21 February 2019

The World of Baccarat

With a portfolio concentrated very much in London’s most exclusive postcodes, our team is used to working with the finest craftspeople and suppliers to produce beautiful interiors for our incredibly discerning clientele. Baccarat then, was always going to be a natural collaboration. Having worked closely with the luxury house on the specification of several chandeliers for our ongoing Mayfair town house project, we were delighted to be invited to the iconic Maison Baccarat during January’s Maison et Objet 2019 to learn more about their story and take a sneak peak at their newest collections

Maison Baccarat occupies a grand old mansion house on Place des Etats-Unis. Once the home of Marie-Laure de Noailles, artist and renowned patron of the arts, the building interior has been thoughtfully reimagined by Philippe Starck for its’ new purpose. Part-boutique and part-museum, the crystal installations that adorn each consecutive space are shown to their best advantage against rough hewn, not-quite-perfect masonry; the walls, once littered with Courbets and Goyas are now covered in chalk impressions of the same. And everywhere crystal glitters.

The company has a long and illustrious history. Founded in 1764 in the French town that bears its name, Baccarat started life as a glassworks, only beginning to produce crystal in 1816. What follows is the story of a brand committed to perfecting it’s art. This is evidenced not only by the fact that it boasts more award-winning Best Craftsmen in France than any other French luxury house but also by the constant stream of private commissions from royalty and heads of state across the globe that has continued over the years.

Part of Baccarat’s enduring popularity is no doubt the artfully coloured crystal it has become known for producing, achieved by adding trace amounts of metal to the cooling crystal during production; Bacarrat’s iconic red crystal for example is created using 24 carat gold powder. The buildings museum, playfully designed around the four elements of Water, Sand, Fire & Wind needed to produce crystal showcases beautiful examples of coloured pieces from the companies history, from the softest blush of red on a wine glass stem to vivid jewel-coloured goblets.

To our mind, one of the most romantic re-imaginings of Baccarat’s use of colour however was to be found hanging in one of the mansions many corridors in the form of a Zenith Flou, Je Te Vois Flou chandelier. The whimsical re-interpretation of a classic design, conceived by the eminent Philippe Starck mixes clear and pink crystal with misty grey crystal and frosted elements; the chandelier appears ‘unfocused’ and light, almost ethereal.

Baccarat’s repertoire also boasts everything from paperweights and perfume bottles (at it’s height in the early 1900’s they were producing over 4,000 bottle a day and more recently have collaborated with Chanel to create just 55 Limited Edition bottles of their signature No 5 fragrance) to jewellery and elegant stemware.

One of our favourites of the latter category is the new Wine Therapy collection of 6 wine glasses, each with a unique design inviting you to discover the glass that matches your personality – are you an Optimist, a Rebel or maybe Enigmatic, even?  It’s a clever idea that speaks to peoples increasing desire for a bespoke and tailored experience, and what is that after all if not the definition of luxury?

 

PHOTO CREDITS

Cristal Room Restaurant – Laurent Parrault  |  Maison Baccarat Interior – Laurent Parrault  |  Blowing Crystal in Black & White – Jean Larivière  |  Zenith Flou Chandelier – Yves Duronsoy  |  Wine Therapy Wine Glass – Studio Furious

By JHR Interiors
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