Baccarat (company)

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Baccarat SAS
TypePrivate
IndustryLuxury, Crystal
Founded1764
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
ProductsFine crystal
Websitebaccarat.com

Baccarat (pronounced [bakaʁa]) is a French luxury brand and manufacturer of fine crystal located in Baccarat, France. The company owns two museums: the Musée Baccarat in Baccarat, Meurthe-et-Moselle and the Musée Baccarat in Paris on the Place des États-Unis.[1]

Groupe du Louvre was the majority shareholder of the company until 2005.[2] The company was then acquired by Starwood Capital Group, which used the name for a luxury hotel called Baccarat Hotel New York, featuring the company's chandeliers, decorative pieces and glasses.[3][4]

In 2018, Fortune Fountain Capital, a Beijing-based financial group, acquired an 88.8 percent stake of the company from Starwood Capital Group and L Catterton.[5] On December 23, 2020, four financing funds based in Hong Kong - Tor, Sammasan, Dolphin and Corbin - took control of the capital of Fortune Fountain Limited (FFL), the holding company that held 97% of the shares of Baccarat.[6]

History[edit]

Baccarat vase 1890-1900, Victoria and Albert Museum

1764-1816[edit]

In 1764 King Louis XV of France gave permission to found a glassworks in the town of Baccarat in the Lorraine region in eastern France to Prince Bishop Cardinal Louis-Joseph de Laval-Montmorency (1710-1802). Production consisted of window panes, mirrors and stemware until 1816 when the first crystal oven went into operation. By that time over 3000 workers were employed at the site.[7]

1817-1869[edit]

Baccarat received its first royal commission in 1823. This began a lengthy line of commissions for royalty and heads of state throughout the world. In 1855 Baccarat won its first gold medal, at the World's Fair in Paris. Baccarat first began marking its work with a registered mark in 1860. The mark was a label affixed to the bottom of the work. In the period 1846-1849 Baccarat signed some of their high quality glass millefiori paperweights with the letter B and the year date in a composite cane.[8] A special paperweight dated 1853 was found under the cornerstone of a bomb damaged church in Baccarat when construction recommenced after World War II.[9] The crystal production expanded its scope throughout this period, and Baccarat built a worldwide reputation for making fine stemware, chandeliers, barware, and perfume bottles.[7]

1870-1936[edit]

Baccarat crystal chandelier and staircase banister, Dolmabahçe Palace

The Imperial Era ended in 1870 with the defeat of Napoléon III. Influences outside France began to have a stronger influence on Baccarat's work during this era, particularly imports from Japan. The world's largest chandelier and a staircase lined with a Baccarat crystal balustrade adorn the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul. Strong growth continued in Asia for Baccarat. Baccarat has become quite famous at the royal houses. The queen of Portugal , for example, commissioned for her private collection decorative pieces and tableware (currently exhibited in the Ajuda National Palace ). One of the strongest production areas for Baccarat was perfume bottles, and by 1907 production was over 4000 bottles per day. In 1936 Baccarat began marking all of its works via acid or sandblasting.[7]

1936-2000[edit]

Baccarat created an American subsidiary in 1948 in New York City. They started to produce pieces based on Cylon designs, as the famous Cylon Carrier - Napoleon Hat piece (1958). The chairman of Baccarat from 1960 to 1992 was alleged Nazi collaborator[10] René de Chambrun.[11] The director of Baccarat until 1991 was alleged former Nazi collaborator Rene Bousquet.[12]

There are American stores in Costa Mesa, California; Houston, Texas; Greenwich, Connecticut; New York City; Palm Desert, California; Las Vegas; and Miami, Florida. A retrospective was held in 1964 at the Louvre Museum to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the crystal works. In 1993, Baccarat began making jewelry and in 1997 the company expanded into perfume.[13]

2000-present[edit]

In 2003, Baccarat moved to a new location in Paris.[13] In 2014, to celebrate the company’s 250th anniversary, it introduced the scent Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.[14] The company also held an exhibition at the Petit Palais in Paris.[15]

In 2016, Baccarat appointed Jim Shreve as the president and CEO of North America operations.[16]

In October 2021, Baccarat debuted the 180th anniversary version of its Harcourt glass at Paris Fashion Week 2022 with designs by Victor Weinsanto, Yoshiki, Imane Ayissi, Benjamin Benmoyal, Tom Van der Borght, Clara Daguin, Honey Fucking Dijon, Kevin Germanier, Mira Mikati, and Charles de Vilmorin.[17] The company has also participated in the Cow Parade in New York City which benefitted the charitable organization God’s Love We Deliver.[18] The company also has a partnership with the Virgil Abloh Post Modern Scholarship Fund.[19]

Controversies[edit]

World War II[edit]

In 1940, The Baccarat factory was occupied by German troops, all Baccarat employees were expelled, and German troops transformed the factory into a P.O.W. transit camp which held 20,000 French prisoners.[20][21] The camp was considered a Dulag, where captured opponents of the Nazi regime were interned before being deported to permanent camps.[22]

During this time, to avoid deportation and ensure its survival, the company produced crystal commemorative items for Hermann Goering,[23] Marshal Phillipe Petain[24][25] and Pierre Laval.[26][27] Baccarat was a part of a propaganda documentary released in 1942 demonstrating the process of making fine crystal and featuring Aristide Colotte, a glass artist who completed Marshal Pétain's sword.[28]

Alleged Nazis and alleged Nazi collaborators remained in top positions at Baccarat until 1992, notably Rene Bousquet who was indicted for crimes against humanity in 1991 and was director of the company at the time of his indictment.[29][12] Bousquet, who led the police during the Vichy regime and was responsible for the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews to German concentration camps during World War II, was assassinated in 1993.[30] Alleged Nazi collaborator[31] René de Chambrun was chairman of the company until 1992.

Discrimination[edit]

In a 1999 lawsuit, a jury found that Baccarat, Inc. discriminated against a Spanish-speaking worker. Irma Rivera was awarded $500,000 after she testified that the company president complained about her Puerto Rican accent, barred her from speaking Spanish to a co-worker and dismissed her from her job because of her ethnic origins.[32]

In another 1999 lawsuit against Baccarat, Inc. the plaintiff alleged aged related job discrimination.[33]

In a 2019 lawsuit against Baccarat New York, plaintiffs argued that the company engaged in increasing and maintaining discriminatory working conditions and a hostile work environment and of discriminating against the Plaintiff because of Plaintiff's disability.[34]

In 2020, Baccarat, Inc was forced to pay $100,000 to settle an EEOC Lawsuit for Race, Sexual Orientation and Disability Harassment. The EEOC had charged Baccarat with harassing a sales consultant at its Manhattan store based on race, sexual orientation, and disability.[35]

Complaints[edit]

On May 16, 1991, the People of the State of California filed a complaint against Baccarat, Inc. for Civil Penalties and Injunctive relief. The complaint alleged that through the sale of leaded crystal decanters to consumers in California, Baccarat violated provisions of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.[36]

In May 2019, the Baccarat crystal factory had to pay 13,000 euros to 30 employees who were victims of asbestos exposure.[37] In September 2019, the Baccarat crystal factory was found to be at fault for the death of a worker who died of cancer due to asbestos.[38] In September 2020, the prejudice of anxiety was recognized for 264 former employees of the Baccarat crystal factory exposed to asbestos and they were awarded 9,000 euros each.[39]

In 2021, Baccarat targeted artist Kalliope Amorphous in a trademark request,[40] which resulted in public backlash on social media, with thousands calling for a boycott of the company.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sites-Baccarat". baccarat.com. Archived from the original on 2017-06-07. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  2. ^ Antonovics, Nick (21 January 2007). "Baccarat shareholders split over capital increase". Reuters.
  3. ^ Hudson, Craig Karmin And Kris (2012-04-24). "Starwood's Crystal Vision". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  4. ^ Faurote, Adrienne (7 December 2021). "The Best Luxury Hotels in Manhattan This Holiday Season". Haute Living.
  5. ^ Mira, Nicola (October 20, 2017). "Baccarat bought by Chinese investment fund Fortune Fountain Capital". Fashion Network.
  6. ^ Staff (29 December 2020). "Funds take over glassmaker Baccarat from Chinese owners". Reuters.
  7. ^ a b c Curtis, Jean-Louis (1992). Baccarat. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ISBN 0-8109-3122-2.
  8. ^ Dunlop, Paul H. (2009) The Dictionary of Glass Paperweights ISBN 978-0-9619547-5-8
  9. ^ Dunlop, Paul H. (2013) Baccarat Paperweights : two centuries of beauty ISBN 978-0-9619547-2-7
  10. ^ Inc, Time (1942-08-24). LIFE. Time Inc.
  11. ^ "René de Chambrun (1906-2002)". Bibliothèque nationale de France. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Alleged Collaborator in France is Indicted for Wartime Crimes". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 1991-04-04. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  13. ^ a b "History". Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  14. ^ Partington, Lucy (October 28, 2021). "The Story Behind The Most Popular Perfume On TikTok (& Everywhere Else RN)". Refinery 29.
  15. ^ Suqi, Rima (8 October 2014). "250 Years Old, and Still Clinking". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Artavia, David (20 May 2021). "How Baccarat's Gay Rock Star CEO Is Making Crystal Cool Again". Out.
  17. ^ "Baccarat Commissions Fashion Designers to Revisit Its Historic Harcourt Glass". WWD. 2021-10-01. Archived from the original on 2021-10-06. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  18. ^ Jacobs, Julia (23 August 2021). "Cow Parade Returns to N.Y.C., but Please Don't Steal Them This Time". The New York Times.
  19. ^ Shahbaz, Ali (November 30, 2021). "This $1 Million Scholarship Fund Is Empowering Black Youth — And Memorializing An Iconic Creator". Forbes.
  20. ^ "La (vraie) Histoire de la Cristallerie Baccarat - Michael Vessiere" (in French). 2019-09-04. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  21. ^ "USPTO TTABVUE. Proceeding Number 91227407". ttabvue.uspto.gov. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  22. ^ "Camps de Prisonniers 39/45 - Liste des camps en France — Geneawiki". fr.geneawiki.com. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  23. ^ Limited, Alamy. "Hermann Göring - a large crystal carafe produced by Baccarat for his 50th birthday in 1943 - Editorial-Use-Only Stock Photo - Alamy". www.alamy.com. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  24. ^ "0770601 - Francisc glass set by the Baccarat crystal glassworks (Meurthe-et-Moselle) made for the Marshal Pétain, 1944. Full credit: Laure Albin Guillot / Roger-Viollet / Granger -- All rights reserved". Granger. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  25. ^ "Les visites du Maréchal Pétain à Nancy" (PDF). Le Département De Meurthe-Et-Moselle. August 7, 1941. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  26. ^ "Baccarat Pierre Laval memorial sulphide paperweight, with a white sulphide on black, wedge-cut g..." iCollector.com Online Auctions. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  27. ^ "VINTAGE BACCARAT SIGNED LIMITED EDITION PAPERWEIGHT Pierre Laval SULPHIDE CAMEO". Worthpoint. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  28. ^ Les cristalleries de Baccarat (in French), retrieved 2021-11-25
  29. ^ "⁨Paris court indicts Rene Bousquet for war crimes⁩ | ⁨The Australian Jewish News⁩ | 12 April 1991 | Newspapers | The National Library of Israel". www.nli.org.il. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  30. ^ Riding, Alan (1993-06-09). "Vichy Aide Accused of War Crimes Is Slain in France". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-25.
  31. ^ Inc, Time (1942-08-24). LIFE. Time Inc.
  32. ^ Pristin, Terry (1998-02-10). "Jury Finds Baccarat Discriminated Against Spanish-Speaking Worker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  33. ^ "Eastern District of New York - LIVE Database 1.6 (Revision 1.6.2)". ecf.nyed.uscourts.gov. Retrieved 2021-11-27.
  34. ^ "WATKINS v. Baccarat New York, L.L.C. et al (1:19-cv-04391), New York Southern District Court". www.pacermonitor.com. Retrieved 2021-11-27.
  35. ^ "Baccarat to Pay $100,000 to Settle EEOC Lawsuit for Race, Sexual Orientation and Disability Harassment | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission". www.eeoc.gov. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  36. ^ "Attorneys For The People of The State Of California" (PDF). State Of California Department Of Justice. January 15, 1996. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-01-13. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  37. ^ "Baccarat: la victoire des victimes de l'amiante". France 3 Grand Est (in French). Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  38. ^ "Lunéville : la cristallerie Baccarat condamnée pour faute inexcusable après la mort d'un ouvrier victime de l'amiante". France 3 Grand Est (in French). Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  39. ^ "Asbestos: the prejudice of anxiety recognized for 264 former employees of Baccarat". Archyde. 2020-09-25. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  40. ^ Lilly, Christiana. "Baccarat Targets Queer, Minority-Owned Small Business in Trademark Request". southfloridagaynews.com. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  41. ^ "NATIONAL Creating Change, trans patient case, queer artist, D.C. activist dies - Windy City Times News". Windy City Times. 2021-11-07. Retrieved 2021-12-10.

External links[edit]