Creator: René Lalique
Date: Circa 1905
Materials: Silver plated bronze, glass, wood
Private collection on loan at the Lalique Museum
René Lalique began his first experimentations with glass in the 1890s, introducing this new material into his jewellery before going on to create objets d’art. Fish scales subsequently evolved from their sumptuous enamel and jewelled effects to take on a frosted, satin sheen.
The 1905 Fish and Frog epergne is a totally exceptional piece that marks the transition, combining elements of finely chiselled silverwork with pieces of pressed glass, synonymous of semi-industrial production.
It features four monstrous fish, like Medieval gargoyles spitting water. A dozen small fish swim through the clear water represented by four plates of clear glass assembled two by two. The precision of the figures, the relief effect and the contrast between the frosted and transparent effects - everything down to the tiny bubbles contributes to the realism of the representation.