Baccarat Glass was the brainchild of the Bishop of Metz who wanted to encourage industry in the village of Baccarat in 1765.
The original company made all types of glassware including windows, bottles and tableware.
Known at that time as ‘Verrerie de Sainte Anne’ the company survived the French Revolution but struggled through the Napoleonic Wars (1812-1815).
Just after the Napoleonic wars, the French glassworks found itself outside the new French borders in the newly created country of Belgium. A Parisian named Aime-Gabriel D’Artigues, bought the Baccarat glassworks so that he could re-establish the business in France and continue to serve French customers.
The new company, Voneche-Baccarat, focused on high quality lead-crystal glass.
Over the next 180 years Baccarat developed many new techniques in making crystal glass. In 1822 the company changed hands again and was set up as ‘Compagnie des Cristalleries de Baccarat’. It soon became and remains today, the foremost glassworks in France.
Baccarat is famous for its wonderful paperweights, its superb crystal glass tableware, for 19th century colored lead crystal glass and “opaline” ware, for beautiful decanters and bottles, and for superb lead crystal sculptures of animals and birds.
The Bohemian/Venician technique of embedding millefiori canes was taken over by Baccarat in the 1840s and their lead crystal glass paperweights with millefiori designs surpass anything produced in that period from Bohemia or Venice.
Baccarat remains a firm favourite among glass collectors today both for its new collections and original items.
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