Surtout de tables or ornamental centrepieces were an essential part of formal dining from the second half of the 18th Century and throughout the 19th Century.
The design with the seagulls was created for the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Paris in 1938 and was part of a large dinner service also featuring seagulls. The Caravelle centrepiece had been designed in 1931 but the seagulls were added for the gift. The galleon is an emblem on the coat of arms of Paris. The Royal visit was intended to take place on 29 June but due to the death of the Queen's mother, the visit was postponed until July of 1938.
Only two other examples of this design are known to exist - a version held in the Musée Lalique Collection and one in the Royal Collection, UK.
Lyon & Turnbull’s Design Department is delighted to have introduced Lalique as a new biannual sale category in April 2021. No other auction house offers specialist sales devoted entirely to the work of René Lalique.
Senior Specialist, Joy McCall heads these sales as she previously did at Christie’s, London for many years. She has over 25 years of experience selling Lalique and brings to the process her knowledge and expertise together with a personal passion for the subject.
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