Lalique ‘Serpent’ Vase Brings World Record Price
This “Serpent” vase in deep amber glass, circa 1924, with a molded signature, set a world record price for René Lalique when it realized $56,673 at the Heritage Auction Galleries’ Dec. 4 Signature Lalique, Art Glass and Perfume Bottles auction.
DALLAS – Nick Dawes, Heritage Auction Galleries’ consignment director and auctioneer, had a feeling the Dec. 4 Signature Lalique, Art Glass and Perfume Bottles auction was going to be a success, seeing as how there were more than 415 bidders (both online and in person) competing for some 400 lots.
“Art glass collectors had not seen such a large and impressive group of glass offered ‘fresh to the market’ in some time,” said Dawes, “so the buyers were ready. Almost all of the property came from old collections or estates, and had not been seen on the market for more than 30 years, if at all.”
When all was said and done, after two sessions of spirited bidding from the phones, Internet and a packed room, the auction total had far exceeded Heritage’s predictions for the event to finish the day at $1.28 million, with a 94-percent sell-through rate by lot value.
Among the bidders was Oscar-winning actress and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg, who regularly cracked jokes when she was outbid throughout the auction. But she did not leave empty-handed as she did take home a few Art Glass treasures of her own.
The evening session, which was entirely devoted to the works of René Lalique, provided the auction’s principal highlight in the form of a “Serpent” vase in deep amber glass, circa 1924, with a molded signature, that set a world record price for Lalique when it realized $56,673.
The opening lot of the auction, an early Gallé perfume bottle with silver mount and cover, circa 1895, in pristine condition, proved very popular with bidders and set the stage for the rest of event when it realized $7,170 amidst several rounds of intense bidding. The biggest fireworks of the night, after the Lalique Serpent, came in the form of one of the rarest Lalique perfume bottles, a “Raquel Meller” fragrance by Roditi & Sons enameled on each face in orange and black, circa 1925. The bottle, which was recently found in a New Jersey estate, brought $20,315 against a pre-auction estimate of $6,000. Collectors were equally impressed with a grouping of 20 Lalique hood ornaments, which brought consistently high prices, led by the classic Victoire hood ornament at $19,718 and a superb version of Lalique’s famous Cinq Cheveaux, which finished the evening at $16,730.
An early Gallé perfume bottle with silver mount and cover, circa 1895, in pristine condition, realized $7,170.
This Daum “Rain” landscape vases, discovered in an old Southern California collection, brought $14,340.
A small group of Daum “Rain” vases, discovered in an old Southern California collection, had collectors buzzing when a particularly fine example of Daum’s “Rain” landscape vase. Full of the melancholy unique to this rare form of French art glass, the piece soared to more than five times its pre-auction estimate of $2,500 to bring a final price realized of $14,340. Bringing the same price of $14,340 was an Emile Gallé’s “Jeanne D’Arc” cameo glass vase, which drew attention from museums, dealers and collectors before selling for double the pre-auction estimate of $7,000.
Lalique collectors recognized the rarity and excellent condition of a Lalique Flore vase, boldly made in clear and frosted glass, pushing it to $$13,145 against a pre-auction estimate of $3,000.
“The key to making this auction so successful was our determination to estimate property reasonably, and offer it without reserve,” said Dawes. “That made this an authentic, old-fashioned auction, which is becoming rarer and rarer in New York these days.”
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