The Allure of Lalique

Rene Lalique began his career as a jeweler in Paris working in the art nouveau style of the 1890s. He used glass occasionally in his designs but he began to experiment in earnest in 1902 using the cire perdue or lost wax process. In 1907, the parfumier Francois Coty invited Lalique to design labels for his scent bottles and it was not long before he was designing the actual bottles. He opened his own glassworks at Combs in 1909 and expanded into much larger premises in Wingen sur Moder in 1918.
Lalique perfected new methods of molding relief-figured designs in glass as he wanted his designs to be within the reach of all classes of society. His stylized motifs reflected the Art Deco style of the period and his reputation as a creative genius in glass was sealed at the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in 1925. Lalique designed vases, bowls, light fittings, and car mascots. He also cast glass in sculptural form, notably statuettes of nudes and veiled dancers. He experimented with many striking colors of glass with clear and frosted finishes. René’s son, Marc, played an important part in the manufacturing side of the business and took over after his father’s death in 1945.