Clos Saint Odile decanter
Property of the Lalique Museum
In 1921, a wine grower from Alsace, Pierre Weissenburger, ordered 12 000 glasses from René Lalique bearing the image of St Odile; the glasses were destined to be a corporate gift to promote his vineyard, the Clos St Odile, in Obernai.
Saint Odile was the daughter of Etichon-Aldaric, Duke of Alsace. Blind from birth, Odile's life was in danger due to her father's angry reaction - he had wanted a son, to ensure the survival of the lineage. To protect her daughter, Odile's mother sent her to the Abbaye de la Balme (now known as the Baume-les-Dames), where she miraculously recovered her sight when she was baptised. Much to her father's displeasure, Odile returned to Alsace, and in a moment of anger Etichon-Aldaric killed one of his sons. Filled with remorse, he subsequently welcomed his daughter with open arms. However, he then attempted to marry Odile against her will, refusing to recognise that she was married to the Lord. Odile fled to the Black Forest, but Etichon-Aldaric finally came to accept his daughter's destiny, and founded an Abbey, the Mont Sainte-Odile, which overlooks the town of Obernai. St Odile was made Patron Saint of Alsace in 1946 by Pope Pius XII. Catholics pray to St Odile to cure problems relating to eyesight.
By the way .... Lalique subsequently produced a whole series of objects inspired by St Odile, including ashtrays, small bowls and statuette. Some of the St Odile decanters feature a tear shape, a reminder of the tears shed by St Odile on her father's death, for the salvation of his soul.