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René Lalique talented French designer whose career spanned the last years of the 19th century and early years of the 20th. Not only was he a jeweler of great talent and creativity, but his glasswork is legendary among collectors.
René Lalique (1860-1945) raised jewelry to the level of a fine art, using his amazing technical virtuosity to realize a very personal imagery based equally in dream and nature. He has been called the greatest artist-jeweler since the Renaissance.
In 1908 Lalique chose to abandon jewelry making and focus his artistic talents on glasswork. He began creating unique perfume bottles, first for the French firm Coty. He soon was designing bottles for numerous top perfume companies, including Guerlain and Worth. All told, Lalique designed over 250 perfume bottles.
Lalique was also known for his graceful vases and embraced the Art Deco style in his glasswork. In the 1920s René Lalique began designing elegant hood ornaments for automobiles. The glass ornaments were designed to be lit by a bulb and were featured on Bentleys, Bugattis and more.
Although he died in 1945, the company that René Lalique founded is still in operation today. Today his designs are highly sought and while some of his work fetches prices of tens of thousands of dollars, other pieces are available to collectors of more modest means.
Calouste Gulbenkian (1869–1955) was a friend of René Lalique’s for fifty years, as well as a great connoisseur of the various activities of this versatile artist. Between 1899 and 1927 he acquired eighty extraordinary works of art directly from the artist. Today, these are conserved in an exclusive space inside the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.