What better mascot to sit front and center on an ostentatious, luxurious automobile than its spirit animal, the peacock?
The Tête De Paon or Peacock’s Head as it is known in English, is another bird statue in the Lalique car mascot collection created by René Lalique from 1925 to 1931. There were 29 ornaments specifically designed for the radiator caps of luxury cars, plus one that was originally sold as a mermaid statue in 1920 that was later repurposed as a car mascot, bringing the total to 30.
The Peacock’s Head is model number 1140 and it was first produced in February, 1928. Although most commonly designed in clear and frosted glass, a handful of extremely rare Tête De Paon were created in a dazzling turquoise blue glass. These scarce examples are the statues that truly capture the iridescence that is synonymous with the peacock’s electric blue body and brilliant, fanned tail.
This Lalique ornament stands at seven inches tall and depicts the head and neck of the peacock. The design reflects the regal stature of this marvelous creature, the crest standing tall above his head as he appears to look out at the world with the utmost disdain, confident in his assessment that nothing else can quite compare to his own beauty.
The depth of color produced in the turquoise version brings the delicate glasswork vividly to life, making it a stunning addition to the hood of any car or modern day art collection. When used as a radiator cap, the Peacock Head was mounted with a large split collar.
The Tête De Paon is one of the rarer Lalique car mascots as it was produced in lesser numbers than many of the other more common statues. At the time of writing there very few listed for sale, ranging from a frosted and clear glass version with significant damage at US$500 to a turquoise glass example at US$25,000.
In 2009, a turquoise Tête De Paon sold for $40,000 at a Christie’s auction in New York, although this is by no means the ceiling for prices on an item as rare and treasured as the Lalique Peacock’s Head. Condition and market demand can see prices fluctuate from piece to piece and year to year.
To learn more about Lalique mascots or the famed French designer, René Lalique, there are many more articles in the daviddisiere.com blog archive for your enjoyment