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René Lalique Art Nouveau "Grenouille" Necklace

Composed of 18K gold, glass, enamel and diamonds, this René Lalique frog and ivy flower necklace dates from circa 1902-1903. It is designed as a series of 11 molded green glass frogs joined by stylized green champlevé enamel ivy vines highlighted by diamond flowers. An heirloom passed down in the Lalique family, this unique and mysterious necklace, one of his early experiments in glass, links Lalique to the work of subversive artists working in literature, poetry and dance in fin-de-siècle Paris.
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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: YN-21461
Artist: René Lalique
Country: France
Circa: 1902-1903
Dimensions: 17.5" length, 1" width.
Materials: 132 old mine-cut diamonds (with approximate total weight 2.64 carats); 11 carved glass; 18K Gold
Signed: French assay marks, René Lalique maker's marks.
Literature: This necklace is illustrated in The Jewels of Lalique, Yvonne Brunhammer, p. 67, and his friendship with Jean Lorrain is discussed on p. 66.
 

An experimental jewel, this early glass necklace reflects Lalique’s connections with avant-garde contemporaries in Symbolist literature and avant garde dance. In the 1890s, Lalique befriended the sensational journalist of high and low Parisian culture, Jean Lorrain. In 1902, Lorrain wrote a volume of princess tales exploring the subconscious, symbolized by castle gardens populated with frogs, grasshoppers, and storks, dedicating one story to “mon ami Lalique.” With its stylized frogs set among enamel vines and diamond berries, this necklace, which descended in the artist’s family, reflects Lalique’s imaginative response to Lorrain’s literature.
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