Welcome to R. Lalique Car Mascots
A pleasure of collecting the ouevre of René Jules Lalique is that there are no wrong turns, though certainly one may at times have to navigate through a maze of intrigue and discovery. Trust your instincts in that maze or find a trusted guide and the journey will be an enjoyable one wherever it takes you.
On a personal level, my quest is now focused on Lalique Bouchons de Radiateur, otherwise known as radiator caps, hood ornaments or car mascots, terminology usually dependent on your geography. I have traversed much of that geography to procure the best examples I could find. Models that piqued my interest in terms of both the complexity of manufacture and beauty of design making them expensive when new and thus some of the rarest today.
Please contact us if you wish to add to or begin your own collection.
The 29 (or 30 depending on your point of view) mascot models invariably exist in two or more different versions and we would happy to discuss the nuances or more obvious variations of each. We also recommend exercising caution when buying, given the copies, modern reproductions and repaired or modified examples that often come to market. Again, we would be happy to advise on any prospective purchase.
Many of the genuine pre-war pieces are still contemporary in appearance such was the genius of Lalique given many of these designs are now 100 years old or approaching that milestone. They crossed the boundary of art nouveau into art deco with an unmistakable style of their own. Some of course are still manufactured by the modern Lalique SA company but René Lalique not only conceived these designs but also envisaged how to utilise materials such that an ethereal and lifelike quality was formed that seems almost impossible to recreate today.
Gabriel Mouray who wrote the introduction to the 1932 Lalique et Cie Catalogue, as well as several other period publications on Lalique, put it well when he wrote that '(Lalique) gave life to the "menagerie" which, it appears to me, was quite worthy of a place in the glass-cases of the collectors and on the shelves of cultured collectors. Lalique reveals himself as a sculptor of animals among the very best. None was able, better than he, to fix in their essential lines the general and typical gait, the familiar and characteristic gestures of those of our inferior brothers towards which he has felt more particularly drawn. Among the winged tributes, let us mention the presence of pigeons and sparrows, plump gluttons, so well reproduced, so lifelike that one would expect them to coo and chirp.' Yes, exactly.
Indeed with Lalique it was the humble sparrow paperweight that was my first ever Lalique purchase. I simply could not resist. With this in mind, I defy anyone to not want to pick up one of his sculptures and enjoy the sensation of feel and the forming of an emotional bond.
Gustave Geffroy author of the 1922 book 'René Lalique par Gustave Geffroy' wrote of how Lalique had given what was a press-moulded piece the appearance of being engraved by hand such was the lightness and accuracy of the image.
It was a pleasure to be involved with the Musée Lalique in Wingen-sur-Moder from prior to the opening in July 2011 and through several exhibitions including 'The Aquatic World of Lalique' in 2014 and especially 'Lalique and the Art of Travel' in 2016 when my complete collection of R. Lalique car mascots or bouchon de radiateur were exhibited together https://www.musee-lalique.com 2016 Lalique Art and Travel
John Nemeth 2017
Also useful links:
RLalique Glass website here you will aways get great advice and there is always a large selection of Rene Lalique glass for sale from Raul Arantes
rlalique.com a great resource on all matters Lalique
RLalique.com Mascot Auction Report Mascot Auction Report
https://rlalique.com Auction Blog
https://rlalique.com/blog Bonhams February 2019
The majority of the collection and for sale images on this website were photgraphed by Richard Cranefield www.richard.cranefield.com
Other images were taken as part of the Musee Lalique display of the complete collection of R. Lalique car mascots some of which were subsequently used and sold as postcards in the museum shop.
Digitisation of the Collection Archives was carried out by Oxford Duplication Centre