BOOK REVIEW: BACCARAT 1764 – TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS

BACCARAT 1764

TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS

Text by Murray Moss and Laurence Benaïm

Rizzoli New York, £55.00

BACCARAT_cover

This book is a celebration of the prestigious French firm of Baccarat, surely one of the most well-known and celebrated glassmakers in the world, and marks the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of its establishment at the command of Louis XV.

Pair of flasks from the “Malmaison” service made for HSH Prince Rainier and HSH Princess Grace of Monaco, 1956. In honor of the marriage of His Serene Highness Prince Rainier III, the manufactory reissued this pair of flasks in 1956. They were originally from the “Malmaison” service, cerated in 1913. These Empire-style flasks are gilded with fine gold and decorated with the newlyweds’ monograms.

Pair of flasks from the “Malmaison” service made for HSH Prince Rainier and HSH Princess Grace of Monaco, 1956. In honor of the marriage of His Serene Highness Prince Rainier III, the manufactory reissued this pair of flasks in 1956. They were originally from the “Malmaison” service, cerated in 1913. These Empire-style flasks are gilded with fine gold and decorated with the newlyweds’ monograms.

Ever since Louis XVIII ordered a service of glassware in 1823, monarchs, heads of state, Maharajahs and lesser mortals have patronised the firm.  Baccarat has supplied, and in some cases still does, glassware to Russia, the Middle East, India and the Far East, the Americas and, of course, Europe.  Queen Elizabeth II has received gifts commissioned from the firm, including a carafe, shaped like a diamond, that was presented to her in 2012 by John Walker.

“Spirale” vase, numbered, limited edition of five hundred, Thomas Bastide, 2004.

“Spirale” vase, numbered, limited edition of five hundred, Thomas Bastide, 2004.

The book’s illustrations show not only elements of the glass making process (making, cutting, engraving and gilding) but more importantly the products created; chandeliers, wine goblets, vases, perfume bottles, jewellery, even furniture.  A glittering, sparkling story peopled with royalty, stars and the rich but the real glamour in this book is provided by the designs and products of Maison Baccarat itself.  A truly great way to celebrate its 250th anniversary.

“Caliph’s Staircase” monumental chandelier, Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul, c. 1870. In the mid-nineteenth century, Sultan Abdülmecid began the construction of the Dolmabahçe Palace in Constantinople in order to showcase the modernity and wealth of his Ottoman Empire. Sultan Abdülaziz commissioned from Baccarat a large number of monumental chandeliers in clear and red crystal enhanced with gold, which are particularly remarkable for their bobèches in the form of stylized tulips,  the symbol of the Turkish Empire. The chandeliers were intended to furnish the Dolmabahçe Palace from the entry hall to the Blue Hall, passing by the “Caliph’s Staircase” to arrive at the Red Chamber, the  ceremonial room of the Harem.

“Caliph’s Staircase” monumental chandelier, Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul, c. 1870. In the mid-nineteenth century, Sultan Abdülmecid began the construction of the Dolmabahçe Palace in Constantinople in order to showcase the modernity and wealth of his Ottoman Empire. Sultan Abdülaziz commissioned from Baccarat a large number of monumental chandeliers in clear and red crystal enhanced with gold, which are particularly remarkable for their bobèches in the form of stylized tulips, the symbol of the Turkish Empire. The chandeliers were intended to furnish the Dolmabahçe Palace from the entry hall to the Blue Hall, passing by the “Caliph’s Staircase” to arrive at the Red Chamber, the ceremonial room of the Harem.

ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT

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