On 29, Dec 2014 | | In Best in France | By Carole-Eve
Happy birthday Baccarat!
I hope you are enjoying your holiday season and having a good time. If you are in Paris, run before January 4th 2015 to the Baccarat’s exhibition at Le Petit Palais in Paris which is an architectural gem built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900.
For Baccarat’s 250th anniversary, the Grandes Galeries at the Petit Palais, host a selection of masterpieces of the world’s most celebrated crystal maker.
A symphony of crystal…
I found this exhibition absolutely fabulous as you know now my interest for the virtuosity of French craftsmen and the “Art de vivre à la française”.
You will be able to admire about 500 pieces coming mostly from Baccarat’s own private collections.
3 good reasons to visit the Baccarat’s exhibition:
♥ you will enjoy the history of the legendary Harcourt glass. Seduced by the purity and sparkle of Baccarat crystal, King Louis-Philippe ordered a series of Harcourt pieces in 1841 including ceremonial glasses.
Inspired by the shape of a ceremonial chalice, you will be able to appreciate the delicate engraved King’s monogram and a “red button” obtain by the fusion of pure gold during the crystal manufacturing process.
The Harcourt glass is the oldest model of glass designed by Baccarat still produced today by the factory. 10 000 Harcourt glasses are sold worldwide each year. This icon of excellence and elegance with its perfect “silhouette” was appreciated and commended as well by Napoleon III, Pope John Paul II, Queen of Siam, King of Morocco and several Heads of State.
♥ you will love the gala dinner sets commissioned by royal families and crowned heads such as Czar Nicolas II, the Emperor of Japan and numerous maharajahs in love with the purity and perfection of Baccarat’s crystal pieces.
♥ and you will like a table featuring some of these commissioned pieces (what I like best in this exhibition!) such as crystal carafes, pitchers, champagne, wine and water glasses showcasing the “Art de vivre à la française” that Baccarat proposes to its international clientele.
Thanks to Baccarat, dinners and suppers become a moment of pure refinement with crystal glasses of various colors and shapes sparkling and highlighting exquisite silver or gilt cutlery, and delicate china pieces.
Did you know that …?
Since Middle Edges in France, glasses were not displayed on the tables during gala dinners. Each guest used to have a dedicated servant to bring him/her the appropriate beverage when needed. This “à la française” art of service extremely sophisticated during the reign of King Louis XIV spread through all Royal Courts in Europe.
With the end of Napoleon’s Empire, a new way to set the table became popular: the “à la russe” service ( the Russian style service). As it was costly and difficult to hire servants mastering a high-end service blended with French life style and manners, guests were able to find in front of them various glasses displayed geometrically to serve themselves.
The exhibition ends with majestic chandeliers, in the Petit Palais’s Galeries d’Honneur, the most amazing of them, sparking with 250 lights. In this room, imagine that you are a prince or a princess and that you are dancing… dancing until early morning under these dazzling lights. Magic!