Category Archives: Marks for Antiques

Lalique,Contemporary or Reproduction

hoffmanvaseOften if a “Lalique” item is not it’s cracked up to be there is often the idea it’s a ” fake” or appraised as a near worthless modern reproduction. In some cases this might be true, but it’s not always the case. Pieces like the one pictured are often described as “Unmarked, probably Lalique”, simply because it’s in the Art Deco style and is frosted or etched glass similar to the work of the famous french glass works of  Rene Lalique.

The truth of the matter is many of these “Unmarked Lalique’s” are not actually fakes or even repro’s. The reality is that most of them date within the same time frame as genuine Lalique glassware, but made by now lesser known makers looking to cash in on a popular decorating item of the time, “Frosted” or “Etched” glass. As Lalique’s work was highly popular, other companies were soon to follow their lead and produce similar items to grab some share of the market. A great deal of glassware similar to Laliques was produced in glass works in Czechoslovakia, much of it only bearing paper or foil labels. Similar glass was also made by other French firms as well, such as Verlys, Sabino and Etling.

The piece pictured here is not Lalique, or even French, it’s a Czechoslovakian piece by the firm of Heinrich Hoffmann (1875-1939) . Like much of the Lalique style glassware coming out of Czechoslovakia during the 1920’s quality was often very good, some very much on par with Laliques, or even better in my opinion. Hoffmann was a contemporary of Lalique’s, beginning like Lalique at the turn of the 20th century, producing Art Nouveau-style glass and branching off into Art deco after World War One. Hoffmann’s glass was marked, engraved an open winged butterfly marking or wheel engraved signature, but such markings can be easy to miss if you don’t know what you are looking for. In terms of value, the pieces by quality makers like Hoffmann can be quite high, even at auction presale appraisal estimates for a Hoffmann piece like this can easily run in the $300.00-$600.00 USD range.

Mike Wilcox
Wilcox & Hall Appraisers