Lalique, jewellery and September thoughts


Labour Day weekend is upon us which means that school is about to start in Canada again for another 10 months. What does this mean for you?


Do you have kids in school? Do you have ones that are now going to university? Are there changes in your life this new school year? Does it matter to you? As parents,  we schedule more around the school year and even when I don’t need to,  I still find myself doing this.


I take this opportunity to look for new ventures, new ideas, new things I want to study. Of course that does not mean that I am looking for a new profession-I love being a jewellery appraiser but I like to explore different venues within the jewellery and gem field. I have made a pact with myself to learn more about the designers in the industry and thought you might like to hear about some of them as I study them.


This month I am looking at Rene Lalique, a designer from the Art Nouveau period. His craftsmanship and attention to detail have made his work recognizable almost on sightdragonfly


Rene Lalique was born in France on April 6, 1860 and died May 5, 1945 in Paris. Not only did he design fabulous jewellery,  such as the dragonfly/lady  pictured here,  but he also did amazing things in glass.


Lalique trained at the school of Decorative Arts, in Paris and in London from 1878 till 1880. His own firm, which he started in Paris in 1885, enabled him to design the brooches and combs which he exhibited at the Paris international exhibition in 1900. This show and these items helped to launch his place in jewellery history .  His patrons included Sarah Bernhardt, for whom he designed some of his finest creations.


Rene Lalique was innovative in a number of ways, like introducing new materials into  jewellery such as horn and  by emphasizing their visual and tactile qualities.  Some of his favourite motifs included women-represented with sensuous hair and diaphanous drapery- animals, snakes or insects.  He created jewellery of elegant and fantastic designs without a lot of precious stones.2007br2454_thistle_corsage Thistle brooch found in the V&A.


His technique with rock crystal and glass led him to experiment artistically with these mediums.   This lady is a great combination of design and form with his attention to detail .renelaliquesuzanne


I hope you have enjoyed this little look into the world of one of the Art Nouveau’s (circa 1890-1920) most influential jewellery designers. You can still find items being designed today by the Lalique factory.


I hope you have a great month.




Karen Howard FCGmA, RMV, CAP(CJA), AIJV







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