We visited a sparklingly beautiful exhibit at the Petit Palais. To mark Baccarat’s 250th anniversary, the Petit Palais is hosting the amazing masterpieces of the world’s most celebrated crystal maker.
This is the first Baccarat retrospective in France since 1964. This new exhibit at the Petit Palais, a Beaux-Arts building constructed for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, focuses on the creations designed by Baccarat for the big exhibitions in Paris between 1823 and 1937 – the shows which brought Baccarat an international reputation and commissions from leading figures and celebrities all over the world.
The show presents an exceptional selection of more than 500 pieces, mostly from Baccarat’s own private collection, plus some significant items on loan from several of the most prestigious museums in France.
In addition drawings and other archival material on display for the first time allow visitors to follow the history of the exhibits, and to trace the sources of inspiration for the company’s artisans over the last 250 years.
The exhibition includes such exceptional pieces as the monumental ‘Negus’ vase, the Duchesse de Berry’s crystal dressing table and chair, a stunning 23-foot-high crystal fountain, and the intricately engraved ‘Simon’ vases created for the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867.
Dinner services commissioned by royal families and other potentates including Tsar Nicholas II, the emperor of Japan, and various maharajahs offer further testimony to the skills of the Baccarat craftsmen. A table featuring some of these commissioned place settings underscore Baccarat’s triumphal contribution to the art of living. A special space is set aside for the history of the legendary Harcourt Glass: commissioned by King Louis-Philippe in 1840, this iconic piece inspired by the shape of a ceremonial chalice was engraved with the king’s monogram.
The exhibition also features a dazzlingly series of majestic chandeliers hung in the Petit Palais’s Galerie d’Honneur, the most monumental of them gleaming with 250 lights.
Baccarat Exhibition: October 15, 2014 – January 4, 2015.
Petit Palais Opening hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Late opening until 8pm on Thursdays for temporary exhibitions. Closed on Mondays and public holidays. Admission: Adults: 11 €