A collection of 120 pieces of antique glassworks by the famous French glassmaker Lalique is expected to bring more than $1 million at a Feb. 9 auction at Christie’s in London.
The standout piece from the collection is a nine-inch tall vase that is estimated to sell for $21,300 to $35,000. The vase was designed by René Lalique in 1929, but was likely made several years later, according to Bloomberg.
However, the value of this piece of designer glass is a bit different from say a one-of-a-kind Picasso painting, i.e., it isn’t at all rare. You can by the exact same Languedoc vase, new, at any Lalique store for $6,800.
Antique Lalique does differ very slightly from contemporary piece, however, and that is what collectors are after. Ironically though, these more expensive antique pieces are glass, rather than crystal, the material the brand has become known for. That is because Rene Lalique produced only glassworks. It was not until his son took over the business that the company began using crystal.
“There’s an historical element,” Joy McCall, director of Christie’s London design department, told Bloomberg. “These have survived a length of time, and they were known to have been made by Lalique himself, or at least under his guidance.”
As always, history is the most expensive element of an antique.