Pair of opal crystal vases
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.
A 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).
Between 1764 and 1860, with rare exceptions, the crystal Manufacture of Baccarat doesn’t sign its works. The first paper labels appear in 1860 and represent inside a circle, a carafe surrounded by a goblet and a cup above which is marked BACCARAT. From 1875, the brand BACCARAT in stick letters and in relief is present on some blown models and on the bronze parts of the mounts. It’s from 1936 that the carafe, surrounded by a goblet and a cup with Baccarat marked above, appears systematically on the production.
The famous crystal manufacture of Baccarat, that dates back to the 18th 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.
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.