Perhaps the name known to most people in connection with glass is that of Lalique, a great French glass company that is still producing quality glass today.
Rene Lalique was a jeweller with an international reputation but in the early years of the 20th century, he was commissioned to design some perfume bottles for Coty. His fascination with glass grew and he was soon to design his own glassware. After moving to a larger workshop where he was to develop the press-moulding techniques which allowed him to create for the mass market rather than one-off high end items, he designed the several hundred vases, bowls and plates for which he is so widely known now.
Although moulded glass is often thought of as a poor cousin to mouth-blown glass, it is interesting to note that Lalique glass is still among the most expensive that you can buy. The secret lies in the intricacy of the designs, the crispness of the moulding and the quality of the detail and, of course, the magic with which he transformed birds, animals, satyrs, maidens and stylized plants into the amazing creations that he left behind.
Much of Lalique's work was in opalescent glass, which be seen here in this detail from the 'Formose' vase.
Up until Rene Lalique's death in 1945, pieces were signed 'R. Lalique', apart from some early work which had the stamped intaglio signature with an elongated 'L'; a double-tailed 'q' in some car mascots and early pieces and also the VDA (Verrerie d'Alsace') mark used for a short while after 1921 as shown in this 'Vases' plate from c. 1921.
After 1945, the 'R' was dropped from the signature so any piece without the 'R' is from after that date. However, it has been known for some unscrupuolus sellers to add the 'R' in order to raise the value of their item so if you have doubts as the the authenticity of a piece, you would be well advised to check with an expert in the field or one of the online Rene Lalique sites.
This is a Rene Lalique 'Dahlia' powder bowl available to buy on our Etsy site.
A Coquille bowl stamped R.Lalique diameter 24 cm Price: £395 + p&p UK delivery only
A Rene Lalique 'Vases' plate c 1921 stamped VDA (Verrerie d'Alsace - see above) Price £465 + p&p
Please email for details
The Lalique company continues to produce high quality glass to this day. The powder box at the top of this page is the 'Daphne' box, available to buy on our Etsy site.