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A René Lalique Hair Comb: The Visible and the Invisible

In 1900, enchanted observers marveled at how light played with color, as it reflected off leaves or the wings of a dragonfly. However, unlike moths, dragonflies don’t navigate by the light of the moon. Instead, they use sunlight’s energy on their wings to fly. Dragonflies swarm with predatory precision, catching mosquitos with their feet. Indeed,…

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Lalique Hair Combs and Tiaras

Victorian diamond brooches came with different settings, so they could be worn separately or together as a tiara. Art Nouveau brooches could also serve multiple purposes. Indeed, some were designed as a tiara and ended up as a brooch. Such is the case with this bee-and-flower ornament designed by Rene Lalique in 1905/6. A pencil-and-ink…

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Lalique Tiaras: From God to a Rooster’s Breakfast

The setting of gems is profound meditation. How can a tiara or crown give its wearer the verisimilitude of God on Earth? Rene Lalique couldn’t care less. He transformed the appearance of jewelry with new themes. Combining French Symbolist philosophy with ideas from Japanese art, he incorporated gem setting into raptors’ claws in this comb,…

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Rene Lalique and Calouste Gulbenkian

They were friends for 50 years. Perhaps that’s why Gulbenkian (right) obtained diplomatic immunity and became the Iranian ambassador to Pétain’s Vichy government in 1939. On October 30, 1939, 79-year-old René Lalique rushed to his factory in Wingen, Alcase. The glass-making fires were out. He tried to save his priceless glass molds, but the German…

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Fake Lalique: Real Lalique

This article on Google documents fake Lalique auctions on E-bay. Beginning collectors, please remember: Lalique, LC Tiffany, Faberge and other great jewelers transformed jewelry with ideas: metamorphosis, symbolism, nature, modernism — the same ideas, which were inspiring Rodin, Redon, Rimbaud, and artists all across the Western World. Japonisme came from welding Edo Japanese art and…

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René Lalique and Philippe Wolfers

Lalique introduced horn into the jewelry repertoire. In this tiara, c. 1902, the iridescent horn has different hues, lighter in the center, darker on the sides. The flowers have diamond centers. A gold hinge attaches the tiara to a three-pronged tortoiseshell comb. Lalique uses a curved horn base to showcase flowers cast in glass with…

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Rene Lalique at the Musée Calouste Gulbenkian

Calouste Gulbenkian was the oil entrepreneur who opened up commerce from the Middle East to the West. He also had a 50-year friendship with Rene Lalique and obtained pieces directly from the artist. His art collection numbered over 6000 pieces, to which a museum in his name was built in Lisbon. This comb depicts leaves…