Baccarat : 250 years of History

Prestige issue 250, May 2014

Symbol of a unique art of living, its chandeliers have shed light through years and centuries. The house of crystal Baccarat, founded in Lorraine in 1764 with the authorization of King Louis XV, remains the most prestigious manufacture of the world. From its collections of luminaries to the arts of table, the Baccarat know-how is a heritage, an imperturbable myth, synonymous with excellence and exceptional. Going through the history of the house is to travel through time and around the world from the industrial revolution in the XIXth century to its evolution towards globalization in the XXIst century.

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© Archives Baccarat

Baccarat received the first royal commission in France with Louis XVIII who ordered the creation of a set of glasses in 1823. Charles X, Louis Philippe, Napoleon III, presidents are all seduced by the magic of Baccarat crystal. The «Jusivy» service engraved with the figure of the French Republic, decorates since 1899 the festive tables of the Elysée palace. Baccarat is renowned for its extreme refinement and acquires an international reputation. Orders flow from all corners of the world: furniture for maharajas of India, sumptuous candelabrum for the Tsar Nicolas II, elegant services for the Imperial Court of Japan, and then the famous tumbler engraved with initials of President Franklin Roosevelt. The prestigious masterpieces of Baccarat praised at international expositions in Paris since 1855 began to illuminate the most prestigious venues such as the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, considered a true Baccarat Museum, the apartments of Napoleon III in the Louvre and the Tuileries. Baccarat amazed by its refinement, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Prince Aga Khan, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Aristotle Onassis, Josephine Baker. Baccarat signs in golden letters the excellent know-how, passed down over the centuries by an elite of craftsmen.

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Pair of bottles of the Malmaison service for Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, 1956. In honor of the wedding of HSH Prince Rainier, the manufacture reissued in 1956 this pair of brandy bottles from the Malmaison service created in 1913. The Empire-style bottles are gilded with fine gold and decorated with the respective monograms of the newlyweds. © Archives Baccarat.

The Harcourt glass

Named after one of the oldest families of the French nobility, it is created in 1841 and quickly became famous for its majestic silhouette that returns the magic of a light reflecting to infinity. This glass of rare distinction is inspired by the ceremonial chalice, engraved with the royal monogram commissioned by King Louis-Philippe. Adopted by world celebrities, the Harcourt glass transforms every moment of life in a sophisticated celebration. Eclectic, it adapts to all tastes and styles. Its facets capture the brightness of the light and intensify the shine of the crystal. The Harcourt glass has become a symbol of the art of hospitality, the timeless prestige object for all occasions.

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The Harcourt glass facets intensify the brilliance of crystal. In a rare distinction, this glass is suitable for all tastes and styles. © Archives Baccarat.

An exceptional know-how

Symbol of a contemporary lifestyle, Baccarat celebrates since 250 years an aura of perfection shaped by icons out of the breath and magnified by fire. Entering the era of excellence in 1764, the most prestigious crystal manufacture in the world continues to put its technical wonders for the benefit of magic and poetry. Thanks to its heritage and its artisanal vocation perpetuated with panache by 22 best workers in France and a master of Art, the Baccarat House reflects perfection through its creation and know-how. A unique and immemorial know-how from burning the wheel practiced freehand and relief gilding applied by brush, transfigures tradition into creations. From the gesture of the artisan picking the crystal at the end of his cane to the development of his famous red to gold, crystal Baccarat harmoniously combines know-how and creativity. At the breath, inspired by the alchemists secrets, related to elements, blowers, gilders, engravers and cutters put their inimitable talent to the service of designers and creators. In clear or colored crystal, each timeless masterpiece bears the seal of exceptional technique, luxury marks and harmony. The Baccarat expertise is an incomparable heritage. An imperturbable myth, fruit of time and excellence, more than ever synonymous of exception.

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Zenith Chandelier 84 lights clear and red crystal. Inspired by the sumptuous colored chandeliers of Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul which has the largest collection of Baccarat chandeliers in the world. Baccarat. H 3.2 m / Ø 2 m / 336 kg. © Archives Baccarat.

A «heart» stamp

Baccarat has issued a series of heart-shaped stamps to honor the  house. The two stamps pay tribute to two icons of the House, the Harcourt glass 1841 and the Zenith chandelier that is in line with the traditional crystal chandeliers developed by Baccarat. To create these stamps, Baccarat resorted to technological innovations such as digital engraving intaglio with an embossing and letterpress printing. The use of gold ink symbolizes the brilliance of crystal.

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Perfection in the smallest details represents the Baccarat expertise. © Archives Baccarat.