EAST Lancashire antiques expert Eric Knowles has written a book on his passion for René Lalique, ‘the premier glass designer of the 20th century’.

Eric said his love of the art deco expert’s work began when he went to a travelling exhibition at Towneley Hall, Burnley in the 1970s.

Lalique also provided him with his greatest Antiques Roadshow moment, when a visitor presented him with a Lalique vase she had bought at a car boot sale for a £1 – and which subsequently fetched £31,000 at auction.

The book, published by Shire, is the eighth that the popular expert and TV presenter has written. It is the first new book on Lalique for 25 years.

Eric, who was born in Nelson, said Lalique was ‘the most important designer in the 20th century’ He said: “Lalique is someone I have admired for the best part of 45 years.

“I first saw some of his dessert bowls in the 1970s but it wasn’t until an exhibition at Towneley Hall in 1979 that I saw other pieces and realised the full range of his work. It opened my eyes.”

He said the with the book he aimed to chronicle Lalique’s work in an ‘enjoyable and readable’ way.

Eric said he owns a Lalique single champagne glass but would love to own a ‘classic’ serpent vase from the artist.

Lalique is most famous for opalescent art deco glassware.

The illustrated book takes the reader on a journey through Lalique’s life and shows why his products were the best of their time – and why they retain their appeal today.