Baccarat

Biography

Louis XV founded Baccarat in 1764 in the well-known glassmaking district of Lorraine. The Royal name behind the company, of course, made their glassware luxurious and desirable. In 1823, Louis XVIII was full of admiration for Baccarat’s crystal work at the National Exhibition of Industrial Products and so commissioned a full service for the Tuileries Palace. This was the beginning of a long line of commissions for prestigious clients, including King Charles X who visited the workshop. In 1832, Baccarat opened their first shop in Paris at 30 rue de Paradis and attracted the elite of Paris and the city’s visitors with its opulent crystal candelabras and chandeliers. Baccarat developed its range of glass, researching coloured glass and producing its trademark red. This won them another award at the National Exhibition of Industrial Products. Further developments included the Harcourt glass in 1841, which was then commissioned by monarchs and other royalty, presidents, popes and ambassadors across the world. Their reputation was only heightened by the two Parisian World’s Fairs in the nineteenth century where they exhibited astounding chandeliers and were awarded the Grand Prix by Emporer Napoleon III.

At the turn of the century, Baccarat accepted a large commission for the Tsar of Russia, which was followed by endless commissions from Russia and, in time, other Eastern countries such as Japan. In the 1920s, Baccarat was joined by the young Georges Chevalier, whose love of crystal and timeless designs brought Baccarat into the modern age. Fashion houses such as Guerlain and Christian Dior began to seek Baccarat’s designs for their perfume bottles. Throughout the twentieth century Baccarat completed commissions for glamorous celebrities as well as royalty.  They employed well-known designers and artists to complete special commissions. In 2003, the mansion of Marie-Laure de Noailles was transformed into La Maison Baccarat, a veritable museum of the company’s work throughout their long history. After 250 years, Baccarat is still synonymous with luxury and style.

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