Tête d’Aigle is the renowned Eagle’s Head hood ornament, made famous as the statue often fitted to the cars of Nazi officers, although it is a shame that the regal car mascot is infamous for this reason instead of its magnificent design.
First introduced in 1928, Tête d’Aigle is a strikingly realistic depiction of an eagle, it’s head held proud with alert eyes that seem to follow you wherever you go- just like a real one. The delicate glasswork on the head and neck create smooth feathers, while the long beak is closed tight, stoically pursed as the eagle waits and watches.
Model number 1138 measures some 4.25 inches in height. It was produced in frosted and clear glass in addition to the less common amethyst tinted and amber glass, and when fitted to a radiator cap, a large split collar mount was used.
Many fake copies of the Eagle’s Head exist, so caution must be used when purchasing the Tête d’Aigle. Although there are some indicators like a yellowish tinge to the glass, relief molded markings around the top of the base, inauthentic Lalique signatures and the use of an unusually deep purple glass, it is likely that would-be buyers will need to seek expert help to determine the authenticity of an Eagle Head statue.
There are also plenty of true Lalique Eagle’s Head car mascots out there. Current examples on the market range from $900 to $3,500, although a Tête d’Aigle could be priced higher or lower dependent on condition, historic value and market demand.
To learn more about the other radiator cap mascots by René Lalique, take a scroll through the daviddisiere.com blog archive for more features on different statues from the collection. You can also learn more about their history and the designer himself here. And of course, stay tuned for more articles on the remaining pieces from the Lalique collection.