This is a very unusual piece from the Victorian era. Celluloid was the earliest of the man made plastics and so it was considered very progressive in the design world at that time. Celluloid meets Rene Lalique, a very progressive jewelry designer. This fits in with his pension for natural motifs. What is exceptional is the stamped RL on the metal silver colored end caps on this very small cuff bangle. This is for the daintiest of wrists measuring only 2 1/4" in diameter and being celluloid it is not as flexible as lucite, a much later plastic. This piece has visible surface scratches due to aging as one would expect from such an antique piece.
Here is a history of Lalique:
Lalique's early life was spent learning the methods of design and art he would use in his later life. At the age of two, his family moved to a suburb of Paris, but traveled to Ay for summer holidays. These trips influenced Lalique's later naturalistic glasswork. In 1872, when he was twelve, he entered the Collège Turgot where he started drawing and sketching. With the death of his father two years later, Lalique began working as an apprentice to goldsmith Louis Aucoc in Paris and attended evening classes at the Ecole des arts décoratifs. He worked there from 1874-1876 and subsequently spent two years at the Crystal Palace School of Art Sydenham, London.
At the Sydenham Art College, his skills for graphic design were improved, and his naturalistic approach to art was further developed. When he returned from England, he worked as a freelance artist, designing pieces of jewellery for French jewelers, Cartier, [Boucheron] and others. In 1885, he opened his own business and designed and made his own jewellery and other glass pieces. By 1890, Lalique was recognized as one of France's foremost Art Nouveau jewellery designers; creating innovative pieces for Samuel Bing's new Paris shop, Maison de l'Art Nouveau. He went on to be one of the most famous in his field, his name synonymous with creativity, beauty and quality.
Item ID: LC 002050
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