The Baccarat building is a shop, a restaurant and a museum…
As part of the “Nuit des Musées”, had a look round the Baccarat building and museum. Very lush (thank you Philippe Starck). We weren’t supposed to take any photos, so we did. A lot.
In the gallery-museum, the quintessence of the brand’s prestigious collections is exposed following an evolving concept which reflects a gallery spirit rather than that of a museum. Dazzling special commissions, sets of glasses of exceptional craftsmanship, vases and decorative objects demonstrating matchless technical and stylistic skills which reflect the evolution of the different movements of the Decorative Arts.
The first section “Folie des Grandeurs” showcases monumental pieces such as the tsar Nicholas II’s candelabra, the Tsarina’s candelabra, as well as the Ferrières Furniture, commissioned in former times by maharajas and delivered on the backs of elephants.
The next section, “Alchemy”, by Gérard Garouste is a rotunda dedicated to Baccarat’s exceptional know-how. Fully decorated by the painter, it accommodates a canopy illustrating an allegory dealing with the subject of the four elements: Water, Earth, Air and Fire, which are also the necessary elements to realize the almost alchemical making of crystal. Here, one can discover a series of extraordinary pieces, including the famous vases ” Simon”, representing the “Water Allegory” and the “Earth Allegory”, as well as a Chessboard of which some pieces were sources of inspiration for Gérard Garouste’s decoration.
The section “Beyond transparency” is highlighted by four different display cases: “Tales from Afar”, “Designers”, “Celebrities” and “Femininity and Lightness”, illustrating the various facets of Baccarat’s exceptional know-how. The legendary pieces presented during several Universal Exhibitions recount all the technical skills concerning the ornamentation – whether in terms of cutting, wheel-engraving, enamelling or gilding: The “Turkish enamelled mocha coffee set” – a masterpiece of the 1878 Exhibition, or the “Elephant vase” of 1880, only to name a few.
Worth admiring are as well the limited-edition collections created by famous designers such as Georges Chevalier, Ettore Sottsass, Roberto Sambonet, Van day Truex and Marcial Berro or the prestigious commissions made by Heads of States, royal or imperial courts from all over the world or by international celebrities (the Emperor of Japan, the Prince of Wales, Josephine Baker …)
Finally, one display case is dedicated to illustrate the technical feats of glass working: vases, dishes and stemware on a mouth-blown hollow stem of an incredible lightness.
11 place des Etats Unis
75 116 Paris
Closest underground station: Iéna (line 9) or Boissière (line 6)
Opening time: from 10 a.m to 6:30 p.m
Monday to saturday (closing days: tuesdays and sundays)
7 € per person
Group tour on booking only at the Heritage Department (maximum of 20 persons)
Tel: 00 33 1 40 22 11 00
Crédit Photos : JasonW