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The Firebird centrepiece

List of exhibits

René Lalique
1922
Pressed glass, bronze patina
Property of Shai Bandmann and Ronald Ooi

The firebird is a fantastic creature with flamboyant wings that belongs to Russian folklore and fairy tales. René Lalique used the theme for a pressed glass table centrepiece.

The Firebird is made of transparent glass, and its reddish-orange colour comes from a lamp placed inside the bronze base, which enhances the firebird effect.

René Lalique made frequent use of innovative backlighting systems, particularly for his glass car mascots. He had recognised the capacity of glass and light to mutually enhance each other, and strived to ensure that glass be given a major role in lighting systems.

By the way: The Firebird is also a ballet by Igor Stravinsky, with Russian dancer Tamara Karsavina in the title role. René Lalique may have attended one of the performances at the Paris Opera. True to his predilections, Lalique’s firebird was a half-woman, half-bird chimera.

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