The Top Ten Ways to Identify Fake Lalique Glass


October 31, 2017 11 Comments

The Top Ten Ways to Identify Fake Lalique Glass

Who doesn't like Lalique?  This high end French glass sought after by many collectors is not exempt from fakes and reproductions.  Of course it goes without saying you are better off buying from a reputable dealer, but at the least, educate yourself on the basics of how to identify forged pieces.  To keep it simple lets first look at the timeline of the production of Lalique glass. 

Rene Lalique, being one of the most successful French glass makers of all time, started producing glass in 1905 until his death in 1945. Pieces marked with an "R" for Rene are worth considerably more than a piece that was produced after his death in 1945. Knowing the timelines of when the glass was produced will guide you on what to look for as far as corresponding marks.  Which is a good start to being able to identify an authentic piece of Lalique.

Pieces made from 1905 to 1945 will  bear an "R" and will most commonly be signed "R. Lalique, France". As mentioned, these pieces are worth considerably more than a piece produced post 1945 and subsequently more likely to be forged. Watch for a piece that was produced after 1945 with an "R" in the signature. Forged pieces can have an added engraved or etched "R".  The word France was not always present in the signature. After Rene Lalique's death in 1945 the "R" was no longer used when his son Marc took over the business. Later his granddaughter Marie-Claude Lalique took it over in 1977. Since 1978 the registered trademark, an R with a circle around it, has been added to the mark.

Many clues within the pre- and post- 1945 timeline exist to help you in identifying fraudulent pieces. Keep in mind these are general guidelines and there can always be exceptions to any rule making identification of a knock off even trickier. Most commonly forged pieces have engraved or etched marks, like the addition of an "R" as mentioned above, but the following tips also make good guidelines.

Pre-1945 Tips:

1.  Signatures should be small, rarely over 1/8" tall, forgeries will be larger close to 1/2"

2.  Signatures should look plain, no decorative or fancy wispy lettering 

3.  Marks were not acid etched

4.  Marks should be in harder to see areas like the bottom rim or within the design

Post 1945 Tips:

5.  No "R", the R was dropped and most pieces were signed "Lalique, France"

6.  The word France always appears post 1945

7.  All acid etched marks were all uppercase and not cursive

Lalique pieces will NEVER have the following marks or characteristics:

8.  Made in France, Paris, Rene spelled out 

9.  Pieces are not numbered such as in a limited edition 

10.There should never be mold seams 

Aside from looking at the makers marks, looking at the quality and feel of the glass can help you to determine the age and authenticity of a piece. Ornamental cutting where there are facets in the glass on the base or wide rim is typical of Czech reproductions. Lalique glass over time changed in consistency. Prior to 1945 the lead content was around 12%, called demi cristal.  Post 1945 the lead content was increased to 24% making it full cristal under French law.  Therefore pieces that were made post 1945 are heavier, brighter, and more transparent than those made prior to 1945. The differences are easy to see with the naked eye.  The variations can also be seen with the use of a long wave black light. Pieces pre-1945 will fluoresce yellow under long wave black light while pieces that were produced post 1945 will glow a blue or blue white color.  However, there are some exemptions. 

By using these tips together, the clues will point you in the right direction to being able to identify authentic Lalique glass and remember if it seems too good to be true it probably is. 



11 Responses

James J. Gryszan
James J. Gryszan

July 14, 2020

I’ve owned a “Cow Main” Crystal mascot that is cursively signed Lalique France (20.3cm) high In all attempts to verify authenticity over the decades,Mr.Matthew Broderick states to it is all real. But not an official appraisal yet.What must I do,Sir. Thank You

Dave Small
Dave Small

December 15, 2019

Sharing a few more thoughts on Lalique fakes. You can divide Lalique fakes into tow major categories. Counterfeits are Lalique knock offs intending to replicate actual Lalique products. These are relatively few in number. The vast majority of fakes we see are just frosted glass pieces that are made in the Lalique style and signed with a fake signature using an etching pen. If the piece is really Lalique there will be multiple examples that you can find by searching the web or databases like Worthpoint.com. Lalique would have given it a name and sold multiple, usually many, pieces. Real Lalique quality is immediately apparent upon close inspection.  It has that classic Lalique look of satinized or frosted glass contrasting with sparkling and ultra transparent clear crystal.  It is quite heavy because of the 24% lead content. Cheap fakes, on the other hand, are made with ordinary glass and weigh much less. They have mold seams and are usually unfinished on the bottom surface. Sixty percent of Lalique’s manufacturing cost goes into finishing in the cold room after the hot crystal cools down. This means removing mold lines, polishing the base, and signing the piece. Details are sharply defined. Look closely at some good quality close up photos of Lalique pieces to get a handle on what their quality looks like. Fakes won’t have that high quality look and feel. When it comes to counterfeit replicas of actual Lalique products, the rogue manufacturers have tended to stay away from lower priced items like the Dampierre Vase above and focus on more expensive products to make it worth their while. Many of them have focused on older R Lalique items from the 1920’s and 1930’s for two important reasons: 1/ high prices, and 2/Lalique manufacturing quality wasn’t so precise 100 years ago. Pieces might have straw marks, interior bubbles, and not be so finely finished. The fakers don’t have to meet such a high standard. They’ve also stayed away from pieces that are difficult to manufacture and require skilled artisans. That’s why there are no fakes of items like the Angel Champagne Flutes with a lot of intricate cuttings on thin delicate crystal and much hand work. You can learn more about counterfeit R Lalique pieces at www.RLalique. com. You can see some highly detailed closeup photos of Lalique pieces at my site www.cambridgenudes.com

David Love
David Love

July 29, 2019

Was there a Lalique Glass Works Inc. in the 1980’s with an artist Tony O?

David Love
David Love

July 29, 2019

Was there a: Lalique Glassworks Inc. in the late 1980’s
Do you know of an artist named Tony O with that glassworks?
Thanks

Pauline
Pauline

May 07, 2019

I know it’s a Lalique in deign but I can’t find any signed area is this a fake?

Östen Johansson
Östen Johansson

February 24, 2019

Hi, have an object like the one in the heading abow. It has all of the positive remarks. Marked Lalique France in small writing. Could you give some hint about the value?

Jim
Jim

February 21, 2019

Just purchased a Dampierre vase marked in etched script Lalique France. Any chance this is a real piece produced by Lalique?

Dawn Crossley
Dawn Crossley

January 03, 2019

did lalique ever make a candle stick with a cat on it have found a pair and they have a real look of Lalique but I am not aware of this design?
thanks so much for all your information, most helpful

sarita speros
sarita speros

July 31, 2018

very helpful, tanks you

Lone Højsleth
Lone Højsleth

June 20, 2018

The vase on the picture is that a face Lalique?
Just found a vase like that and now I wounder.

Lone from Denmark

Michelle Crawford
Michelle Crawford

November 03, 2017

So good to know! Thank you for sharing your expertise and knowledge.

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