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ref. 1399/0

Saint-Louis Crystal manufacture


attributed to


A larger model was probably exhibited at the 1889 Universal Exhibition. 

Height : 55 cm (21 ¾ in.) ; Width : 45 cm (17 3/4 in.) ; Depth : 15,5 cm (6 in.)

A rare boat-like center table made of Saint-Louis crystal and gilt bronze, whose chasing imitates wood grain on the hull. Equipped with its oars, its mobile rudder, its ropes and with a mast on which the flag “Le St-Louis”. In the middle of the hull is embedded a nice cut-crystal bowl, finely engraved with flowers and leaves, and with a crystal bell at the stern of the vessel which can ring. That set is presented on a display base covered with red velvet and lined with three thin strips of gilded brass.


The Cristallerie St.Louis is the oldest manufacturer of Crystal in Europe since a first glasswork factory was established in 1586 in Münzthal, Valley of the Monks (current region of Lorraine). The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) caused havoc in the region and the glassware factory ceased operations in mid-seventeenth century. On 17 February 1767, King Louis XV authorized a decree of the State Council the recovery of the old industry. She held the title of royal glassware factory and was under the patronage of Saint Louis, in memory of King Louis IX. Fifteen years later, François Beaufort developed the formula of the crystal there. Renamed Cristallerie Royale de Saint-Louis, the manufacture as then directed by the Lassalle, before being sold in 1788 to the baron Coëtlosquet. In 1781, the new verreries royales de Saint-Louis were among the first on the continent to produce crystal, that was previously the monopoly of England since its invention in 1627 in Newcastle and that Sebastien Zoude (1707-1779) produced in Namur since 1761. At the beginning of the 19th century, a director of St. Louis, Aimé-Gabriel d’Artigues (1773-1848) rebuilt, restored production facilities and refocused production on crystal making. The manufacture employed in 1810 more than 650 workers and was then the biggest crystal factory of continental Europe. In 1829, it was renamed the Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint Louis. Often put in competition with the Baccarat manufacture, St.Louis factory then presented its finest creations to the famous Universal Exhibitions where it earned numerous awards.

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