1898 - 1902
Glass, enamel, artificial ivory
Property of the Lalique Museum
The Portrait of Woman and Lily ring represents a female face surrounded by flowers made of artificial ivory. The mounting is made of enamelled gold. This delicate piece features two of René Lalique's favourite sources of inspiration - women and flowers - and the finesse of the enamelwork, goldsmithery and artificial ivory are a perfect demonstration of the artist's technical skills.
René Lalique chose to use the materials that best served his imagination, considering that spirit took precedence over the material itself. Artificial ivory served his purpose well, being easy to cut, polish and shape.
Enamel is obtained by reducing coloured glass to powder. Lalique used the champlevé technique for this ring - alveoles or cells are etched into the gold leaf, and filled with vitreous enamel. The piece is then fired and polished.
By the way: the Portrait of Woman and Lily ring is the Lalique Museum's latest acquisition. With the support of the Fonds Régional d'Acquisition pour les Musées (the French government and the Regional Council of the Greater East Region) and the Conseil Départemental du Bas-Rhin, the Museum was able to pre-empt the piece during an auction sale.