Model No: 1153 Epsom. Created June 1929
Symbol of the Greek and more particularly Athenian aristocracy, the horse is represented everywhere in art and sculpture. It appears on the friezes of the Parthenon and decorates the Metopes of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia.
René LALIQUE was inspired by this to create, in 1929, two horse head designs dedicated to the two most elegant races and tracks of the time, “The Epsom Derby" of Surrey in England and "Longchamp", name of the racetrack in Paris running the coveted "Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe”.
Epsom, in contrast to the restrained Longchamp designs, depicts a horse speeding and straining to cross the line, with movement captured in exquisite style. It is reminiscent of one of the team of horses pulling Selene’s chariot, a life size carving and piece from the Elgin Marbles of Greece which exists originally from the East Pediment of the Parthenon. Lalique’s interpretation was a perfect homage.
Clear (white) glass press molded
Price (1932 Lalique et Cie Catalogue): 350FF
Breves of Knightsbridge, London UK did not list this model in their Car Mascots leaflets or material along with both Longchamp horse head designs (though Epsom did appear in some later sales listings as ’Troy’). No reason is known other than to speculate it was related to the difficulties in mounting these designs to the Breves mount (a groove had to be cut in Longchamp A and Epsom) and also the economic climate and fading fashion for car mascots. The apparent lack of marketing could account for the rarity of the Epsom model though you might have expected this subject matter to be especially popular in both the UK and France.
Nil Melior, a prominent auto accessories company whose showrooms were located at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, listed the Epsom in their earlier catalogues under the title 'Tete de Cheval Epsom' for $35, with an illuminated base for an additional $5.
Other names for this mascot - Epsom, Troy, Tete de Cheval, Straining Horse Head, Horse Head. Mascotte, Hood Ornament, Car Mascot, Bouchon de Radiateur, Radiator Cap.
Appeared in 1932 Lalique Catalogue. Removed from 1937 Catalogue (though available as book-ends at this time).
No known reissue in crystal post 1947, not marketed today.