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BACCARAT

Crystal manufacture
attributed to

Pair of Opal crystal Vases

France
Circa 1860
Height : 31 cm (12,2 in.) ;  Diam. : 14 cm (5,5 in.)

Pair of opal crystal “baluster” shaped vases. Executed in white opal crystal, they are adorned with a painted decoration composed of lilac flowers. This decoration is completed with gold bands hat underline the base and the neck of the vases.

The technic of opal glass, obtained by addition of tin oxide, was known in Venice as soon as the 16th century. However it was only in 1810 that this technic was adapted to crystal in France. The first opal crystal pieces were adorned with a cutwork and gilt bronze mounts, but short after the painted and baked decoration then developed adorned opal crystal pieces with polychrom and refined ornaments, creating real paintings on opal crystal.

Biography

The famous crystal manufacture of Baccarat, that dates back to the XVIIIth century, was awarded its first medal in 1823, during the “Exposition des Produits de l’Industrie” for the “brilliance and the sharpness of its crystal” and became then the most renowned French “cristallerie”. Baccarat was undoubtedly the only French manufacture, that exhibited steadily and magnificently its products at the various Universal Exhibitions, and especially between 1855 and 1867. In all reports one can read about the “perfection of the material and of its cut”. To keep its wealthy clientele, among which the Royal family, Baccarat must discover new styles and decors as well as new material, as shows that beautiful Opaline crystal, which became one of Baccarat’s specialities.

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