22 Apr 2021
August 3, 2012 - Filed under: Antiques News — Richard

An Art Deco vase bearing the fingerprints of Rene Lalique was one of the highlights of a recent Christie’s sale, realising $240,000 (£200,000) when it went under the hammer in New York.

If you need affordable collectibles for your antique cabinet, a Ribble Valley antique dealer will probably point you in the direction of Lalique glassware, which today is mass-produced at the factory named after the famous Art Deco designer René Jules Lalique (1860 – 1945). Original cire perdue pieces by the French master himself are a lot rarer; hence the six-figure sum paid for a Ronde L’Enfant vase at Christie’s Decorative Arts and Design sale, held on 14th June.

Cire perdue is the French term for lost wax casting, a time and labour-intensive process in which pieces are first cast in wax, before being replicated in a mould. The wax is then melted or burned away. Best known for its use in bronze casting, Lalique utilised the technique to create a series of elaborate, experimental glass pieces, in which every detail, including his fingerprints, were transferred from the wax to the glass. Although he cast five Ronde L’Enfant vases, every one used a new wax original and is therefore totally unique.

The sale also included several important furniture items, including a 1949 Isamu Noguchi dining table which, while not an antique, realised a hammer price of £1.8m – a world auction record for a Noguchi piece. It must be remembered that, as with many auctions, there were hefty commission charges to be added to the hammer prices – something you won’t find if you buy an antique dining table from a Preston antique dealer.

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