Art: Designer de Luxe

"Birds hiding amidst twisted foliage, snakes coiled around trunks of trees . . . fern-crooks . . . feathers . . . scarabs . . . naiads swimming . . . knights in full armor. ..."

This was Lalique glass—the expensive, ubiquitous, famed bric-a-brac of the 19203. The flashiest examples brought from $3,000 to $12,000. Two factories in France, equipped with every modern mechanical device, fed Lalique glass to an eager world. A sleek shop on Paris' rue Royale was a mecca to droves of cashheavy U.S. tourists (a U.S. businessman once hurried to the shop in search of an idea for...

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