Lalique is a French glasswear design house founded by artist, master ceramist and jeweler René Lalique. Born in the small village of Ay in 1860, and raised in both Paris and Ay, young René developed a fascination with the natural world which would fully express itself in later artworks. He formally studied art at College Turgot, but was forced to leave when his father passed away. At age 12, he began an apprenticeship with a Parisian goldsmith, catching classes in the evening when he could. He was able to further his education at Sydenham Art College in London.
He returned to England and worked as a freelance artist, while also designing jewelry for esteemed houses such as Cartier and Boucheron, before embarking on his own business in 1885. Jewelry at the time placed an emphasis on the quantity of precious stones in a piece, with the design being less important. Lalique changed the course of jewelry forever with this nature-inspired pieces that depicted animals and the female form. One of the best-known (and most-plagiarized) jewelers of the celebrated "Art Nouveau" period, Lalique eventually turned his focus from jewelry to glassware, with even greater success.