About 100 years ago, between WOI and WOII, a jewelry designer becomes fed up with the ruling jewelry traditions. The Art Nouveau Time is full of garlands, curls, and expensive jewelry. And this young jewelry designer, René Lalique from France wants to create a more functional piece of jewelry with geometrical shapes. The Art Deco Period is born. Meet the most popular jewelry designer of Art Deco.

What makes René Lalique different?

Although in 1890 René Lalique is one of the most important jewelry designers of that period (Art Nouveau) he stops making that style of jewelry. His new inspiration sources are flora, animal life, and female features. His designs are based on peacocks, dragonflies, flowers, and snakes.

And he uses different materials. No expensive materials and precious stones anymore, but semi-precious stones, glass, leather, and enamel. He chooses his material because of its color, shape, and luster. The design comes first and the preciousness is not important.

jewelry designer, The most popular jewelry designer of Art Deco.

He is not only a jewelry designer. But also a designer of glass, like church windows and the windows of the Orient-Express. Or perfume bottles. He makes them in a kind of mass production. The ‘normal’ people can afford his designs.

The clients of René Lalique

You can expect that the rich and famous of this planet stick to their diamonds and gold jewelry. But they love the jewelry of René Lalique. Although the material is not that expensive, his signature on the jewelry is. His jewelry is very expensive when you want to buy it on an auction at Christie’s or Sotheby’s.

Even the Dutch Queen Juliana asked Lalique to design lamps for their palace. And she has to wait for about two years. He has no time to accomplish the lamps immediately, not even for a Dutch queen.

What do you think?

I meet the jewelry of René Lalique for the first time in the Lalique Museum in Doesburg/The Netherlands. For months I looked forward to going and see all the beauties for myself. I appreciate the way he makes the pieces of jewelry affordable for the large public. I love his style and simplicity. But I was a bit disappointed about the finishing touch of the jewelry, not that fine as you get with gold and silver. Not as brilliant as precious stones. What do you think?

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Hug, Florence of FlorenceJewelshop