In contrast to René Lalique’s (1860-1945) production line moulded glass made in large multiples, these cire perdue works are typically unique.
Between 1913-32, Lalique (with the input of the sculptor Maurice Bergelin) executed nearly 650 cire perdue glass vases, bowls and decorative objects. Occasionally half a dozen casts were made but the majority of objects were one-offs. Typically, fingerprints are visible, providing a direct link to the artist.
Among the most desirable of all Lalique glass pieces, when two buyers lock horns they can get very expensive. Back in 2012, Newcastle upon Tyne firm Anderson & Garland sold a 6in (15cm) vase titled Deux Figures Femmes Aillées for a record £280,000.
The six lots of cire perdue offered by L&T at the Mall Galleries, London on October 26 were topped by a trio of vases of similar stature. Personal taste is important. Guided at £30,000-50,000 was a 7in (18cm) sepia stained vase designed in 1921 that features a frieze of anemones to the base.
It took £28,000, a price matched by Algues et Flots featuring five bands of aquatic weeds and air bubbles designed 1919.
However, the subject of most competition was the Deux Grenouilles vase from 1912 modelled with two frogs heads as handles. It was pitched at £25,000-35,000 but found enough admirers to hit £80,000.