René Lalique (1860-1945) was a French designer who remains one of the best known makers of moulded, opalescent glass.
He actually began his career as an Art Nouveau jewellery designer, designing pieces for the likes of Cartier!
His experiments with glass in jewellery design quickly developed and by 1890 he was making perfume bottles. His success with glass saw him move away from the jewellery business to concentrate on his new passion.
His work in the 1920s and 30s Art Deco style is considered his best designs.
Common designs on his pieces are taken from the natural world, possibly due to influences from his early childhood in rural France where his was born and continued to visit throughout his younger years.
Exotic women tend to feature too and designs often contained geometric lines and patterns typical of the Art Deco period.
Moulded details showed a variety of depth with repeated motifs covering the entire piece. Lalique’s designs have been copied and faked as early as the 1930s.
A fake can be spotted due to a lack of precision in the moulding with detail not as fine or crisp; they are often in colours not used by Lalique or have incorrectly made and positioned marks.
Virtually all Lalique glass is marked. “R Lalique” was moulded, etched, engraved or sandblasted on the base of the pieces.
The intial “R”, however, was never used after his death in 1945.
“R” is often added to the later pieces to make them appear earlier and thus more desirable!
From the late 1920s the word “France” or words “Made in France” often appeared but never “Paris” or his first name “René”.