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    

Baccarat **signed** Sterling Silver Crystal Clear "medicis" Necklace No ReserveNr Antique Baccarat Cut Crystal Treasure Chest Jewelry Casket Box W/ Lock & KeyVintage Baccarat Art Glass Paperweight, Pansy, 1973, Hallmarked, #74, 3" Dia.Antique Baccarat Paperweight Pansy Multi Faceted 1845-60 Orginal UnrestoredLovely Antique Raised Floral Motif Baccarat Perfume Bottle Decanter PairVintage Baccarat Art Glass Paperweight, Strawberries, Hallmarked, 81/240, 1974Baccarat Crystal Figurine Paperweight Frosted Bunny Rabbit Sitting, FranceRare Vintage Baccarat Loet Vanderveen Crystal Gorilla, Ape Statue, FigurineBrilliant Pair Of Baccarat Crystal "bambous Swirl" Candle Holders Tiffany & Co.Vintage Baccarat Glass - Remy Martin & Cie French Brandy Decanter - Unusual!Baccarat France Crystal Massena Pattern - Champagne Saucers - Four (4)Beautiful Baccarat France Cut Crystal 15" Decanter Signed Excellent ConditionSimple And Elegant Baccarat Crystal Vase -8 Inch TallBaccarat- Crystal Lucky Butterfly- Amber Color In Original Baccarat Red BoxBaccarat Harmonie Tumbler Crystal Classic Design 4 1/8' High6 Gorgeous Baccarat French Harmonie Old Fashion Glasses Excellent Condition2 Vintage 8 1/2" Tall Clear Baccarat France Crystal Massena Champagne Flutes2pc Baccarat Crystal 6-sided Hexagon Candlestick Holder (s) France With BoxBaccarat France Crystal Massena Highballs - Four (4) Highballs / 13 Oz CapacityBaccarat France Crystal Glass Owl Figurine / Paperweight FrenchBaccarat Sulphide Paperweight - Jfk - John F. Kennedy - White Overlayw/ CobaltBaccarat France Crystal Massena Champagne Flutes - 2 Flutes Mid-century Modern 1960s Vtg Baccarat, Crystal Square Glass Vintafe Ash-trayBaccarat France For Tiffany & Co Cut Crystal Bulbous Slanted Rib Art Glass VaseBaccarat France Massena Crystal PitcherSuperb 10 7/8" Baccarat Crystal Remy Martin Cognac Decanter Louis Xiii MintBaccarat Massena France Crystal - Cordials -two (2)Baccarat Loving Doves Baccarat Crystal Diving Blue Bottlenose "dolphin" Signed And Etched. No FlawsBaccarat Rotary Double Old Fashioned Tumbler 4 1/8" HighPair Of Signed Baccarat Hurricanes With Removable Bobeches In Medallion PatternVintage Signed Baccarat "rare" Turquoise Crystal Rounded Heart Paperweight W/boxBaccarat France Crystal Green Nautilus ShellBaccarat Clear Crystal Art Glass Parrot Signed Figurine 4" Tall French Bird VtgBaccarat Paperweight Harry Truman Made In Paris, France - Hallmarked & SignedBaccarat France Crystal Massena Highballs - Two (2) Highballs / 13 Oz CapacitySigned Baccarat Rigot Crystal Clear Owl Figurine 6.5"h4 Rare Baccarat Crystal Wine Water Goblet Stem Glasses Glass Stemware Barware Exquisite Retired Signed Crystal Baccarat Nativity Angel Figurine MintVintage Venetian Gold Ruby Red Cranberry 7 Sided Cordial Wine Glass ItalianBaccarat Crystal Duck. 5 Inches Long. Perfect!Baccarat France Cut Crystal Clam Scallop Sea Shell Art Glass Desk Paperweight NrBaccarat Crystal, Harmonie Patterntumbler, Highball, Perfect, FranceBaccarat Crystal Pug Dog FigureBaccarat Crystal Cordon Bleu Martell Cognac Decanter, Original StopperAuthentic Baccarat France 8” Tall Serpentine Crystal Vase * Signed Baccarat Paper Weight Faceted With Blue And By With JugPlaymobil Off-road Jeep Trailer Motorcross Dirt Bikes Motorcycle Figure 3754Signed Baccarat French Crystal Art Glass Vase Set Of Eight (8) Baccarat France Crystal 7 1/2" Salad Or Dessert Plates SignedBaccarat Crystal Frosted Duck Paperweight FigurineBeautiful Pair Of Baccarat Massena Wine Goblets #1 71/2 In. With Box!Louis Xiii Baccarat Crystal Cognac Decanter-empty-no BoxCollectable Baccarat Crystal Parrot, PurpleAntique Baccarat Honeycomb Millefiori Optic Caned Florets Early Signed N/rGenuine Black Crystal Baccarat BunnyC Franklin Mint Cristal D'albert Crystal Cameo Cut Paperweight Thomas JeffersonSigned Baccarat France Art Glass Dolphin Crystal Figurine Shelf Sculpture Nr RbhVintage Baccarat Limited Edition 1979 Giant Emerald Goblet #231 Of 250-euc!5 Baccarat St. Remy Pattern Goblets - 7 1/2" Tall - Signed