Category Archives: art glass




Most of St Matthew’s Church (the Glass Church as it is known locally) at Millbrook in Jersey is decorated in art deco style Lalique glass dating back to 1934.

The picture below is of one of the lamps inside the front door of the ‘Glass Church‘ designed and made by Rene Lalique.

Glass Art lamp

It is said to be the only church that French master glass artist Rene Lalique designed for.

Below is a picture of the windows that are all around the Glass Church.

Rene Lalique

The glass art work for the church was commissioned and paid for by Lady Trent who lived in Jersey across the road from the glass church.

Here is a picture of the front doors taken from the inside of the Glass Church

Rene Lalique

The Glass Church was was done in memory of her husband, Jesse Boot, who was the founder of Boots the Chemist.

This is the magnificent alter cross in the Glass Church.

Rene lalique

Renee Lalique is recognised as one of the world’s greatest glass art makers and jewellery designers

of the art Nouveau and art Deco periods.

This is a picture of the glass font in the Glass Church, it is signed by Rene Lalique on the base.

Rene lalique

These are the interior walls of the Glass Church which separate areas of the church.

Rene lalique

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Lalique at The Corning Museum

Jersey Glass art

Exhibition in 2014 to Showcase Museum’s Outstanding Lalique Collection

Corning, NY— The Corning Museum of Glass has received an important collection of approximately 400 objects by the famous luxury glassmaker René Lalique (French, 1860–1945), from Maryland collectors Stanford and Elaine Steppa. Combined with the Museum’s existing holdings of glass objects and wax and plaster models by Lalique, the Glenn and Mary Lou Utt Archive related to Lalique designs for the fragrance industry, the drawings and photographs housed in the Rakow Research Library, the gift of the Steppa Collection makes the Museum a preeminent international repository for the study of Lalique glass. The Museum will showcase its Lalique collection in a major exhibition to be held in 2014.

The Steppa Collection encompasses a wide range of Lalique’s best-known works including perfume bottles and pressed-glass vases, as well as ashtrays, boxes, clocks, car mascots, lamps, statuettes, inkwells and blotters, and tableware dating primarily to the years between 1912 and 1936. It joins the Museum’s current holdings of 200 objects by Lalique, as well as more than 2,000 photographs and design drawings in the Museum’s public-access Rakow Research Library.

“This gift significantly broadens our Lalique collection, providing a fantastic overview of the wide range of luxury objects that Lalique’s factory produced during his lifetime,” says curator of modern glass Tina Oldknow. “We look forward to showcasing the full breadth of Lalique’s artistic output in our 2014 exhibition.”

jersey glass art

A highlight of the donated collection is the heavy cire perdue vase called Martins-Pecheurs sur fond de roseaux (Kingfishers on a background of reeds) [2011.3.188], created in 1930. Cire perdue, or lost wax, is a technique commonly used for casting bronze, and it was mastered by Lalique for creating glass objects. The Museum’s collection contains several original wax molds from the Lalique glassworks, which would have been used to create other unique cire perdue glass vessels, including a mold with the same kingfisher design as the Steppa vase. Other significant objects include the remarkable clock, Le Jour et la nuit (Day and night) [2011.3.276], and the iconic Art Deco statuette of a dancer, Suzanne [2011.3.256].

Jersey glass art

Lalique embraced the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art. This concept was reflected in most Art Nouveau interiors, where a single motif or theme might be present on all of the furnishings of a room. Lalique began his career as an innovative Art Nouveau jeweler who incorporated glass into many of his bijouterie creations. The flacons that Lalique designed for well-known parfumiers, such as François Coty, helped to elevate the status of perfume, and propelled French perfume into international luxury markets.

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The exterior of St Matthew’s Church at Millbrook scarcely merits a second glance.

Its rectilinear structure and plain outside walls compare very poorly indeed with the rich, warm granite of most of the parish churches. Closer inspection, however, reveals that the drab shell of St Matthew’s is there merely to protect an interior that is glorious in every respect.

The glass front doors are the first clue, but even these fail to prepare new visitors for what lies beyond them, namely the luminous creations of Rene Lalique which give St Matthew’s its more popular name – the Glass Church.

Opalescent panels, a magnificent altar cross, a glass font – perhaps the only one to be found anywhere – the Jersey lily motif, and truly wonderful, perfectly angelic Art Deco angels make the church one of the Island’s treasures.

Lalique, whose name remains synonymous with fine glasswork, made his name as a designer and maker of jewellery and objets d’art.

Fortunately for Jersey – and indeed the world – his house in the South of France was next to that of Florence Boot, Lady Trent, the widow of Jesse Boot, Baron Trent, the founder of Boot’s the Chemists.

Lady Trent, whose principal residence was Villa Millbrook in Jersey, encouraged her artist and craftsman neighbour to design and then create new fixtures and fittings for the interior of St Matthew’s, which lies just across the road from Villa Millbrook.

The refurbished church was to be dedicated to the memory of her illustrious husband.

Lalique, who began the work in 1932, needed little persuasion. He had wanted for some time to extend his repertoire into the architectural field. The peerless results of his endeavours, which were completed in 1934, are still there to be seen, and marvelled at, today.

Lalique, who was born in 1860 and died in 1945, was noted for the elegance of the forms he designed. Form is certainly important in the Glass Church, but much of the magic of the effect created there comes from the material chosen, verre blanc moule-presse.

This milky opaque glass makes light behave strangely, bathing the interior of the church in a soft, serene, ethereal glow entirely fitting for a place of reverence, worship and commemoration.

Although the Glass Church is most readily associated with the names of Lalique and his patron, Lady Trent, we should not forget that another important figure played a part in its design.

The Jersey architect A B Grayson is perhaps best known for his Art Deco private houses, many examples of which are still to be seen around the Island.

At St Matthew’s his designs for the oak pews, the pulpit and the lectern complement the glass and make their own contribution to what can only be regarded as the Island’s most remarkable piece of interior design.

This article first appeared in the Jersey Evening Post as part of the Pride in Jersey series, marking the Island’s 1204-2004 celebrations.

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