A new edition of Lalique’s iconic crystal ring—the Epis—was created exclusively for The Met Store.
The new Epis ring celebrates the allure of a hand-engraved ring depicting two ears of wheat, which the legendary René Lalique debuted in 1931 and is now found in The Met collection. This sapphire blue crystal ring created by Lalique artisans will be exclusively on display at The Met Store. In addition to the Epis ring, select items from the Lalique line will be offered for sale, including daring and colorful crystal Cabochon rings as well as pieces from the Hirondelles and Muguet jewelry collections.
The French firm Lalique was established by prestigious glassmaker and jeweler René Lalique in 1888. Lalique is best known for producing glass art, including fragrance bottles, vases, and automotive hood ornaments during the early 20th century.
René-Jules Lalique was born in the Marne region of France. From the beginning of his career as a jewelry apprentice at the age of 16, he showed great artistic promise and his mother guided him toward jewelry making. From 1876 to 1878 he apprenticed with with Louis Aucoc, a leading Parisian goldsmith. By the 1890s he had opened his own workshop in Paris and become one of the most admired jewelers of the day.
Lalique was best known for his creations in glass. While Lalique’s early turn-of-the-century incorporation of glass in jewelry began modestly, he eventually created designs made entirely from the material. In this manner, he raised the profile of glass as a luxury material rather than a purely utilitarian one.
Left: Necklace, René-Jules Lalique, ca. 1897–99 , Gold, enamel, opals, amethysts , Overall diam. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm), 9 large pendants: 2 3/4 x 2 1/4 in. (7 x 5.7 cm), 9 small pendants: 1 3/8 x 1 1/4 in. (3.5 x 3.2 cm), Jewelry, Right: Pendant, René-Jules Lalique, ca. 1901, French, Paris, Gold, enamel, opal, pearl, diamonds, 3 x 2-3/8 in. (7.6 x 6.0 cm), Metalwork-Gold and Platinum, Jewelry
In 1931, René-Jules Lalique presented his first glass rings; each was cast in a pressure mold and hand-engraved with flower and plant motifs – fern fronds on the blue ring, forget-me-nots on the colorless ring, and lilies of the valley on the smoky ring. The Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased this group of jewelry from Lalique himself in 1934. The witty, colored-glass rings – casual design accessories as opposed to real jewels for evening wear – suggest cabochon gems such as sapphires and moonstones, and indeed would have been regarded as nearly as desirable. Even though the design evolved throughout the years, its powerful beauty remains unchanged.
Glass Rings_René-Jules Lalique, ca. 1931, Glass, 7/8 × 1 1/4 in. (2.2 × 3.2 cm)
Lalique Epis Ring, Lalique Crystal Cabochon Ring (Amber, Blue, Red), Lalique Muguet Bracelet, Lalique Muguet Earrings
The complete collection is now available for purchase at The Met Fifth Avenue, and online at store.metmuseum.org