The Under the Hammer column with Tennants Auctioneers
An unusual Art Nouveau belt buckle by the famed Parisian jeweller and glass maker RenÃ© Lalique is to come under the hammer in Tennants Auctioneers' Fine Art Sale on Saturday, November 17 at 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 22 April 2018).
It had been worn by the vendor throughout her nursing career; she’d been gifted the buckle by her uncle’s great aunt who had moved to the UK from France in the 1890s.
It was consigned for sale in York, at the Tennants’ Harrogate office Bar Convent valuation event earlier in the year, causing quite a ripple of excitement as it was revealed to the valuers.
On offer with an estimate of £5,000-£8,000 (plus buyer’s premium), 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 bottles, that he made the transition to focusing 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 is expected to attract collectors of Lalique and belt buckle enthusiasts when it comes up for sale in November.
Also on offer in the same sale is a simple but stylish gold ring by designer Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co.
In the form of an interlocking Celtic scroll, the design was featured in the Sketchbook of Jewellery Designs by Liberty & Co circa 1900-1912.
Knox was a renowned designer who was the primary artistic influence at Liberty’s during the height of their success; he was enormously influential to British design, his work bridging the Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Celtic Revival and Modernist movements.
The ring is offered with an estimate of £1,000-£1,500 plus buyer’s premium.
For more information on all of Tennants’ sales please contact the Harrogate office on 01423 531661 or see website for detail www.tennants.co.uk