Rare vase smashes North East auction record

AN unusual Lalique vase found in a house just outside of Morpeth has become the most expensive work of art sold in the North East.

Entitled ‘Deux Figures Femmes Aillee’ and featuring two winged female nudes with outstretched arms, the rare item was sold for £280,000 to a private collector in the USA during an auction with Anderson and Garland in Newcastle.

Just one of four, it was produced in 1922 and as well as having the R (Rene) Lalique wheel engraved mark, has a full and partial thumbprint on its base.

Discovered packed away in a box during a routine probate valuation, the vase had evidently been used to store flowers, despite the high value of the item.

Julian Thomson, director at Anderson and Garland, said: “When I saw the vase, it immediately caught my eye and after consulting our ceramics expert Steven Moore, it soon become apparent that this was quite a special find.

“Although it was originally valued at £30,000, we had experienced a lot of interest in the piece so believed the figure could end up significantly higher depending on activity on the day. As it happened, bidding quickly moved from £10,000 to £100,000, finishing at £280,000.

“It’s a fantastic result and great for the North East for the vase to have been sold here.”

Prior to the sale of the Lalique, the most expensive work of art ever sold in the region was an Imperial Kangxi celadon water pot that went for £270,000.

A French glass designer, Lalique was famous in the first part of the 20th century for the Art Deco style of his ornaments and jewellery.