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:: Baccarat :: French Crystal to Impress Your Friends ::

1764 PERMISSION GRANTED

King Louis XV of France gave Bishop Montmorency-Laval of Metz permission to found a glassworks in the village of Baccarat located in Lorraine in eastern France.  

1863 THE FIRST CRYSTAL

The first crystal oven went into operation at Baccarat on 15 November.  Until then, the glassworks produced windowpanes, mirrors and stemware.  Over 3,000 people work at the site.  

1823 THE FIRST ROYAL COMMISSION

King Louis XVIII of France commissioned a set of stemware.  Since then, Baccarat has created stemware for the Kings Charles X, Louis-Philippe, the Emperor Napoleon III, and the French presidents.  Today, Juvisy stemware still graces the tables of the Elysée Palace.  

1830 CONSTANTINOPLE

3 November: the first shipment to Turkey.  In the following years, this market grew considerably with orders of lighting fixtures, candelabras, banisters, and also mocha sets and hookahs (!) for the palaces of Constantinople.  

1832 PARIS

The Launay, Hautin et Cie company was created, grouping together the Baccarat, Saint-Louis and Choisy-Le-Roy crystalworks.
Head office: 30, rue du Paradis-Poissonnière, Paris.
Illustrated catalogues were published.
In 1857, the company closed down.  Baccarat remained at this address.

1841 CREATION OF THE HARCOURT SET

The Harcourt set is still manufactured today.  With its decoration of flat cut sides and its architectural style, it is an emblem of the brand.  A great traveler, it graces many prestigious tables all over the world.  

1855 FIRST GOLD MEDAL

The first World Fair in Paris.  Baccarat won the gold medal.  

1860 THE FIRST SIGNATURE

France and Great Britain signed a free-trade treaty.
The first brand signature was registered at the Paris Commercial Court.  The logo was set on a label affixed to the bottom of each piece until 1936.

1878 JAPANISM

Paris held its third World Fair, Baccarat won its third gold medal.  A new style called "Japanism" considerably changed the decorative arts (ceramics, crystal, furniture, fabrics and wallpaper).
Baccarat began using a new engraving technique called "taillegravure".  

1867 THE END OF THE IMPERIAL ERA

Defeat of Napoleon III in Mexico.
For the first time in France, Japan participated in the Paris World Fair.
Baccarat presented a magnificent pair of vases engraved by Jean-Baptiste Simon and won another gold medal.  

1885 OPENING UP TO THE WORLD

Development of the Indian market with orders of furniture and crystal lighting fixtures, among other items.  Baccarat opened up trading-posts all over the world (Tonkin, Montevideo, Mexico, Havana, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Philippines, Cambodia and the United States).  

1896 THE SPLENDOR OF RUSSIA

Baccarat: the "Russian" oven burned day and night to fill the lavish orders of the court of Tsar Nicholas II, following his visit to Paris.  Candelabras, fountains, centerpieces, and luxurious stemware including a vodka glass, were specially designed for this market.  

1907 PERFUMES AND BOTTLES

Perfume bottle production took off, soaring to 4,000 bottles a day (compared with 150 in 1897!).
All of the great perfume-makers, later followed by fashion designers, commissioned Baccarat to create their bottles.  Among them were Coty, Houbigant, Patou, Schiaparelli, Elizabeth Arden, Guerlain, Dior, Montana, Versace, and Lancôme, just to name a few.  

1925 INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION

For the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris, Georges Chevalier, a Baccarat designer since 1916, designed the Baccarat-Christofle Pavilion.  Every drop of Georges Chevalier's talent came out in a water theme.  A magnificent 3-meter high chandelier representing a waterfall was purchased for Sydney's Royal Theater.  Five years later, the Prince of Wales ordered stemware with square bases for his yachts.  

1936 THE BACCARAT SIGNATURE

This signature began to be etched with acid or sand-blasted onto all the pieces.
Stemware was designed for President Franklin D.  Roosevelt of the United States.

1948 NEW YORK

Creation of the American subsidiary Baccarat Inc.  Opening of a wholesale shop and a retail boutique in New York.  

1964 THE LOUVRE MUSEUM

A retrospective exhibition for Baccarat's bicentennial was held in Paris at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts), Palais du Louvre.  

1972 DESIGNERS AND CREATION

The Italian designer Roberto Sambonet designed a first collection for Baccarat.  He was followed in 1974 by Van Day Truex.  Since then, many French and foreign designers and artists have worked with Baccarat, including Salvador Dali, César, and Robert Rigot.  In 1982, a new in-house designer joined the team: Thomas Bastide.  Since the 1990's, occasional co-operation with outside designers has been on the rise with Andrée Putman and the Pampilles line, Patrice Butler and a new approach to lighting fixtures with the Saphir line, Thierry Lecoule and his Lyre furniture or more recently Jean-Marie Massaud, Jean Boggio, Mathias, and the American designer Barbara Barry.
Symbols of their times, each of these creations help the brand to confirm its modern identity.  

1979 A STAR IS BORN

Creation of the Masséna stemware service, extremely popular in the United States.  

1984 TOKYO

Creation of the Baccarat Pacific subsidiary in Tokyo, where a first boutique opened its doors in 1985.  Today, Baccarat boasts eleven boutiques in the Far East (Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and China).  Baccarat's relationship with Japan dates back to the late 19th century with the tea ceremony pieces commissioned by the Harumi House.  In 1909, glass stemware engraved with a chrysanthemum – the emblem of the Imperial House – was created for the Emperor of Japan.  

1993 JEWELRY

Launch of the first Baccarat jewelry line.  Baccarat crystal was introduced to the fashion world with two annual collections and has won over an increasing number of women throughout the world.
A new collection called Mémoire groups together replicas of old pieces.  Every two years, Mémoire calls on the talents of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (Best Craftsmen in France) who work at the glassworks.  Every other year, contemporary design is also featured in a special collection called Rencontre.  A designer chosen by Baccarat is given the freedom to create exceptional pieces in co-operation with the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France.
Baccarat took part in the "Fabergé Orfèvre des Tsars" exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and the "Tables Royales" exhibition at the Château de Versailles.

1994 230th ANNIVERSARY!

Creation of a chandelier with 230 lights to celebrate Baccarat's 230th birthday.  1995 VEGA

A revolution in glassware with the launch of the Constellation collection and in particular, the Vega line.  This line plays on the paradoxes between the fineness of the crystal bowl, the long stem constructed out of an assemblage of large cut beads and the thickness of the magnifying glass base.  

1997 THE PERFUME TRILOGY

The release of the first perfume in Baccarat's Les Contes d'Ailleurs (Tales from Faraway lands) trilogy: Une Nuit Étoilée au Bengale (A Starry Night in Bengal) (1), followed by Les Larmes Sacrées de Thèbes (The Sacred Tears of Thebes) (2) in 1998, and Un Certain Été à Livadia (A Certain Summer in Livadia) (3) in 1999.
Retrospective Baccarat exhibition in Segovia, Spain entitled "Baccarat Una Historia del Cristal Frances", followed by a major Baccarat exhibition in Japan (1998-1999) in four museums (Yokohama, Osaka, Hiroshima, Tokyo).

1999 SIMPLISSIMES: a history of design

Release of the Simplissimes collection, which groups together contemporary creations and replicas (lighting fixtures, candleholders, carafes, caviar bowls, vases, ashtrays, glasses).
The items were created by the young designers Jean-Marie Massaud, Caroline Bouzinac and Jean Oddes for the Brummel service made in Baccarat's design workshops in 1911, and touch on the 1930s of Georges Chevalier and then the 1970s with American Van Day Truex and Italian Roberto Sambonet.  From contemporary creations to early 20th-century designs, Simplissimes presents objects of formal simplicity which strike the perfect balance between functionality and aestheticism.  

2000 LIVING IN TRANQUILITY

Baccarat commissions the American designer Barbara Barry to design a new collection.  With its refined, sensual lines and its rich details that let light play in the thick crystal, Tranquility naturally fits into the Baccarat style.  Barbara Barry takes advantage of this opportunity to give table settings a youthful feel by freely mixing thoroughly contemporary tall glasses and tumblers.  A trendsetter! Tranquility also includes table linen (tablecloths, place mats, napkins, etc.) featuring the Baccarat signature.
Baccarat worldwide: 35 boutiques (compared with 3 in 1994).
2003 Baccarat is relocated to a legendary place situated at 11, place des Etats-Unis in Paris.  The former muse of this unique private mansion, Marie-Laure de Noailles (1902-1970) threw magical parties there and in this magnificent place of pomp and tradition, made a salon dedicated to painters, writers and musicians.  Time and again she would reorganize the layout and design of the mansion to suit her mood.
No setting could be better suited as the new home of Baccarat.  Philippe Starck was immediately carried away by the idea of developing this magnificent project.  He was given carte blanche and developed the extravagant scheme, full of wonderment and surprise for this leading international luxury brand.
The 3000 square meters of the former Noailles mansion accommodate the Baccarat headquarters, its boutique and gallery-museum, a restaurant and the original grand ball room of exceptional craftsmanship.  It is a meeting place and the setting of the brand’s most beautiful accomplishments : Art de Vivre, Jewelry and Accessories as well as legendary collections.  

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