The name Lalique is synonymous with French Art Nouveau. René Jules Lalique (b. 1860) began working as an apprentice to the jeweller and goldsmith Louis Aucoc in 1876. He combined his apprenticeship with evening classes at the École des Arts Décoratifs, before moving to London in 1878 to continue his studies.
Returning to Paris in 1880, Lalique took up the position as a jewellery designer with M. Vuilleret, on rue de Saintonge, Paris. By 1882 he was designing for Boucheron, Cartier and Jacta amongst other important Maisons. He took over Jules Destapes' jewellery workshop in 1885 allowing him to concentrate on more innovative designs incorporating semi precious materials such as glass.
Lalique pursued innovative experimentation in glass during the 1880's and 1890's, his works were moulded using the 'lost wax' technique. Lalique glass was made in this manner until approximately 1905 when he opened a glassworks at Combs-la-Ville.
By the 1930's Lalique was renowned worldwide as the most important art-nouveau designer of his time. Favoured motifs during the Art Nouveau period included dancing nymphs, fish, dragonflies, and foliage, often with acid-etched relief. Later items were made in a variety of colours and were occasionally accented with enamelling, but it was his use of pressed or moulded opalescent glass with its ethereal translucent colour for which he is most renowned.
Mortimer, Tony L. Lalique, Chartwell Books, 1989.
Warmus, William The Essential René Lalique, Harry N. Abram, 2003.