The Royal Jewellers S01 ep4 : Lalique Glass & Jewellery [Paris]

Interview with Gerard Tavenas

Rene Lalique is an artist like Picasso, Monet, Modigliani or Dali. And it’s the only example
in the French Province of the success of an artist who become an industrialist.

Henri Lalique was one of the most important artists in the world from the period
of art noveau and art deco; in fact he had two different activities. The first one
was jewellery and the second one was glassmaker during the art deco period
1909 until 1945.

He came to the glass activities by accident. He was a close friend of Mr. Coty
who was the inventor of the modern perfumery. He asked to Mr. Lalique if it
could be possible for him to design a perfume bottle and this bottle was a big
event because for the first time the bottle was expressing the fragrance inside
the bottle.

This bottle was such a success, maybe it was also due to the perfume that
everybody wished to work with Henri Lalique. Henri Lalique has designed
about 400 different models of scent bottles and today people are collecting
those antique scent bottles. There was auction and one bottle was sold for 2
million French Francs. 01.49

Lalique Glass and Jewellery ,Paris,

He started his life with the jewellery after studying in England for 2 years
between the age of 16 and 18. When he came back to France he started to
design for people like Cartier or Bucheron , but immediately he felt that those
brands were not prepared to the modernity of his vision of jewellery.

He was very inspired by the Japanese, by the nature and especially by what I
will call the insects for instance dragonfly, crabs and he created a what we call
a fantasmagorical world.

He discovered that the glass in these jewellery before, because he was
working with what you call Crystal de Roche [rock crystal] and step by step he replaced the
crystal de roche by glass. Demonstrating that it is not necessary to have
precious stones or materials that the artistic feeling is more important than the

Lalique Glass and Jewellery ,Paris,

I have spent a large part of my life in the fashion world with Charles Jordan,
working with people like Karl Lagerfeld - he spent 7 years with me.

KM: So you have seen basically the luxury business over the last 30 years?

I will say I am a good witness, you say,

KM: Witness? Yes!

Of this time because I work also with Castelbajac, Montanna, Thierry Mugler.

There was 3 generations of Lalique from 1880 I would say, when Henri Lalique
started, until 1994. When I came into the company Henri Lalique was only
involved in the crystal activities - it was a very famous brand but for jet set
people but not really known for the

Mass market

Lalique Glass and Jewellery ,Paris,

…mass public. I was totally affected by that because I knew everything about
Lalique and I was surprised that people has forgotten that he was the biggest
jewellery creator and that he had designed the fountains of the rue champs
elysee, that he had decorated the ????? the Normandy Boat? ,but also some
buildings, like the building like the Coty building on 5th Avenue which today
???? shop, the ??? building in Los Angeles, the Palace of the Prince Assaka in
Tokyo and some church Jersey or in France. People have forgotten.

I decided to reveal that, this world, and I started to re launch the fancy

When was this?

Aahh …In 1988. I decided to launch the perfume because we have created so
many bottles that one day we wish to fill up our own bottles, you know.

Yeah, sure

Lalique Glass and Jewellery ,Paris,

I remember that Lalique has worked with the fashion world especially with Coty
who was one of the most important French Couturiers at the beginning of the
century and Henri Lalique has designed handbags, scarves, bags,

Oh he did that, did he.

Oh yes he did this.

Oh these are actually from his Henri Lalique's drawings

Yeah and in fact today I said if we want to go for the world. The crystal activity
is a small activity, you have to get back to the roots of the father and I
revealed the new world of Lalique who existed 1 century ago and who was
forgotten. In fact I did not launch any line that was not touched by our father.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Lalique Glass and Jewellery ,Paris,