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    

10 Vintage Baccarat Art Glass Sulphide Cameo Presidential Portrait PaperweightsSigned Baccarat Crystal France Light Green Parrot Bird Art Glass Figurine Nr AjhSigned Baccarat Crystal France Yellow Parrot Bird Art Glass Figurine Nr AjhBaccarat France Massena Crystal Signed 6" Candle Stick Holders Set Pair *nr*Antique C1840 Baccarat Georgian Crystal Decanter * Charles X Creusot EraBaccarat Pig Mint Condition And SignedSigned Baccarat Crystal France Love Birds Doves Clear Art Glass Figurine Nr AjhBaccarat Vase In Original BoxRemy Martin Louis Xiii Mint Condition With Outer Box, Inner Box, The BaccaratBaccarat French Crystal Pair (2) Bambous Swirl Candle Holders 9 InchPair Of Vega Pattern Baccarat Clear Crystal Champagne Flutes FlutissimoBaccarat Massena Crystal - Set Of 7 Finger Bowls - 4½ InchesStunning Saint Louis Thistle Gold Crystal Wine Glass 6.5" - PerfectBaccarat Crystal "harmonie" Bud Vase 7" Tall Vertical Facets N/rPair Figural Antique Baccarat French Crystal Glass Hurricane Candlesticks Signed7 Baccarat France Crystal Massena Pattern Champagne Flutes Glasses Ribbed SetSigned Robert Rigot Baccarat Encounters Modernistic French Art Glass SculptureBaccarat France Harmonie Cut Crystal Highball Old Fashioned Glass Antique Cut Glass Ruby Red Crystal Lovers Cup Vase French Baccarat Vintage OldTall Baccarat DecanterPair Baccarat Glass France Candlesticks Candle Holders 3.5 Inches HighUnused Beautiful Baccarat Vega Wine 6 Glass Set $1,080 RetailExtremely Rare Dated Millefiori Muslin Underlay Clichy? Baccarat? Paperweight Signed Baccarat Harmonie Vase Clear Crystal Glass Ribbed 8"Baccarat Crystal & Ss Double Heart Pendant With Black Leather Adj. CordVintage Marked Baccarat Crystal Factice Perfume Bottle Guerlain Ode Paris FranceBaccarat French Soaring American Eagle Crystal Art Glass & Marble Base StatuePair Of Baccarat Crystal Glass Verrine Hurricane Lamp Shades Tulip Lip FranceBaccarat France Cut Crystal 8" "harmonie" Crystal Vase Signed Baccarat FranceSet Of 4 Vintage Signed Baccarat French Crystal 6 1/4" Water Wine Glasses Nr RjiBaccarat Crystal Bunny Rabbit Figure Paper Weight France Modern Signed MintBeautiful Baccarat Of France Clear Crystal Glass Bird ParrotBaccarat Crystal Harmonie Pattern 8" Flower Vase In Original BoxBaccarat Crystal Vase -- Chardon Pattern -- Clear Color -- (mint In Box)Baccarat Blue Glass Owl 2" Tall.Baccarat France Art Deco Crystal Glass Porcupine Hedgehog Figurine PaperweightVintage Baccarat Crystal Candle Holders Aladdin Pattern19th Century Newel Post Finial Baccarat Massive "nid D'abeille", 6 1/2" HighBaccarat Crystal Figurine Cat BlackBaccarat Crystal Missouri/harcourt Lidded Mustard Jam Jar Mini Sugar With Spoon Baccarat France Signed Crystal Love Birds Doves Figurine PaperweightSigned Baccarat France Crystal Smoking Set Three Pieces Gorgeous Baccarat VaseHand Painted Opaline Baccarat Glass Vase Circa 19th Century FranceBaccarat Crystal Bear "modern"Baccarat Crystal Teddy Bear "blue"Vintage Authentic Baccarat Red Crystal Heart W/ Black Cord Necklace PendantBaccarat Crystal Glass Verrine Hurricane Lamp With Tulip Shade Verrine FranceNew In Box Baccarat Dom Perignon 2 Flute Champagne Glasses ElegantAntique French Cameo Glass Miniature Vase, St Louis/baccarat, Unsigned Baccarat Amber Color Duck CrystalBaccarat Nelly Pattern Crystal 5 1/8" Vase Mint ConditionBaccarat Crystal Christmas Ornament Noel 1986 Signed Original BoxSet Of 5 Vintage Crystal Baccarat Champage Flutes Authentic Baccarat Necklace Lucky Crystal 925 Squeeze Lick Tease France BinPair Of 2 Vintage Signed Baccarat French Crystal 5.5" White Wine Glasses Nr RjiPair Of Vintage Signed Baccarat French Crystal 5 1/8" Port Wine Glasses Nr RjiBaccarat Lucky Butterfly Turquoise Blue Brand New In BoxBaccarat Perfume Bottle, France Signed On Bottom Clear Top QualityLarge Crystal Parrot