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What Is a Baccarat Vase?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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A Baccarat vase describes a lead crystal accessory made in Baccarat, France, by a company that has been producing finely crafted glassware since 1764. Collectors might purchase a Baccarat vase in various sizes in clear or colored glass that might be etched or engraved. A Baccarat vase typically contains a register mark on the bottom if it was produced after 1860, when a logo was designed. The older pieces generally have fetched high prices among collectors.

Baccarat glass was created in 1764, when King Louis XV of France granted permission for a glassworks manufacturing operation in the village, located in eastern France. At first, the company produced stemware, windows, and mirrors. Only later did it expand into Baccarat vases and other decorative crystal.

A Baccarat vase starts with molten lead crystal blown to create the desired design. It is then cut and polished, with etching or engraving added to the finished vase. The designs were inspired by artisans and popular styles that emerged over several centuries. Heads of countries and other dignitaries commonly commissioned the company to create one-of-a-kind pieces, which included a Baccarat vase in some instances.

By 1816, the company employed 3,000 people and began creating decorative crystal items. It began exporting vases and light fixtures to other countries in 1830. Over the next 23 years, Baccarat won three gold medals at world fairs for its unique products, including a pair of vases.

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Perfume bottles became big business beginning in 1907, when 4,000 a day were produced. Some of the most popular perfume manufacturers used these bottles to package their scents. The company continues to produce perfume bottles for some designer fragrances.

Stores opened in the United States in 1948 and in the Far East several years later. Baccarat outlets were opened in many countries as the company continued to expand its presence as a leader in sales of lead crystal. In 2003, it moved its headquarters to a private mansion in Paris that now contains a boutique and museum displaying some of the most famous pieces of leaded crystal.

Purchasing a Baccarat vase might run into substantial money if it is valued as a collectors’ item or represents an early version of the style. These vases are commonly sold and traded through the Internet. More modern styles of vases can be bought directly from Baccarat at its stores. The company also sells crystal jewelry, chandeliers, stemware, and other accessories.

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