevalent color. 🙂 Black on the other hand is really the absence of color, but black R. Lalique items are considered by most, from a collecting standpoint to be colored pieces. The Oracle says this is the correct view on all levels (again, both physically and metaphysically speaking), as Rene Lalique could not have produced a true, colorless black glass.

**** We have Lot 10, the red Escargot Vase, as having passed at £18,000 and not selling. The published sales results show that vase selling for £20,000 plus £7500 premium, for an all-in total of £27,500 and this amount along with the sale is included in the reported results above. We assume it sold after it passed (non-buyers remorse?), but fast enough to beat the results to press and be included just as if it sold from the podium.

***** The dark amber glass Serpent Vase in this sale is likely the previous world auction record holder from Heritage Auctions, where it made just a bit less. This standout example of the classic deco design graced the halls of World Headquarters for many years before being released to set the world record price for the model on now two different occasions.

****** Thankfully, the Christie’s London staff had the good sense not to repeat the November 1995 Park Avenue catalog calumny that only five of these green opalescent Rampillon Vases are known to exist. This author once had three of them in hand at the same time (yah yah, big hands) and pulled out that catalog just to have a good laugh.

Myosotis Garniture De Toilette Dresser Set: Background And Appraisal Video

April 20th, 2014

Rene Lalique created several different Garnitures De Toilette (dresser, dressing table, or bathroom sets). The earliest set was created in 1909, with the most prevalent models following in 1919 and 1920 when Fleurettes and Epines were introduced just in time for the roaring 20’s. In the mid 1920’s Perles would make its appearance, and in 1931 Dahlia, Duncan and Enfants would appear in swift succession. Finally during the war years, Helene’s two bottles and one box debuted in 1942.

Myosotis Garniture De Toilette Bottles - A Close-Up Of The Stoppers - Rene Lalique

But the most visually stunning, the set with the largest bottles, and the only one of all the Garnitures to feature nude figures would come in 1928! Just three bottles and one covered box. Their name derives from the Greek word for “mouse ear”, the name given to a plant genus with over 200 varieties; so named because of the shape of the leafs which surround the small, usually less than a centimeter wide typically five lobed flowers. The flowering plant exists in Europe and in places as far away as New Zealand and Alaska (where one variety is the state flower).

Myosotis Forget-Me-Not Flowers And LeafThe plant is the stuff of legends in Germany, where one legend has it that when God named all the plants, a small genus cried out, Forget-me-not, O Lord! And God replied by naming the plant just that. A bit closer to our time, in the 1400’s in Germany, it was commonly held that if someone wore the flower from this plant, their lovers would not forget them! In 1926 it was adopted as an emblem by the German Freemasons as a message not to forget the needy (Das Vergissmeinnicht), and was likewise adopted by other charitable groups in Germany and elsewhere. It’s also rumored that the Freemasons used it during the Nazi era in Germany in substitution for their typical square and compass symbol as a secret outward means of identification when the Nazis began confiscating Freemason property.

Myosotis Garniture De Toilette Perfume Bottles - All Three Sizes - Rene LaliqueThoreau (“the mouse ear forget me not…”) and other writers of the 19th and 20th centuries incorporated it into the classic literature of our upbringing. And in 1928, Rene Lalique adopted it as the design motif for the Garniture he named after that same flowering plant: Myosotis. It’s French for “forget-me-not”!

The three different sized flask style bottles are each trimmed on the sides in Myosotis, as is the base and cover of the matching box. All four pieces have a different figure on top **; the bottles as the stopper decoration, and the box incorporated into the center of the top of the lid for easy handling.

The bottles range in height from 23 to 29 centimeters, and the box is 16 cm tall.*** All four models are hard to find in good condition today. The reasons for this include the relative high cost of the bottles when originally marketed in the late 20’s and throughout much of the 1930’s, so huge numbers were not sold; the fact that they were introduced just before the depression which had an obvious negative effect on sales all the way up to the start of World War II; and the fact that the large size and narrow flask shape of the bottles made it easy to knock them over, and made it likely that just one fall would do great and irreparable damage.

Myosotis Garniture De Toilette Perfume Bottles - Two Of The Three Eau De Toilette Bottle And The Box - Rene LaliqueFinally, as with other large nude stoppered pieces such as the vases Douze Figurines Avec Bouchon Figurine (the barrel), and Sirenes Avec Bouchon Figurine (the flask), leaving the stopper in the bottles for long periods of time (decades in many instances) gave rise to glass sickness in the bottles, an unsightly interior cloudiness that is now a common trait of a great percentage of these bottles when they do appear. **** / *****

Single bottles come up at auction a few times a year somewhere in the world. Complete sets of all four items are very seldom seen, and even sets of just the three bottles are very hard to find as well.

A three piece set with two bottles and the box as shown here did appear at Sotheby’s Paris in November 2009 where it sold for a premium inclusive total of €16,250 for the three pieces, over double the high estimate of €6000 – €8000.

A set of the three bottles sans box also shown here was offered in March of this year at the Drouot in Paris by Coutau-Bégarie with an estimate of €16,000 – €18,000. The auction house chose a close-up of the these three bottles as the cover illustration for their catalogue as shown at the top of this article. The bottles appeared to have glass sickness as seen in the lot photo above, and did not sell.

Finally of course, below is the three bottle set that walked into the U.S. Antiques Roadshow in Corpus Christi Texas. Credit goes to the family cat for the absence of the matching box (didn’t these come with a house pets warning label?), and each surviving bottle in the set had damage, or the sickness that can be seen in the photo, or both. Yet with all those complications, we judge the appraiser came inside the wide range of right with her valuation. The picture is linked to the roadshow page where you can watch the video.

** The stopper design for the largest of the perfume bottles was also used for the Floreal Paperweight mounted on a square black base. This model is extremely rare to find in the authentic R. Lalique version shown in the preceding link. However it has been mightily reproduced in crystal by the modern Cristal Lalique company.

*** Additional information can be found in the Rene Lalique Catalogue here at RLalique.com in the Perfume Bottles category for the bottles, and in the Box category for the box.

**** Glass sickness, or the clouding of the interior of the glass, can usually be removed, but this will have to wait for another article down the road. However we can say for sure now, that the contributing factor of the stopper has nothing to do with its nude (or not) decoration! 🙂

***** You might wonder why the Myosotis bottles are referred to as perfume bottles, flacons, cologne bottles, or Eau De Toilette bottles, while the two Sirenes stoppered bottles mentioned here are called vases. It’s a one-word answer: marketing.

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.

Here are the relevant auctions (the writer of the email omitted one).

Green Meduse Vase **

Opalescent Bacchantes Vase

Blue Ronces Vase

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.

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.

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. Undoubtably 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 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 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 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 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.

Rene Lalique Espalion Vase: R.Lalique Appraisal And Lalique Video

August 13th, 2012

The R. Lalique Espalion Vase is a one of the great Rene Lalique Vase models from the art deco era. First introduced in 1927 during the most roaring of the roaring 20’s, this was a vase that held true to the roots of Rene Lalique design. The vase was uniquely shaped, had a fern leaf motif all-over the exterior, and small rim opening more suitable for the shorter and smaller daily flowers of the day. It was an extremely attractive decorative object in its own right even if never used as a flower holder. The popular model was sold on several continents by Rene Lalique et Cie retailers and they have found their way all over the world in the 85 years since their introduction. The Espalions are typically seen in opalescent or just clear and frosted, but sometimes in a great blue glass as well as the amazing cased opalescent green shown in the accompanying photo.

Rene Lalique Espalion Vase Pair In Blue Glass And Cased Green Opalescent Glass

As with so much other R.Lalique, the vase that is the subject of this article found its way to the American heartland. Owned by the wealthy Kellogg Family in Minnesota*, it journeyed by gift and then inheritance to another R.Lalique rich U.S. state: Oklahoma.

Out it came at the Tulsa stop of the Antiques Roadshow in an episode that first aired in January of 2012. The appraiser, David McCarron, has over 1/4 century of experience in decorative arts including stints as both auctioneer and appraiser. Currently based in Massachusetts, he has worked for a variety of firms including Sotheby’s and Freemans, has even appeared on Oprah (doubtful that he jumped up and down on the Oprah couch to proclaim his love for decorative arts**), and has been with the Antiques Roadshow since its 1997 inception. His take on the great Lalique Blue Glass Espalion Vase can be seen HERE.

We don’t know for sure, but we’re thinking there’s a good chance David is a follower of the RLalique.com website! Here is part of what our Rene Lalique Biography says in the introduction to Rene Lalique:

“In 1900 at the age of 40, he was the most celebrated jeweler in the world and an art nouveau artist and designer of magnificent proportions. But by 1925 at the height of the art deco era he was the most celebrated glassmaker in the world.” Amen.

* This Espalion is not the only blue glass R.Lalique vase attributed to the Minnesota Kellogg Family. This writer acquired a wonderful blue glass R. Lalique Borromee Vase from the same Minneapolis family.

** The actor Tom Cruise weirdly jumped up and down on the Oprah Show couch in 2005 to proclaim his love for the now latest of his several ex-wives.

Rene Lalique Poissons Vase in Blue Glass Leads R.Lalique Prices As Records Fall At Christie’s Lalique Sale

June 1st, 2012

“Close but no cigar” is an American expression that likely originated at carnivals where cigars were given away as prizes at the various games of chance. Some early slot machines also awarded cigars to winners and may have contributed to the spread of this expression

Rene Lalique Poissons Vase In Electric Blue GlassWell, at Christie’s South Kensington’s Semi-Annual Lalique Sale, the high seller was Lot 143, a nice looking electric blue glass R. Lalique Poissons Vase. Against an estimate of £30,000 to £50,000 or about $48,000 to $80,000 (at the estimated 1.6 U.S. dollars to a British pound used throughout this article), the vase made £65,000/$104,000, and with the buyers premium, an all-in total of £79,250/$126,800.

A record price at auction for a Lalique Poissons Vase! A record price at auction for a Lalique blue glass vase! But the total price (which does not include possible other charges) was just shy of what they might call in the American Southwest, the Big Enchilada; the record high price at auction for a colored glass Lalique production vase. Not quite the turkey** we were hoping but a great Rene Lalique result nonetheless.

Rene Lalique Perruches Vase In Dark Amber GlassThis is of course only minor consolation for the buyer who if rumor is correct, hailed from across the channel, and may therefore be responsible for as much as $10,000 to $13,000 or so of added charges related to either VAT or Import Duties or both, which when combined with the reported result, would make for a record payment if not a record price:). Basically, send the cigar ….. and the turkey.

Notably, two other R. Lalique Poissons Vases were offered up as Lots 124 and 142, with the prior, an amber glass example making all-in (as are all further prices in this article unless stated otherwise) £32,450/$51,920, and the later cased red glass example hitting a bit more at £34,850/$55,760. Though less than half the high selling Poissons Vase price, these represented the 3rd and 4th high selling lots in the auction. Nothing fishy here. Notably the result for Lot 142 was roughly equal to the record price at auction for a Red Poissons Vase achieved just last month.

Rene Lalique Poissons Vase In Cased Red Glass2nd high seller was another colored glass vase, Lot 141, a Perruches Vase in amber glass that sold for £36,050/$57,680.

And rounding out the top five was a nice looking press molded opalescent glass Bacchantes Vase selling as Lot 125 for £30,000/$48,000.

Some lots (among others) which seemed to make seriously strong and likely record prices include Lot 140, the cased opalescent Perruches Vase at £30,000/$48,000, the cased opalescent Alicante Vase Lot 126 at £25,000/$40,000, and the Muguet Bowl in opalescent glass as Lot 32 for £6,875/$11,000.

Rene Lalique Muguet Bowl In Opalescent GlassAll in all, for Christie’s a sale total of £591,050/$945,580 for 105 sold lots or an average of about £5,629/9,006 of which the R. Lalique glass was 90 lots making £564,524/$903,210 or an average for each Rene Lalique item of about £6,272/$10,036. See all the results here.

If you are interested in more information about Lalique Auctions visit the Rene Lalique Biography Lalique Auctions section from which you can access all the great auction resources here at the Worldwide Gathering Place for Everything R.Lalique!

** Turkey: In American bowling three strikes in a row were called a “triple”. But around the turn of 20th Century, at a time when the game was more difficult, a tradition arose where a player making three strikes in row on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day would get a live turkey as a prize. Today, no live turkey, but the appellation has stuck and is now colloquially used to describe almost any three successes in row, bowling or otherwise.

 
 

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