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Engraved glass ewer by the Cristalleries de Baccarat
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Тhis virtuoso ewer was produced by the leading French glassworks, Cristalleries de Baccarat, envied across Europe for the purity of its crystal glass. It was made as a showpiece for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1878, an event which heralded France’s recovery from the Franco-Prussian War (1871). Such exhibition showpieces were created by manufacturers from different countries to highlight their technical and artistic expertise.

The free-blown ewer combines technical virtuosity with a stunningly original design. The spout forms the mouth of a sea monster, while the neck and shoulders are wheel-engraved to suggest the monster’s scaly body, ending in entwined tails wreathed with ivy. The idea of creating fantastic creatures in glass comes from early seventeenth-century rock crystal vessels engraved with fantastic ornamentation. Collections of these vessels had been part of the French Royal Collection and displayed in the Louvre for around a hundred years and provided models for Baccarat.

Engraved glass ewer by the Cristalleries de Baccarat

Made by the Cristalleries de Baccarat, Lorraine, France, AD 1878
Ht 31.9 cm

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