Hood ornaments worth more than most cars..
March 9, 2012 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Part weird bestiary, part alien zodiac, the crystalline characters of René Lalique appear far too ethereal to ride on the noses of mere motorcars. [slideshow] [NYT]. A selection of original Rene Lalique car mascots, hood ornaments and radiator caps will be auctioned this weekend at the Amelia Concours d'Elegance in Florida, but can simply be viewed as photos for those of us on a budget.
posted by obscurator (13 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Also mentioned on Hemmings Blog.
posted by box at 8:38 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

omfg, do want. Deco-tastic. Thanks for the post.
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:46 AM on March 9, 2012

Astounding. I had no idea. Thanks, OP!
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:53 AM on March 9, 2012

Yes, I will buy whatever car it is that includes the Frog hood ornament.
And No. Questions. Asked.
posted by ShutterBun at 8:55 AM on March 9, 2012

the Frog hood ornament

"Whether a Ford or a Ferrari, whatever I can get to carry me near or far, just give me any car. I love to ride the Tar, an old Excalibar; yes, any motor car. And I'll be happy - ho-ho! Messing around in cars!" - Toad, Wind in the Willows
posted by stbalbach at 9:05 AM on March 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

Is it just me, or are most of these Ayn Rand-esque fantasies? Did she even have a driver's license?
posted by sneebler at 9:06 AM on March 9, 2012

I went from "pretentious rich bastards" to "want" in 4.7 seconds.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:58 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is it just me, or are most of these Ayn Rand-esque fantasies?

Do you mean "because they're for rich people" or because they're Art Deco? We often associate art deco with Rand these days because of the deco designs used on her book covers but it seems unlikely to me that Rand herself was much of a fan. If you consider Roark, her ideal architect in The Fountainhead, he's pretty clearly based on Frank Lloyd Wright. The thing that makes Roark admirable in Rand's view is that his style is utterly sui generis--it rejects any notion of falling in with dominant contemporary styles. I imagine she'd regard Lalique's work as hopelessly "likable."
posted by yoink at 10:12 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I saw an exhibit of Lalique's sketches and jewelry years ago, and I fell in love instantly. Gorgeous stuff. I had no idea he created hood ornaments!

However, I can't look at Victoire without thinking about accidentally swallowing bugs mid-drive.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:09 AM on March 9, 2012

because they're Art Deco

^This. It's an unfortunate association, but one I can't shake. I liked the frog though.
posted by sneebler at 11:58 AM on March 9, 2012

These are absolutely lovely.

I'd have just the one--the horses, of course--backlit in my living room. Anything else would be gluttony.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:47 PM on March 9, 2012

Lalique is also famous for his Art Nouveau designs - which came first - and are is his most well known body of work.

I live close to the Musée Lalique in France and it's well worth the visit if you are in the area.

The Ayn Rand thing I can't really see, but you do have to keep in mind that the "art deco" period in Europe coincided with a lot of Futurist and Fascist sentiment, and the two often went hand in hand. (Think of the central station in Milan, with it's over-stylized horses, etc.) So I suppose I can understand combining the brutal ideas of that with art deco in the mind.
posted by EricGjerde at 1:41 AM on March 10, 2012

Perhaps it's just conflating Ayn Rand "the person" with "the art deco cover illustrations that seem to show up on every Ayn Rand book."
posted by ShutterBun at 11:05 PM on March 11, 2012

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