National Motor Museum acquires 28 René Lalique glass car mascots

Thanks to £83,500 NHMF funding, the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire has acquired a rare collection of original car mascots by renowned glass designer René Lalique.

A golden age of motoring 

French artist René Lalique (1860-1945) was a maker of glass vases, perfume bottles and luxury items including car mascots. His Art Deco creations are exhibited in museums around the world, including the V&A in London and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. 

Sculpture of fa peacock's head
René Lalique's 'Tête de paon' (peacock head) car mascot 

Lalique’s car mascots – expressions of sophistication, speed, modernity and luxury – were an important symbol of motoring during Britain’s roaring twenties. 

A rare collection in the UK

The 28 mascots had been on loan to the National Motor Museum for five years. The collection includes an original Breves mount, which allows light to shine through the mascots. Museum visitors can see the full beauty of the animal and human forms by pushing an illumination button in the museum exhibit.

28 car mascots lined up on display
The collection of mascots on display

Very few museums in the UK have any examples of Lalique car mascots. Had the mascots gone to auction, there was a high likelihood of dispersal and private ownership. Thanks to NHMF funding, they now become the most complete collection of Lalique car mascots in public ownership anywhere in the world.

The National Motor Museum can now continue to use them in public activities, including exhibitions, school visits and community events. 

Other funders

The museum has also received £83,500 from the Art Fund and £40,000 from the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund

South East England
Grant awarded
Year awarded