Spirit of the Wind
Although the translation of Victoire is “victory”, the Victoire Lalique car mascot is instead known in English as Spirit of the Wind. Why? Because the spirit of the wind is what the piece is designed to represent.
The Art Deco hood ornament depicts a figurehead with windswept hair splayed backwards like a fan, the face pushing open-mouthed into the wind. Viewed from the front it is almost frightening, as if the figure is silently screaming into the void, but from the side, it becomes a symbol of power, the beveled hair reminiscent of a pharaoh or native chief headdress.
Victoire is at once beautiful and unnerving.
The History of Lalique Victoire
Produced in 1928, Victoire is model number 1147. It has been designed in clear, amethyst and grey-tinted glass, although the latter two are less common. At 10.25 inches tall and 10 inches long, Spirit of the Wind is the largest, and arguably the most famous Lalique car mascot. Mounted on a large split collar of a luxury automobile of the day, the Victoire would have made for a formidable sight.
Although not the rarest Lalique hood ornament (the Fox takes that award), the Spirit of the Wind was not produced in great numbers and therefore is neither an easy example to come by, nor cheap. With estimates ranging from US $25,000 to $40,000 or more for one in top condition, the Victoire is definitely for the serious collector. In addition to the scarcity of the Victoire, is the fact that the hair tips are particularly vulnerable to damage. Finding one in immaculate condition is increasingly difficult over time, adding again to the value of the piece.
Buyers should also beware of fakes. Copies are known to have been made in the United States and Czechoslovakia, but they are easy to recognize – at least for a professional. Another forgery to look out for are genuine samples that have been irradiated to achieve a dark purple hue. When considering the purchase of any Lalique, but especially these rarer models, expert help should always be sought to ensure the piece is genuine and valued correctly.
Learn more about Victoire and the Lalique Collection
To learn about the other mascots in the Lalique collection or more about the designer, check out the daviddisiere.com blog archive. You can also visit the Lalique Collection page on daviddisiere.com for more information about this most fascinating collection.