THE MAGIC of glass is how the material combines both fantasy and reality. While it’s clarity suggests an ethereality, held in the hand, it’s remarkably clear that it is real and of this world. René Lalique, founder of crystal and glassworks Lalique, was hailed as a sculptor of light (instead of glass) for how he seemed to capture life in a way that was better than what was real, in a material that once defied logic.
For its 130th anniversary, Lalique introduces a collection called Hirondelles (French for swallow, as in the bird).
Why this specific bird should be so important was pointed out by Daniel Ong, Lalique Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Oceania, who pointed at his lapel pin. Four swallows converged in a sort of compass, and it served as the company’s logo.
This comes from Lalique’s emphasis on nature, for the company first achieved prominence because of the Art Nouveau movement, a style that flourished in the early 1900s that presented a more stylized take on nature, where nature wasn’t what it was, but what we wanted it to be.
Meanwhile, the company had passed hands several times: René’s granddaughter Marie-Claude sold the glassworks to a holding company, and then afterwards sold to Swiss company Art&Fragrance, which has since then been renamed the Lalique Group, this according to Mr. Ong. He also said that the present owner had been enamored by Lalique, owning over 700 pieces — mostly of its perfume bottles — prior to the purchase of the company.
The Hirondelles collection features vases, bowls, plates, a clock, a decanter in white, blue, or gold, and most feature the satin finish of Lalique. What sets this collection apart is a series of sculpted birds that can be stuck to a wall via a magnet (retailing at over P50,000 each).
Of each item, there will only be two available in the Philippines, one in Rustan’s Makati and another in Rustan’s Cebu, and those not quick enough to catch a bird will have to order through the store. — JLG