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History Of French Baccarat Crystal

Updated on May 2, 2017

Baccarat Crystal was established in 1765

Bishop Montmorency Laval wanted to encourage industry in his little village of Baccarat. Baccarat is located in Lorraine in eastern France. The Verrerie de Sainte Anne at Baccarat made all kinds of utility glassware,(windows, such as bottles, tableware, and the business flourished for many years. Surviving the French Revolution (1789) but struggled through the Napoleonic Wars (1812-1815). The Compagnie des Cristalleries de Baccarat, Muerthe et Moselle, France, is one of France's oldest, and I might say finest glass manufactures in the world. Baccarat makes a wide variety of crystal, which range from architectural pieces to gross ornamental pieces, along with delicate stemware. Baccarat decorative styles, will include numerous adaptations, such as heavy use of prisms, which are considerably wider, and longer in type. In many of their pieces they accept the purity of the crystal. With little or no attempt at accentuation, this permits the decorative cuts to follow a design of limited prismatic effect.

Baccarat Artists

Baccarat artists do not follow the traditional methods in cutting crystal. They have completely overstepped many of the old traditional limitations imposed by glass, which lets them achieve a heightened vitality in the end product. This is very noticeable in the work of glass artists, A. Bullet and G. Chevalier. The Verrerie de la Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint Louis is a branch of the Baccarat firm. One of their specialties is a layered dark crystal glass. Artist Nicholas, who was trained in his art by Galle himself, includes the art of engraving in much of his work, turning out very unique piece. The stamp of the Saint Louis works, and the influence of Maurice Dufrene are noticeably evident in the glass of the Paris shops.

A Bit Of History On French Glass

In 1815 the French glass-works at Voneche in Northern France found itself outside the new boundaries of France. The owner of Voneche, a Parisian named Aime-Gabriel D'Artigues, decided to purchase the Baccarat glass-works Company, so he could reestablish his business in France, and continue to produce glass, and serve his loyal French customers. With the bonus of not having to pay a heavy import taxes on his wares. History gives way to rumor that D'Artigues struck a deal with the King of France to reduce his import taxes from Voneche in return for setting up his business again in France.

The New Company Today Voneche-Baccarat

Voneche-Baccarat focused on only producing the finest high quality lead crystal glass.

Over the past 180 years Baccarat have developed many unique techniques to give way to some of the finest French crystal glass item's. In 1822 D'Artigues sold the glassworks business. The new owners started up a company by the name of " Compagnie des Cristalleries de Baccarat" (keeping Voneche as part of the name until 1843). This company soon became the foremost glassworks in France, and remains one of the most competitive, and lucrative producers of fine glass today. The company throughout the years has won many medals at major exhibitions in Paris from its conception, to today.

Millefiori Paperweight


Baccarat Crystal Paperweights

Baccarat has become well known for their wonderful crystal paperweights, along with its superb crystal glass tableware, 19th century colored lead crystal glass and "opaline" ware. They also make beautiful decanters and bottles, and lead crystal sculptures of animals and birds.

The Bohemian/Venetian technique of embedding millefiori canes, was used border by Baccarat in the 1840s to produce wonderful lead crystal glass paperweights. Baccarat millefiori designs far surpassed anything that was being made in that period from Bohemia or Venice.

Antique Baccarat Crystal - Photo Gallery

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      MaryRoseFitz 3 years ago

      I was absolutely amazed by your video and can only wonder how the craftsmen can product something so beautiful and delicate out of nothing. It must take many years to become skilled at producing these crystal products. I would love to have a set of wine glasses for special occasions - and that 4 arm crystal chandelier - stunning

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      eugenecepf2 3 years ago

      Interesting video :)

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      robertpaul123 6 years ago

      Bang on!!! You just hit the bullâs eye with this wonderful piece of write-up. I am so very impressed by your flair of writing that I want to start my own blog now. Thanks for the motivation.

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      bruce788 6 years ago

      great facts man

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      anonymous 7 years ago


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      anonymous 9 years ago

      Great historical facts. I have had a very good time reading your lens. I am really happy to find your lens.

      Great job! Please keep on the good work.