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Stunning selection of Lalique glass shines in rainbow colours at Bonhams
Designs spotlight the natural world, from birds, snails and snakes to plants and insects. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- A fabulous array of Art Deco glass by the legendary French designer René Lalique is to go under the hammer at Bonhams Decorative Arts from 1860 sale, on the 19th of November at Bonhams Knightsbridge salerooms. Items worth approximately £150,000, most produced in the 1920s, include a large selection of vases, as well as car mascots, statuettes, dishes and bowls, ceiling lights, and perfume bottles. A notable feature of the collection is the proliferation of coloured glass. While much of Lalique is clear or opalescent, the shades of green, blue, and amber of many pieces offered here are harder to find.

René Lalique (1860-1945) was a celebrated figure of the Art Deco movement. His work was highly fashionable during his lifetime and is sought after today by private collectors and by interior designers. The natural world was a constant source of inspiration for Lalique, and many of the major designs which made Lalique famous are featured in the sale.

Two highlights of the sale are vases rendered in frosted electric blue glass. 'Escargot', designed in 1920 and estimated at £30,000-40,000, has a round, flask-like body incised with spiralling decoration reminiscent of a snail’s shell. 'Perruches', from 1919 and depicting parakeets nesting against a delicate background of criss-crossing branches, is estimated at £25,000-30,000.

Some of the other colourful offerings include 'Champagne', 1927, of vibrant green glass, its round body covered in cone-like protrusions (£4,000-6,000); 'Chardons', 1922, glowing butterscotch yellow with stylised thistles running up its bulbous form (£5,000-7,000); and 'Méduse', design in 1921, its teal hue punctuated by a snaking tendril design (£6,000-8,000).

For a departure from vases, also offered is 'Amsterdam', a pair of clear frosted glass twin candelabra (£20,000-22,000), the curved and flaring shape of the candle holders epitomising the elegant, sinuous design of the Art Deco period. And a rare prototype carafe 'Ledru', the body modelled in relief with maidens clasping garlands of flora, in pale blue frosted glass, is set to achieve £26,000-28,000.

In addition, a selection of beautifully crafted car mascots will appeal to both glass collectors and motoring enthusiasts. Again inspired by nature, two examples from 1928 are 'Grenouille', a frog sitting on its haunches, and 'Petit Libellule' or ‘Little Dragonfly’, both £7,000-9,000.

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