January 24, 2000
Whether or not you admire Lalique crystal and jewelry, the company's Web site is worth a visit to examine how a company with a long history can display its heritage to its advantage.
The site opens with a striking "slide" of a Lalique vase on a white background, then delivers you to the real home page. There you have five options: "About Lalique," "Products," "Collectors Society," "Lalique Boutique" and "Retail Locations."
"About Lalique" offers the life story and professional biography of René Jules Lalique from his birth in 1860 and apprenticeship with a Paris jeweler in 1876 to his work designing fountains on the Champs Elysées and his death in 1945. You'll also find contact information, links to general product categories (including jewelry, crystal, handbags and perfume), a site index and (in January) information about a Valentine's Day contest.
The "Products" page lists dozens of products, including a fashion jewelry line of necklaces, earrings, pendants, cuff links and reproductions of women's pocket watches Lalique introduced a century ago. Several products are marked "New," "Limited Edition" or, in some cases, "Sold Out" helping, no doubt, to build their appeal.
At "Collectors Society," you can learn about benefits available to members of this exclusive group of Lalique collectors, information about joining and a list of frequently asked questions, including data on how much Lalique crystal has increased in value. That Degas box that sold for $295 in 1989? It's now valued at $855, says the company, which advises collectors to increase their insurance coverage 5% per year. There's also an extensive list of books about Lalique with links that carry you to Amazon.com to order.
Choosing "Lalique Boutique" brings up a list of Lalique's five U.S. company-owned stores, "the only locations in the world where you can see Lalique jewelry, leather goods, silks, porcelain, perfume and crystal together in one place."
At "Retail Locations," you'll find a simple search engine. Enter your state's abbreviation and get a list of Lalique dealers.
- by Mark E. Dixon