Lalique "Grande Libellule" Hood Ornament, ca. 1928
It was in my father's steamer trunk from probably the late '20s. As I recall the story from him, he saved the hood ornament from an automobile he was driving in Canada, and he wrecked the car and saved the hood ornament. Apparently, that was all that was savable. And was injured, had a scar on his nose from the accident, and this was what was left of the car.
Which survived intact, I might add.
Absolutely. So this is a Lalique car mascot, or hood ornament. It was first designed and introduced in 1928. It's called, "Grande Libellule," which means, "big dragonfly."
Right. It's interesting because, when it left the factory, it was frosted and clear glass. So we know that it was exposed to sunlight and it was used probably for a good amount of time, because it has a slight pale amethyst tinge to it. And that happens because there was manganese in the glass, and that would react with the sunlight, and over time, it would turn amethyst. Now, some people think that's a bad thing, but when it happens naturally, it's okay by me. It is considered, in the Lalique world, to be a good thing. And, in a retail store, a piece like this would bring between $8,000 and $10,000.
Wow! That is a lot of hood ornament.
Yeah, it's a lot of dragonfly.
A lot of dragonfly.
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