LEFT Preparatory drawing for a triple crystal chandelier. RIGHT The Harcourt 1841 collection, is reputed for its iconic design. THE HERITAGE OF BACCARAT It takes 15 years to master the technique of discovering the infinite possibilities of making crystal. Baccarat dates back to 1764 when the Bishop of Metz desired to stimulate commerce in the little village of Baccarat, some 400 km East of Paris. It was then that the Verrerie de Sainte Anne was created and successfully manufactured all kinds of utility glassware. Surviving the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, Baccarat has held true to its tradition and heritage. It is a company that holds steady on a subject that will always be relevant to the world – the handing down of an heirloom of craftsmanship. In collaboration with an elite of artisans, the company has embraced its craft, slowness, and its quality. It has never sought to be mainstream or commercial, but rather always gravitating to the high-end market, offering very unique and very luxurious pieces. Baccarat boasts the highest number of award-winning Best Craftsmen in France, more than any other French luxury house. The movements and gestures are ancestral but Baccarat’s ingenious craftsmanship has always stood at the leading edge of innovation. They have never wavered from producing items that represent the highest level of life, style and beauty. From their know-how of very specific skills comes unrivalled sophistication. Yet, Baccarat’s heritage remains a paradox. From fire comes the world’s most refined and transparent product. From hard instruments, dirty environments, hot ovens and 24-hour shifts comes the most feminine and delicate result. From hell comes a piece of heaven. To mark Baccarat’s 250th anniversary, the Grandes Galeries at the Petit Palais hosted the masterpieces of the world’s most celebrated crystal maker. It was an astonishing testimony to the virtuosity of Baccarat's craftsmen who, for generations, have uniquely crafted crystal, hand making both the thick and the delicate. It is a world that comes from the past into today. 15

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