Some of Rene Lalique’s best work is his jewellery.
The brooch below is in the Art Nouveau style made of 18K gold, enamel, molded glass, facetted aquamarine and diamond.
His Jewels fit into two catagories:
- Precious metal jewellery made from the late 1880s to about 1912
- The glass jewellery of 1920s.
The most sought after are the fantastic art nouveau creations of the late 1890s often made with a combination of enamel, gold, gemstones, glass and small diamonds as the example shown.
The mass produced examples of the 1920s are very collectable with a very modest cost compared to the earlier limited production pieces.
Lalique’s primary jewelry design motif was the natural world. He was influenced not just by the natural world of the French countryside, but also Japanese natural world art motifs as well. And he incorporated into his jewelry many materials not widely used in his time for high end jewelry including glass, horn, pearls, semi-precious stones, enamel, and ivory. He only used the typical valuable gemstones of the period for what they brought to the piece artistically and not for their value as gems. Therefore his Lalique jewelry creations were not just holders for high value stones, they were artwork in their own right, creating a worldwide interest and a huge demand.
In 1890, Rene Lalique opened a new jewelry shop in the fashionable Opera district at 20 Rue Therese in Paris. Lalique also met his second wife, the daughter of the sculpture Auguste Ledru, Augustine-Alice Ledru in the same year. The ensuing time spent working at and living above this new shop, saw the creation of some of Rene Lalique’s most celebrated jewelry designs, as well as his experimentation with, and increasing use of glass.