Some artists identify with the mediums in which they work so well with; they take them to the next level. Thatâ€™s precisely what Rene Lalique did in France with pressed glass in the early-20th century. He turned simple pressed-glass into an art form.
Lalique used some of the most influential Art Deco images like the female face and form and immortalized each in pressed and mold-blown glass. Great design was the result in vases, bowls, perfume bottles, clocks and car mascots.
These days, Lalique is one of the most popular collectibles. Rene Lalique managed to take a cold medium like glass and make it soft and warm. A masterâ€™s touch. Thatâ€™s why the name Lalique is synonymous with excellence and quality.
By the time Lalique was 30, he was one of the most important Art Nouveau jewelry designers in France. He created pieces for the nobility as well as starlets like Sarah Bernhardt. By the 1880s, he was using glass in his jewelry design. Experimentation led Lalique to pressed glassware.
With mass-production techniques, he fashioned designs for more than 200 decorative vases and 150 bowls. His lighter, thinner vases were formed by blowing glass into a mold.
Lalique also produced over 250 perfume bottles for Coty, Worth, and various other French perfumers. Lalique produced clear, frosted, and opalescent glass. He also made glass in grey, amber, yellow, green, blue, black and plum.
Initial, Laliqueâ€™s pieces were made in the Art Nouveau style and then later, in the Art Deco style.
At the height of production, Lalique employed over 600 workers. After his death in 1945, his son Marc reopened his factory. Today itâ€™s run by granddaughter, Marie-Claude.
Condition is everything with any mass-produced glass. With age and use, Lalique pieces get weaker. So, early pieces with mint molding are especially sought-after.
Lalique is almost always marked. Whereas, pressed glass is usually unmarked.
The most collectible pieces tend to capture the zest of a particular decade or trend. Many of the molds were also reused at a later date and donâ€™t carry the same significance amongst collectorâ€™s as the earlier pieces.
Red, blue, green, and amber are some of the most sought-after Lalique colors. Red was the hardest to work with making it much more sought-after. Red burned easily in heat and had a tendency to dull in color.
The same, identical vase can sell for huge differences in price simply based on color. Blue is generally more valuable than amber and red seems to be the most valuable.
Most pieces are signed with some variation of â€œR. Lalique.â€ After Laliqueâ€™s death in 1945, the word â€œLaliqueâ€ was used. Later fakes often include the initial â€œR.â€