René-Jules Lalique (French, 1860–1945)
Seicoid (cellulose acetate)
1 1/8 x 3 1/6 in. (2.9 x 7.8 cm)
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1924 (24.145.3ab)
In 1876, René-Jules Lalique began his artistic career as an apprentice to the leading Parisian jeweler, Louis Aucoc. Within a few short years, he gained a reputation as one of the most important Art Nouveau jewelers of the period. By 1912, however, he had abandoned jewelry making to concentrate wholly on a career as a verrier, or master glassworker. Not only did his designs for perfume bottles, fountains, architectural panels, and tableware herald both Art Nouveau and the style later known as Art Deco, but from 1921, at his factory in Alsace, he revolutionized production technology as well. Along with this interest in new industrial technology, he also experimented with new materialsthis box and cover patterned with cherries in low relief is one of two production models in secoid (cellulose acetate), introduced by Lalique in 192526. This model was manufactured in a range of colors, most commonly black, including some mottled variations.