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Baccarat

Crystal manufacture

(19th century)

Pair of opal crystal vases

France

Circa 1855

Height : 25 cm (10 in.) ; Diameter : 32 x 25 cm (12 2/3 x 10 in.)

Pair of opal crystal « Campana » shaped vases. Acid-etched blue cameo on white ground with scenes inspired by antique Greek vases. With palmets, entrelacs, Greek motif border and laurel leaves.

vases-opale-grec-baccarat-1307-19A punch service set with a similar decoration was shown by Baccarat manufacture at the 1867 Paris Universal Exhibition. It is now part of the Corning Museum of Glass’ collection in New York (reproduced in “Glass from the World’s Fairs – 1851-1904”, Jane Shadel Spillman, 1986, p°23, fig.8).

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 in the 1850’s.

Bibliography

Dany Sautot, Baccarat, une histoire, éd. Baccarat, 1993.

L’Art en France sous le Second Empire, Exposition Grand-Palais, Paris, 1979, p. 238-239.

Exposition Universelle de 1867, Rapport adressé à la commission d’encouragement, classe 16 et 17, p. 24 -25.

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