Crystal creatures

When it comes to the animal kingdom, Lalique is all in.

Founded by René Lalique in 1888 and noted for its exquisite crystal creations, the luxury decorative arts company has more recently been busy cementing a broader reputation as a lifestyle brand.

But as Lalique marks its 130th anniversary this year, three collections in its signature crystal carry the legacy forward, each paying homage to different elements — and sensibilities — of the animal kingdom.

Nature is an enduring source of inspiration for Lalique, ideally exemplified by the creations of the Nature Sauvage collection.

The brand shares that these diverse pieces address, “wild jungle versus urban jungle: The satin-finished crystal bestiary matches the poetry of a dreamlike vision of Parisian flora. The power of the lion, rhinoceros, gorilla, crocodile or hippopotamus contrasts with the lightness of a whirlwind of leaves that defy gravity. Designed by Marc Lalique in 1951, the Champs-Élysées bowl, homage to ‘the most beautiful avenue in the world,’ is transformed through new sizes, colors and uses.”

Focusing on the animal elements of the collection, we look first to the Lions sculpture, which features a powerful male lion that, we’re told, is “standing proud. Both intimidating and protective, the king of animals watches over his family.”

Created in clear or black, this dramatic piece comes to life through the traditional lost-wax technique. This symbol of family unity is issued in a limited edition of 12 pieces of each color.

In addition, with a nod to modern technology, the collection also includes crocodile and hippopotamus sculptures that serve as smartphone holders, their jaws wide open and ready to hold that always-misplaced, modern-day necessity.

For a more “airy” sensibility, Lalique offers Hirondelles. To mark the brand’s milestone anniversary, the Spring/Summer 2018 crystal collection showcases the motif of the swallow, a recurring theme in the work of René Lalique. This symbol of spring is filled with sentiments of happiness and freedom, reinterpreted for this grouping in several sizes, colors and functions by Lalique master craftsmen in both the signature satin- and clear-crystal finishes. From the medium-sized vases in sapphire blue or clear to the wall sculptures, from the carafe topped with a swallow stopper to the swallow-festooned desk clock, the Hirondelles creations take décor to new and fanciful heights.

Finally, Lalique continues its zodiac-themed collection with its 2018 introductions designed in honor of the Chinese Year of the Dog.

Lovers of their canine companions will no doubt delight in the satin-finished and polished clear, gold luster or gold-stamped sculptures that offer playful interpretations of Golden Retrievers and Bulldogs.

Who knows, with these varied forays into the animal kingdom, perhaps Lalique is poised to become the new “man’s best friend”?

For more, visit Lalique.com or Lalique boutiques including the flagship at 609 Madison Ave. in Manhattan. 

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