(Click the picture to get to this magnificent Lalique brooch.
Dreams captured into jewelry
René Jules Lalique – The “Rembrandt” among the jewellers was the leading French jewelry designer known for his faboulous creations in the Art Nouveau period.
Lalique created new techniques and highly original designs. He was born at Ay, on the Maine, was apprenticed at 16 to the Parisian silversmith and jeweller, Louis Aucoq, attended art schools in Paris and London, and upon returning to Paris made designs for Aucoq, Cartier, Boucheron and others.
He managed, and in 1886 took over, the workshop of Jules d’Estape. After making, in 1891-1894, several pieces of jewelry for Sarah Bernhardt, he exhibited his work at the 1894 Paris Salon, and was acclaimed for his Art Nouveau jewelry, especially after his success at the Paris Exhibition of 1900 which led to his vogue with royalty and the aristocracy.
As it is almost a must to any self-respecting jewelry collecting museum to own a piece of Lalique jewelry with plique-ajour enamel (the glass stained window effect), most of these pieces disappear into museum collections. Therefore it is very unusual to find Lalique pieces in the trade.