Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Courtney's Summer of Museums: Musee Baccarat

Wednesday, July 25th I went to the Musee Baccarat, which was in fact, very small. There were three rooms and the largest had four cases displaying crystal over the centuries according to a theme, and not chronologically. The museum is housed in Baccarat's headquarters, also home to their three boutiques and the famous Cristal Room restaurant. I visited everything, staring with the Museum. Formerly the private home of Vicountess Maire-Laure de Noailles and her husband Charles, this hotel particular was designed with pomp and tradition, hosting salons and magical parties dedicated to famous painters, writers and musicians (Buneuel, Jean Cocteau, Man Ray).

The first room housed the massive and impressive Tsa Nicholas II candelabra as well as other large-scale crystal works. I was surrounded in the next room by four walls covered in canvas painted by Gerard Garouste. Depicting Earth, Water, Air and Fire, the four elements needed to make crystal, this room had two display cases showing some of the more unique pieces including the famous Simon vases and pieces for various Universal Exhibitions. The next room was the largest with four cases showing works based on exquisite craftsmanship, famous designers, prestigious commissions and commissions from "far away" lands.

After this short visit I peeked in the Cristal Room restaurant, and after looking at the menu, decided to dine there. I had a delicious meal and appreciated the crystal touches throughout the service and the room, which was impressive with its massive black marble walls, gold trim and plush rose pink banquettes. When the last petit-four was popped in my mouth and as I savored the lingering flavors, I headed down to the boutiques and appreciated the vast array of fine tableware, glassware, jewelry and other objets d'art for purchase, all the while sipping some water in a lovely Baccarat glass handed to me as I entered the shop.
2012 Baccarrat Musee