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The Globe and Mail

In pictures: A classic collection of hood ornaments

Glass menagerie sells for $805,000 at auction

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At a recent sale by Canadian-based RM, a 30-piece collection of mascots (more commonly known as hood ornaments) of master glass craftsman Rene Lalique changed hands for $805,000 (U.S.).

Michael Furman/RM Auctions/Michael Furman/RM Auctions

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In 1925, Lalique received a commission from Andre Citroen to produce a mascot for his 5CV model. The result, five prancing horses in glass, was dubbed “Cinc Cheveaux”.

Michael Furman/RM Auctions/Michael Furman/RM Auctions

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Lalique produced his creations – which depicted animals, birds, insects, comets and nudes – mostly in clear glass, but sometimes in frosted, satin finish or opalescent glass, and others tinted or coloured.

Michael Furman/RM Auctions/Michael Furman/RM Auctions

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Many of Lalique’s mascots were apparently used as paperweights and these likely have a much higher survival rate than those actually used on cars.

Michael Furman/RM Auctions/Michael Furman/RM Auctions

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It isn’t known how many Lalique mascots were produced up until the Second World War (Lalique himself died in 1945, but the company still exists as a purveyor of pricey lifestyle items), or how many survive.

Michael Furman/RM Auctions/Michael Furman/RM Auctions

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Copies and fakes abound, but judging by the price paid for Chesney’s collection, if you find an old cardboard box of these beautiful and rare automotive ornaments at a spring car flea market you shouldn’t haggle, just pay the asking price and walk nonchalantly away.

Michael Furman/RM Auctions/Michael Furman/RM Auctions

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