FROM perfume bottles and menu holders to vases and car mascots, the glass creations of René Lalique remain consistently appealing to a varied gamut of buyers.
At her most recent sale on May 26, Joy McCall, specialist at
Christie's South Kensington (25/20/12% buyer's
premium), who host biannual sales dedicated to the French
glass designer, had buyers from America, Europe, Asia, Africa,
Australasia…in fact everywhere but the two Poles.
CSK present an expansive medley of Lalique pieces at these
sales, from entry level buys in the form of small bowls and vases
fetching around £500 up to the more impressive large figures and
bowls at £20,000 plus.
Helped by a mix of dealers, dedicated Lalique collectors,
decorators and home furnishers searching for a one off piece, this
May 26 sale saw 80 per cent of the 203 lots find homes, for a total
Three large and relatively unusual Perruches vases, no. 876, in
amber, blue and green fetched lofty prices thanks to some
competitive collectors. Each vase was 10.25in (26cm) high, engraved
R. Lalique and from a 1919 design. A deep amber example and an
electric blue and white, stained version, both sold at £26,000
above £15,000-20,000 estimates, whilst the green and white stained
vase made £24,000 against a £12,000-18,000 estimate.
Above: Perruches vase in amber - £26,000 at Christie's South
Car mascots continue to be popular, and subject matter is often
influential, with horse's heads popular with the racing fraternity.
Here an Epsom car mascot, no. 1153 designed in 1929, a 7in (18cm)
long horse's head moulded from clear frosted glass on a
chromium-plated collar and ebonised wooden plinth made £10,000,
against a guide of £4000-6000.
While Christie's take an all encompassing approach to Lalique
with these dedicated sales at South Kensington, Sotheby's
(25/20/12% buyer's premium), now without a secondary
saleroom in London for such collector sales, cherry pick only a few
top end Lalique pieces for inclusion in their 20th century design
In the May 19 Sotheby's sale, nine Lalique pieces were offered
but the undoubted star was a Camaret (Quatre Rangées de Poissons)
table lamp, estimated at £10,000-15,000. Although it is a desirable
form and it's rare to find the original base and shade together,
there was no real explanation for the final price of £50,000, paid
by a trade buyer, probably on behalf of a private client suspects
specialist Jeremy Morrison.
Evidently a couple of bidders just happened to fall in love with
the attractive 1928, 11.5in (29cm) lamp and vase in clear and
frosted glass heightened with pale peach.
Other strong prices at this sale included a Oiseau de Feu
illuminating glass panel, 1922, on a patinated bronze base cast
with butterflies, 17in (43cm) high, which sold above a
£20,000-30,000 estimate at £38,000. There was also a 2ft 11in
(89cm) diameter Madrid chandelier, 1930 which sold for a
Lalique attracts private clients looking to make a one-off buy
for a specific room - a trend seen by Bonhams'
(20/12% buyer's premium) specialist Mark Oliver whose
biannual Design sales generally offer a much larger and more varied
raft of material. At Bonhams' June 16 sale, the best in this
category was a 2ft 3in (69cm) Source de la Fontaine (Adriane)
figure, designed in 1924, which sold for a mid-estimate £10,500 to
an American collector.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.