We offer two dedicated sections of Decorative Arts since 1860 in our April and October Interiors auctions, and the category also appears in single owner collections held throughout the year.
A common feature in these auctions are items by the glassmakers Lalique. The company was founded by renowned glassmaker and jeweller René Lalique in 1888 and is considered one of the leading names in the French Decorative Art movement.
Lalique, René Lalique, Ceylan, an opalescent and blue stained glass vase | Sold for £5,625 (July 2020)
Lalique is best remembered for producing glass art, including perfume bottles, vases, and hood ornaments during the early twentieth century. Dreweatts have offered several such items recently including an opalescent and blue stained glass vase, Ceylan pattern, and an opalescent and blue stained glass bowl, Perruches pattern.
Lalique, René Lalique, Perruches, an opalescent and blue stained glass bowl | Sold for £4,000 (October 2020)
The firm also produced exquisite glass framed clocks or pendulettes. We offered an example of a green stained glass clock in July 2020 which sold for £2,500. It showcased the Muguet pattern, with the glass surround decorated with lily-of-the-valley flowers, encircling the captive wind eight day timepiece movement.
Lalique, René Lalique, Muguet, a green stained glass small clock (pendulette) | Sold for £2,500 (July 2020)
Following the death of René Lalique, the firm transitioned to producing lead glass works of art during the 1950s under the direction of his son, Marc Lalique. Examples sold by Dreweatts include a wonderful frosted glass vase in the Bacchantes pattern. This came with its original Lalique card box, thereby increasing its value.
Lalique, Cristal Lalique, Bacchantes, a frosted glass vase | Sold for £2,250 (October 2019)
Another example was a limited edition red and clear glass vase in the Poseidon Rouge pattern. This was number 15 of only 99, and this relative scarcity increased the desirability amongst collectors and thereby increased the value, meaning that it sold above high estimate at a hammer price of £3,200.
Lalique, Cristal Lalique, Poseidon Rouge, a limited edition red and clear glass vase | Sold for £4,000 (June 2019)
Alongside the decorative works of art produced by the firm, there are also items intended for use, such as extensive services of drinking glass and tableware. One such lot was a Treves pattern clear glass table service of wine glasses which comprised: twelve champagne flutes, fourteen red wine glasses and eighteen white wine glasses which sold for £1,750 in July 2020.
Lalique, Cristal Lalique, Treves, a clear glass table service of wine glasses, 1952-2006 | Sold for £1,750 (July 2020)
Early and rare Lalique examples can command a premium at auction. However, the ultimate deciding factor of value is the condition. This is especially the case with more modern pieces of which greater numbers survive. In these cases, collectors are able and willing to wait until a perfect example comes onto the open market.
Whilst items with small faults and chips can allow a collector with limited means to start a collection with minimal outlay, these items are unlikely to appreciate in value over time. We would strongly advise buyers and collectors to request a condition report or view the item in person themselves before bidding as such defaults are reflected in the estimate but not picked out in catalogue descriptions. The absence of such a report is not a guarantee of lack of faults.