Musée d'Orsay: René Lalique Powder Box

René Lalique
Powder Box

Powder Box
René Lalique (1860-1945)
Powder Box
Avant 1909
Cut, etched glass, repoussé and chased silver, glass petal, moulded, etched and frosted
H. 11; W. 9.8 cm
© Musée d'Orsay, dist RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Jacques Sauciat

Dressing table set

Boîte à poudre [Powder Box]

Lalique created many sophisticated dressing table objects, but usually singly. However, this powder box is part of a set that seems to be unique in the glassmaker's work before 1910. The set consists of a large soap box, a hand mirror, a hairbrush and a second, smaller powder box – also in the Musée d'Orsay collections. Originally, there was also a small-handled mirror and brush that have since disappeared.

Lalique's use of moulded, coloured glass, satin finish silver, repoussé and chased, and cut, etched glass is similar to his jewellery work from the 1890s into which incorporated glass elements. But the style is surprising for its sobriety, more suggestive than descriptive: just a few, sparse rose petals, barely tinted with yellow, and some thorny rose stems forming evenly-spaced lines, add to the subtle and harmonious whiteness that characterises the whole set.

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