Considered one of the rarest of all the Lalique hood ornaments, the Renard is the most sought after mascot of the entire collection. At some eight and a half inches long, it is a striking depiction of a fox in predator mode; its eyes alert, ears erect and body crouched forward, tension coursing from the tip of its nose to its raised tail. Clawed paws grip the large split collar base and the angular design adds to the primal feel, creating an innovative statue that one could easily picture leaning forward from the front of a luxury automobile.
The Renard is Model Number 1182 and it was first introduced in December of 1930. It was only created in clear and frosted glass – no tinted or opalescent glass for this model – with the R. Lalique France signature stenciled on the side of the base.
Although many Lalique enthusiasts and experts claim that only a handful of fox mascots are in existence, perhaps only 5 or 6 total, the actual number is unknown. Most Lalique dealers consider it the rarest mascot, but with no surviving production records there is no way to know for sure how many were ever produced, nor how many of those today remain. Some dissenting voices put the estimate higher at around 20 or 30.
What is known is that the Renard commands top dollar. When a Renard appeared in a small Pennsylvanian auction house in 2011, it sold for $204,750 – a world record at the time. The record, however, was short lived. Another Renard came to market the following year at the Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction which takes place annually in Carmel, California, around the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August. This new example didn’t just beat the existing world record – it smashed it – achieving an all-in price of $338,500.
For the serious Lalique car mascot collector, the Renard is often one of the hardest pieces in the collection to acquire, with so few coming to market so rarely. Other very rare Lalique hood ornaments include the Hibou (Owl), the Comète, the Epsom (Horse Head) and the Pintade (Guinea Hen), among others.
To learn more about Lalique car mascots or the designer himself, check out the daviddisiere.com blog archive. You’ll find a number of articles and features on many of the individual Lalique hood ornaments.