Lalique cire perdue 'Ronde d’Enfant' vase – $240,000 (£200,000) at Christie’s New York.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

While most of Lalique's output is mass-produced, the designer's cire perdue pieces are much rarer. As their name implies, each one is produced by the lost-wax casting process which makes them unique and as a result prices are generally higher for these sometimes experimental pieces, in which the hand of the master can literally be seen in the form of his fingerprints transferred from the mould.

An illustration of this could be seen at Christie's recent Decorative Arts and Design sale in New York on June 14 when the auctioneers offered this 10½in (27cm diameter vase of c.1930 titled Ronde d'Enfant  with a circle of dancing children holding hands.

The later applied chain of glass pearls that link the children's joined hands and other areas have plenty of evidence of Lalique's fingerprints. Five variants of this design were created by Lalique around 1930 of which this is the last, as revealed by the 5/5 marked alongside his signature to the base. It made a mid-estimate $240,000 (£200,000).