News & Insights


17th November 2018.

An unusual Art Nouveau belt buckle by the famed Parisian jeweller and glass maker René Lalique sold for £19,000 (plus buyer’s premium) in Tennants Auctioneers’ Fine Art Sale on 17th November in their North Yorkshire Salerooms. The silver and gold buckle, modelled in the form of a female face with flowing hair and a blue enamel headband, was featured on the Antiques Road Show filmed at Castle Howard (broadcast 22nd April 2018). It had been worn by the vendor throughout her nursing career; she had been gifted the buckle by her uncle’s great aunt, who had moved to the UK from France in the 1890s.

On offer with an estimate of £5,000-8,000 (plus buyer’s premium), the buckle attracted attention from all over the world, and after many competing bids finally sold to a bidder in the United States. This wearable piece of art was made by Lalique (it is stamped with his name) during the early part of his career. René Lalique began his working life as a jewellery designer, and by the 1890s had set up his own workshop and become accomplished at incorporating enamel and increasingly glass into his work. It was only in 1907, after he went into partnership with a perfumer to create beautiful perfume bottles that he made the transition to focussing solely on becoming a master glass maker.

Belt buckles are relatively scarce in the output of Lalique’s career as a jeweller, and this charming example it certainly attracted collectors of Lalique and belt buckle enthusiasts.

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