Rene Lalique

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					A Family Tradition of Genius: Rene, Marc, and Marie-Claude LaLique

In 1876, when Rene LaLique was apprenticed to the Parisian jeweler, Louis Aucoq,
few would guess that he would become the most important figure in Art Noveau and
Art Deco movements in the early twentieth century. Even later in 1883, when he was
freelancing for several leading jewelry producers in Paris and designing jewelry for
the rich and famous throughout Europe and America, it would have been unlikely
anyone could have foreseen his future.

It was only when he received a commission to produce perfume labels, and also
bottles, that Rene turned to working with glass. Since that point, the Lalique family
has been producing wonderful Art Nouveau and Art Deco and other art glass objects
for our fascination and enjoyment for over one hundred and twenty five years.
Working in the lead glass medium that lends itself so well to blow moulding and
pressed pattern glass techniques, Lalique Glass has been one of the most important
influences in the art glass world.

Born in 1860 in Ay, Marne, France, Rene Lalique was apprenticed to a jeweler at the
age of 16. Leaving that to go to art school in England from 1878 to 1880, he returned
and was employed variously by several major jewelry houses in Paris until 1886,
when he opened his own shop. He produced jewelry for many rich and famous
patrons including the actress Sarah Bernhardt.
He also supplied the Oil Financier Calouste Gulbenkian (a noted collector) with
superb original jewellery.

Over the next few years he won several major awards and prizes for his designs in
important European exhibitions.
In the early 1900s he was designing perfume bottles for several of the most important
French perfume firms, and was moving away from the design and production of
jewelry in favor of more and more designs in lead glass and crystal. He produced
many items from his new workshops, employing up to 500 craftsmen.

Rene made many incredibly beautiful limited production items such as vases, boxes,
bowls and plates, sculptures and hood ornaments, ornaments and a huge array of
common every day objects in Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles through the 1920s and
1930s. In 1939 his factory was impounded by the invading German forces, and it did
not resume production until after his death at the end of the war in 1945. He is buried
in Paris.

In 1948, His son Marc reopened the shop and began producing glass once more.
Using both his fathers moulds and his own designs he began to complete the
changeover in the product to full lead crystal.
While heavily influenced by his fathers stylistic sense, Marc also produced many
items of superlative beauty.
The Lalique Glass factory continued for many years producing both art glass objects
and commercial items such as perfume bottles. In the 1950s, Marcs daughter
Marie-Claude joined him in the operations and design of new glass, and partnered
with him until his death in 1977.
 Since that time, she has carried on the family business and Lalique remains a vital art
glass centre in the French art community.

Lalique Glass has appeared in many unique and interesting applications through the
family creative past.

It has graced no less than 29 automobiles as hood ornaments and it has been made
into walls and columns in the luxury dining room of the ocean liner Normandie.
Lalique has become an integral part of the glass church on the channel island of Jersey,
as an altar piece and baptismal Font.

Renes work is in museums all over the world from England to Tokyo, from New York
to Australia.
Thousands of individuals are able to own a vase, or a bowl, or even a sculpture
designed by one of the LaLiques. The beautiful work from the Lalique family has
graced the world and this is evident in every major art centre worldwide, and will be
appreciated with those who love such things forever.
Lalique has resurfaced as a major Glassmaker recently producing art glass in truly
stunning designs.

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