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Bowled Over!

13th January 2022

Lalique bowl sells for £550 at H&H Auction Rooms, Carlisle

One lucky vendor had a pleasant surprise when Stephen Farthing of H&H Auction Rooms discovered a Lalique bowl in the bottom of a box of plant pots, which sold for £550 in their regular fortnightly sale on the 11th January.  Unaware of its existence, let alone its value, the seller had not even shown Stephen the object when he was undertaking a general valuation at her house. 

Lalique is an iconic manufacturer of glass who is particularly associated with the Roaring Twenties.  The founder, René Lalique, began his career as a jewellery apprentice at the age of 16, and by 1881 he was a freelance designer for many of the best-known Parisian jewellers.  After opening his own shop in 1905 he went on to manufacture and exhibit glass as well as jewellery, making perfume bottles for the neighbouring firm of Coty.  By the 1920’s he was one of the world’s most renowned glass makers, manufacturing car mascots for the top marques of the day like Bugatti and Bentley. 

Dating from that period, the opalescent glass bowl is of the design known as “coquilles”, French for shells and  is signed and numbered by the manufacturer.  It only came to light when Stephen was sorting through the vendor’s goods after delivery to the saleroom.

Stephen remarked “Our mission is to find every last penny for our clients, so we always thoroughly inspect each consignment, however unpromising it may look. It was a most exciting discovery and just shows that you never know what to expect as an auctioneer and valuer. Sometimes people’s disregarded objects turn out to be the most valuable, which is certainly true in this case.”

“We offer a free valuation service, so if you want to be bowled over too, pick up the phone or send me an email if you would like us to value one of your hidden treasures.”

Stephen can be contacted at the saleroom on 01228 406320 or email him at [email protected]