Glassware designer and jeweller René Lalique was born in 1860, and spent his childhood in Paris before being apprenticed to a jeweller; he soon began designing his own pieces, which were displayed by leading jewellers of the day - including Cartier. Lalique began to work with glass, gradually abandoning jewellery as he became more and more successful; he designed perfume bottles for leading manufacturer François Coty, and won many prestigious awards and honours for his work, even supplying glassware for the prestigious cruise liner SS Normandie. On Lalique's death in 1945, the business was taken over by his son Marc and eventually his grand-daughter, Marie-Claude. The company is still in business under the same name, manufacturing both glass and jewellery.
There’s still a strong interest in the works of Lalique, and it has a broad appeal. The typical Lalique style was achieved by the contrast between clear and frosted glass, and the designer would sometimes add enamels or a tint to achieve a certain effect. The pure, flowing lines of the glass sculptures are appreciated by glass collectors and fans of early twentieth century design alike, and the market remains buoyant forexamples in good condition. The value of Lalique items is largely dependent on the age and condition of the individual piece. The most sought after glassware items are those made or designed by René Lalique himself when he was at the height of his success in the 1920s, and bearing his own mark of ‘R. Lalique’.