Blue in the Face: A Molded Glass Lalique Medusa Ring

Sold for: $322,000 In Greek mythology, Medusa was a monster—a winged woman with a horrid face and venomous snakes in lieu of hair. But Art Nouveau jeweler René Lalique, who designed this circa-1900 Medusa ring, is among the many artists who’ve rendered her more human than horror story. Lalique was inspired to create the gold-and-glass piece after making the incredible jewels French actress Sarah Bernhardt wore as Byzantine empress Theodora in Victorien Sardou’s play Théodora. The ring was sold to a private collector at Sotheby’s on Sept. 22 in New York City. “In addition to Lalique jewels being rare…rings are a particularly rare sight at auction,” says Quig Bruning, a jewelry specialist for Sotheby’s. The ring’s “fashion-forward” style made it all the more covetable, adds Bruning: “It looks as modern today as it did when it was created.”  René Lalique 18

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