Famous Glass Art: Lalique

French Glass Artist of the Late 19th Century

The 1800s gave birth to more glass artists such as the very renowned and accomplished glass artist, René Lalique. He started out in 1881 as a freelancer. He worked in jewelry. His most absorbing pastimes were with three-dimensional art objects for decoration.

The Art Nouveau style vases he crafted along with perfume bottles, decanters and other cooking vessels were highly pleasing to see with reliefs of animal scenes, greenery and scenes of the forest. He created molds to reproduce these art objects for mass consumption of art lovers.

Coty Perfume Designer Bottles

Other items of Lalique were stemware, clocks, light fixtures, and items for the dining table. His more popular and world famous works were created in the year, 1902. From his studio and glass foundry, Clairfountaine on the outskirts of Paris, he created the moulded glass objects that were made using the lost wax process from jewelry making.

Francois Coty was one of Lalique’s first major clients. He was to become one of the most successful perfume vendors. Lalique designed sixteen different perfume bottles for Coty to sell his upscale designer perfumes on New York’s Fifth Avenue. They are still being sold today in these famous bottles that were designed for marketing in 1910.

Successful Glassworks of Combs-la-Ville

The demand was so good for the Coty perfume bottles that Lalique designed that he moved into the new Foundry, Combs-la-Ville, to continue onward with his fine glass works. He purchased the foundry with no loans. There the works were made with abundant, silica-rich, sands. Many artisan glass workers flocked to this special place to learn and work with Lalique. Lalique continued to further refine his processes leaving out lead, a common material in glass blowing. He used demi-crystals because they were less costly and easier to work with.

Tiara Tops

The perfume industry loved Lalique’s design for their fragrances. Other big names such as d’Orsay and Roger et Gallet also purchased his bottles and Lalique garnered more notoriety for his famous tiara stoppers that topped these bottles like a crown. The crowns were very attractive to the perfume shoppers and many bottles were sold. Lalique enjoyed being the creator of such beautiful containers that he designed some of his own for his own enjoyment called the Tantot and the Amphitrite.

From Bottles to Lovebirds

With the great successes of the perfume bottles, the new ideas flit about in the mind of Lalique and out of Combs-la-Ville bottle factory came some lovely sculptures and limited designs of vases. The more well-known are the pairs of parakeets and the captivating forms of lovebirds. This motif became his signature as he used it throughout his illustrious career.