Make It Yours: Bespoke Mascots at the Concours d’Elegance
Every year car collectors converge on Pebble Beach for the Concours d’Elegance. Jay Leno, Arnold Schwarzenegger and over fifteen thousand visitors bring half a billion dollars in cars and memorabilia. With so much going on, how will you make you and your car stand out? How will you set yourself apart? Bespoke mascots do exactly that.
Concours d’Elegance means a “competition of elegance”. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance began in 1950 with a few dozen cars and now touts itself “the world’s premier celebration of the automobile”.
What is a Bespoke Car Mascot?
The ultimate mark of individuality, these hood ornaments make a car your own. They vary greatly in size, material and design: you can choose a leaping frog, an elephant hatching from an egg or a man gripping a steering wheel and looking eagerly ahead.
Find the value of a Lalique car mascot – ask an expert and request a free appraisal.
The 1920s and 30s represent the heyday of the car mascot as a sign of wealth and taste with those designed in crystal by French glass designer Rene Lalique having particular status. Lalique produced 29 different mascot designs before he died in 1945, most of them based on different animals. (1) When they appear at auction, prices tend to be based on the rarity of the model and the popularity of the different designs.
The finest mascots were designed in glass by René Lalique. These pieces balance the fragility of glass with strong sculptural forms, such as the signature mascot, Victoire pictured below.
Popular in Europe, it may also be known as car mascot, motoring mascot, automobile mascot, or just mascot.
Who Makes the the Most Valuable Car Mascots?
René Lalique, the renowned French glassmaker, designed some of the most exquisite. Luckily for collectors, Heritage Auctions is offering the largest collection of hood ornaments ever assembled for private sale. Visitors to the Concours d’Elegance in August 2019 had the opportunity to view and purchase treasures, and many remaining are included in an upcoming auction.
The Collector’s Guide to Car Mascots
Car mascots are the perfect addition to any vintage or luxury car. Nick Dawes, Heritage Auctions’ Vice President of Special Collections and author of Bespoke Mascots, likens them to a gentleman’s tie.
“A tie is the only completely non-functional component of male attire, and has much the same place in a man’s life as his automotive mascot.”
Like fine ties, hood ornaments express a collector’s personality and mood. Like ties, they are interchangeable depending on the day. One such mascot serves as the cover image of Bespoke Mascots and speaks to their exciting, idiosyncratic nature. This figure is a double of collector, hair blown by the wind and hands tightly on the steering wheel. This and dozens of other car mascots are available for sale.
How Much are Vintage Lalique Car Mascots Worth?
Today, of course, the mascots are wildly popular as collectibles, with some examples fetching in the tens of thousands of dollars and even well into the six figures. (2) “Most dealers and collectors will tell you that Renard, the Fox, is the rarest mascot, followed by Hibou, the Owl. The Lalique family says that only a handful of these were produced’. (3)
Victoire depicts a woman with a roaring expression and a glass crest, as though she is swept up by the speed of the car. In 2012 Heritage Auctions sold an amethyst tinted glass Victoire for $21,250. Several other Victoire mascots sold starting at $15,000.
Other hood ornaments are subtler and more affordable, including a translucent greyhound and a delicate glass frog. Dawes, who is the leading expert on Lalique in the United States, explains that these glass mascots are more than mere decoration. They embody the spirit of Lalique’s time.
“They are time machines,” he writes, “capable of literally driving you back to a lost world.”
Owning these mascots allows collectors to express their unique sensibilities and access the heart of turn-of-the-century design.
Vintage Rene Lalique Glass Car Mascots for Sale
Preview the auction for vintage Lalique car mascots and other items. Bidding opens around 10/31/2019 for the 21 November 2019 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Auction.