two centuries of beauty
by: Paul H. Dunlop
2013, Papier Presse, Statesville, NC
272 pages, $90.00 large format hardcover
$130 leather bound, numbered, autographed edition of 100.
Foreword: “Here at last is the definitive book that traces the long and illustrious history of the Baccarat Company’s prodigious paperweight creations. Its pages reveal the firm’s important documents, its people and especially the company’s artistic production from its inception in 1764 to the present day.
The Baccarat company first saw the light-of-day when Monseigneur de Montmorency-Laval, Bishop of Metz, petitioned Louis XV, king of France, to grant him permission to build a glassworks on his private lands. During the two and a half centuries subsequent to its founding, Baccarat has produced some of the finest glass pieces imaginable, taking world-wide awards for its outstanding works.
The emphasis of this book deals with a small portion of Baccarat’s output, namely paperweights. These objects did not make their initial appearance until almost a century after the company was established, appearing in the company’s records during the final years of the first half of the nineteenth century. From their inception, they became an important division of Baccarat’s production and have continued to be created until recently, with a few short lapses due to wars as well as the temporary diminution of interest in the objects. A renaissance occurred in 1953 when, at the urging of Paul Jokelson, the company resumed its paperweight production in earnest.
This book contains hundreds of detailed examples of the various types of paperweights including millefiori, lampwork, as well as special category weights: hollow weights, enamel weights, sulphides, foil incrustations and molded weights. Contemporary examples include animal editions, sulphides and Gridels.
A careful perusal of these pages reveals that the author has ferreted out many arcane facts concerning paperweight making and has made meticulous analyses of Baccarat’s paperweight production, as well. The excellent photographs, most taken by the author, are carefully discussed in the text where illuminating facts are pointed out about the common examples as well as those which are rare and one-of-a-kind. The charts, documents and photographs chosen for this book, lead to the reader’s better understanding of Baccarat’s contributions to the lore of paperweights.
It is my sincere hope that the author will continue his extensive research, and will one day create and offer companion volumes of other important paperweight producers.”
George N. Kulles
Author, collector, and conservator