In contrast to Rene Lalique's commercially molded glass, his cire perdue works are unique objects. Cire perdue, or lost wax, is an ancient technique used for casting in which a wax mold is sculpted and then covered in plaster. The casing is heated to the point where the wax liquefies and can be removed; molten glass is then poured or blown into the mold. Once the glass has set and cooled, the outer plaster mold is pulled off, destroyed in the process, to reveal a unique object. Between 1913 and 1932, Lalique executed nearly 650 glass vases, bowls and decorative objects using this technique.
Cire perdue works are characterized by their rough surface texture and the absence of mold lines, both resulting from their creation process. On occasion, parts of a cire perdue piece, such as the rim or the base, would be polished. Typically finger prints are also visible on cire perdue works. Left in the wax mold when it was sculpted by Lalique's hands, these imprints transfer to the final glass piece. These light and delicate impressions are plentiful on the present vase and are also included on the chain of glass dots or pearls running from one child's hand to another which were applied after the vase was cast.
This vase was made in five variations. While similar in design, because of the cire perdue technique, each is a unique object. Marked '5/5' this vase is the last of the series to be made.