Founded in 1764 with the permission of Louis XV of France, Baccarat is an art glass manufacturer that has transcended eras and fashions. Over the years, Baccarat has produced just about every form of art glass and glassware imaginable. It may be most famous for its ornate paperweights, but it has also designed crystal and glass vases, perfume bottles, chandeliers, boxes, and other decorative objects.

Because of the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon, Baccarat and other French glass manufacturers were a bit behind the rest of the world when it came to crystal. Early Baccarat productions were concentrated on stemware, windowpanes, and mirrors. In 1816, however, Baccarat got around to producing lead crystal and reformed its glassware factory nestled in tiny Baccarat, France, in the eastern Lorraine region, to become a crystal factory. The company used a blend of sand, potash, and lead to create crystal that quickly became a symbol of high-quality French decorative art.

In fact, just seven years after it began producing crystal, Baccarat was commissioned to create stemware for King Louis XVIII. Since then, the company has, on a variety of occasions, been hired to produce crystal for royalty and heads of state, whether it was stemware for Charles X and Franklin Roosevelt or vodka glasses for Czar Nicholas II. Not only was Baccarat's crystal gorgeous, it was also refractive, luminous, and heavy, thanks to its 32-percent lead content.

Baccarat expanded quickly, and it already had an overseas market in 1841 when it released its flat-sided Harcourt set—this signature Baccarat designs continues to be produced today. In 1846, the company began producing millefiori paperweights, whose interiors held captive everything from flowers to birds. Today collectors struggle to definitively date Baccarat paperweights from that era, as they are considered some of the greatest examples of the form ever made.

By 1855 Baccarat was an industry leader. At the Exposition Universelle in Paris that year, it was awarded the Grand Medal of Honor. In 1860, Baccarat added a brand signature to the bottom of every piece. This mark can be found on all vintage Baccarat glass made between 1860 and 1936.

The design of a particular Baccarat piece can usually be closely tied to the era when it was made. For example, Baccarat glass and crystal from the 1870s reflect the influence at the time of Japanese design. At the turn of the century, Baccarat produced curvy Art Nouveau glassware; in the 1920s, Baccarat glass featured geometric Art Deco cuts.

Aided by the development of a new workshop, the 20th century also brought a boom in the production of perfume bottles for Baccarat. In 1907, the company was producing more than 2...

Despite being more than two centuries old, Baccarat continues to innovate. In 1979 it released its Massena cut-crystal stemware and tumblers, and in 1993 Baccarat produced its first line of fine jewelry.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

This fabulous site is a guide to Bohemian art glass makers from 1885 to 1920. Loetz was the premier Bohemian glass … [read review or visit site]

Pattern Glass School

Pattern Glass School

If you need schooling on Victorian-era pressed glass tableware aka EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) aka Pattern … [read review or visit site]

Cloud Glass Reference Site

Cloud Glass Reference Site

Chris and Val Stewart’s impressive attempt to create a complete catalogue of all known cloud glass, a decorative … [read review or visit site]

Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club

Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club

The heart of this website, home of the Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club, is the Identification Project, whe… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Nib 6 Baccarat Harmonie Tumblers (france - 250ml Or 8oz, 3.75" H X Approx 3" W)Antique Baccarat France Swirled Crystal Art Glass Lidded Candy Dish/canister YqzBaccarat 3 ¾” Crystal Harmonie Old Fashioned Tumbler Set - 2Baccarat “neptune” Vase French Art Glass Signed Excellent Condition!Harmonie 5 ½” Baccarat Hi-ball Crystal Tumbler Set - 2Antique Baccarat Crystal French Art Deco Gorze Decanter. Circa 1920's.Baccarat From Abp Cut To Clear Decanter Cordial Liquor Crystal AntiqueBaccarat Crystal - Harmonie Pattern - Set Of 8 Old Fashion - MarkedLot 3 Baccarat Crystal Art Glass Figurines Birds/parrots W/original BoxesBaccarat Champagne Flutes "dom Perignon" 2 In Original BoxSet Of Two Baccarat "massena" Crystal Wine Glasses 6 3/4 OzAntique Baccarat Crystal Alsace Decanter. Circa Late 19th Century.Lot 3 Baccarat Crystal Art Glass Figurines Birds/parrots W/ Original BoxesBaccarat Crystal Nelly Vase 5" H Made In FranceBaccarat French Crystal Jasmine Swirl Perfume Scent BottleBaccarat CrystalVintage Baccarat Deep Cut Patterned Flower Vase SignedRare Baccarat Wine - Encased Etched Crystal, Gilt Highlights, Air Twist StemMint Signed Baccarat Clear Glass RabbitBaccarat Playing Dolphin French Crystal Figurine Absolutely Stunning 6.25"Stunning Glass Paperweight By Baccarat Of A Chick ( Baby Bird ) Large Baccarat Crystal FalconAntique Val St Lambert Crystal Etched Deco Ruby Cranberry Red 4 Wine GlassesAntique Baccarat Crystal Etched Deco Ruby Cranberry Red 3 Wine Glasses Ring StemBaccarat French Crystal Diamond Serpentine Swirl Tiente Rose Rubina Glass BowlAuthentic Signed Baccarat France Frosted Art Glass Sparrow Bird Paperweight NrLouis Xiii Baccarat Crystal Cognac Decanter-empty-no BoxBaccarat Koi Fish Clear Crystal FigurineCrystal Cobalt Blue Egg From Baccarat France With Original StandBaccarat Crystal Snake (cobra) Retired New In Box Excellent Condition Gest1230-1Stunning Baccarat France Ball Vase SignedBaccarat St. Remy 2 Champagne FlutesSigned Set Of 2 Baccarat France Crystal Ducks Frosted Art Glass FigurineBaccarat Crystal CatBaccarat France Limited Edition Paperweight - James Monroe 1955Mint Signed Baccarat Blue Glass DuckBaccarat Crystal Vase - Coco (2102306)5 Vintage French Baccarat Buckingham Crystal Shot/cordial Glasses Mint ConditionBaccarat Clear Glass Angles Decanter W/ Stopper MarkedBaccarat Crystal Angel Bacarrat France 6" Tall1970s Baccarat Lorraine 6oz 5 1/2" Tall Water Glass Goblet Pair Of Two 1 Perfect2 Baccarat Crystal Massena Water/ Wine Goblets 6-1/2 " Mint!!Crystal Black Egg From Baccarat France With Original StandBaccarat Crystal Candy / Nut Dish1970s Baccarat Lorraine 6oz 5 1/2" Tall Water Glass Goblet Pair Of Two Perfect1970s Baccarat Lorraine 6oz 5 1/2" Tall Water Glass Goblet Pair Of Two Perfect 2Baccarat Crystal - Pitcher - Harmonie PatternBaccarat France Set Of 8 Lorraine Pattern Water Goblet GlassesBaccarat Paperweight Andrew Jackson Sulphide In Original BoxVintage French Baccarat Crystal DecanterBaccarat Crystal Starfish Stamped Clear Art Glass Paperweight Figurine 5”Baccarat France Limited Edition Paperweight - Eleanor Roosevelt Deep PurpleBaccarat Crystal VaseBaccarat Provence Champagne Flute Set Of FourFrench Baccarat Clear Crystal Glass 8" Bouton-d'or Triangular Buttercup VaseSpinning Rocking Baby Teddy Bear Figurine By Baccarat - French Crystal - ClearSigned Baccarat French Crystal #1 Ex Cond 4" TallBaccarat Crystal Goblet Gascogne PatternBaccarat Crystal Rabbit / Bunny