Author Topic: Antique Baccarat facetting  (Read 672 times)

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Offline tropdevin

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Antique Baccarat facetting
« on: November 17, 2010, 05:31:39 PM »
***
I have seen various styles of facetting on antique French paperweights, but very few - if any - Baccarat closepacks with facets. So has this item been facetted later to remove damage, or is it original, do you think?

Alan
Alan
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Offline Lily of the Valley

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Re: Antique Baccarat facetting
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2010, 03:54:37 AM »
Hi, Alan!  :hi:

My first thought is the weight looks 'over-faceted' which (imho) detracts from this weight's overall appearance.  I do have a faceted Baccarat sand weight but it is the regular kind (6+1).  Does anyone here have a Baccarat weight with complicated faceting they could post photos of; one where the faceting is known to be original?

I'm thinking the weight in question has undergone a renovation somewhere along the line, but that's just my thought--nothing concrete.

Lily  :)


Offline Nicholas.

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Re: Antique Baccarat facetting
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 11:23:52 AM »
Hi Lily and Alan,

I've rarely seen a Baccarat close-packed weight that has what could be accepted as original facetting, save for one or two that have the common Baccarat arrangement of six printies around the sides and one, larger, on the top. This leads me to suspect that Baccarat did not generally facet their close-packed weights.

As the beauty of a close-packed weight isn't in its overall design but is in the detail of the millefiore canes used, I don't think that Baccarat would have regarded the sacrifice of the effect of magnification of these weights as any improvement; in fact I believe that they would have regarded it as being to their detriment.

In view of this and in view of the fact that all-over facetted Baccarat weights are generally to be found illustrated in the older reference books, auction catalogues and collections, all predating the greater awareness of the house-styles of facetting used by different glass companies, I don't believe their facetting to be original.

In restoration all-over facetting is a much easier pattern to employ successfully than attempting to recreate the original profile of an unfacetted weight; this could explain why it would have been used with some frequency, especially on weights that, having an all-over pattern themselves, would not have had their design affected so adversely by this later cutting.

Lily asks about examples of original facetting on Baccarat weights and I have some; I've attached four photos here and one with a subsequent posting:

The most common Baccarat facetting employed was the “6+1” that Lily refers to; which we know well.

It would seem that Baccarat did use other facetting patterns but generally for specific types of weight; for example the larger sulphides, including the Hunter and Joan of Arc are generally facetted with a large ten-sided top-facet surrounded by multiple, geometric side-facets, as are some of their snake weights particularly the green on muslin examples.

Their flowers and upright-bouquets were often cut with rows of printies around their sides; some of the single garlanded examples cut with a top-facet, in my experience the upright-bouquets generally without.
Opaque and flash overlays were usually cut with the six side printies and one on top, often with the addition of finger-fluting or olives cut around the base; the flash-overlays almost always with the former.

There are a small number of Baccarat mushroom weights with a circle of roses, evidently in imitation of such Clichy weights, and these are invariably cut, Clichy-style, with five round side-facets and one flat top-facet.

Flat bouquets of smaller size (just over 3 in.) that were cut in the more common fashion sometimes appear with their top facet cut larger and very slightly dished. Whether this was to be used as a wafer-dish as in similar St. Louis examples I am unsure. [I don’t have an example with a dished top.]

Nicholas
Nicholas


Offline Nicholas.

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Re: Antique Baccarat facetting
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 11:26:04 AM »
The Clichy-style Baccarat mushroom.

Nicholas
Nicholas


Online SophieB

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Re: Antique Baccarat facetting
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 05:54:08 PM »
 :hi: Nicholas,

What beautiful weights.... Thank you for posting the pictures... Such a pleasure at the end of a hard day...

Although I know close to nothing about old/antique weights, the facetting on this weight did not look right to me either (and I told Alan so - there is no limit to my intellectual arrogance!!!)

Anyway thank you for these explanations, it is really interesting.

Sophie


Offline Nicholas.

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Re: Antique Baccarat facetting
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2010, 09:00:34 PM »
Thank you Sophie,

However they are not so much explanations as they are my own opinions and as I may well be wrong, I'm keen to learn more of this matter from the opinions and experience of others.

There's a drawing of a more or less all-over Baccarat facetting design in Patricia McCawley's book, Antique Glass Paperweights from France; however it's quite unlike the facetting on the weight in question. In all the accepted facetting patterns of the major 19th Century French paperweight manufacturers the facets appear to go right down to the base; as you can see from the photographs of this weight's profile, it starts with the curve of a conventional close-packed millefiore and then decides to go into facets, only I feel that it made this decision within the last sixty years!

However I strongly believe that, in the heyday of 19th Century paperweight manufacture, their production was primarily a business and that a weight that had taken a considerable amount of work to produce would rarely have been thrown away because of a minor blemish, it would have been cut to eliminate the flaw even if this meant using a cut that was not strictly of a house-design. If this is so this work may have been carried out with the full knowledge of the manufacturers but most probably often without.

However in spite of this self-reassurance I have never made a habit of buying weights with atypical cutting, as I never feel completely happy with my purchase; both out of the fear that I may have bought a later-cut weight and because I feel that the house-styles best compliment the decorative content of any particular factory's paperweights.
 
Nicholas
Nicholas


Offline Lily of the Valley

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Re: Antique Baccarat facetting
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2010, 10:25:03 PM »
Nicholas, your observations and thoughts are most interesting.  I thank you for the time you have taken to express them as well as posting the photos of your wonderful paperweights.  I had never really given any thought to the faceting patterns used by Baccarat (or others).  You prompted me to look in a book I do have, Identifying Antique Paperweights, Millefiori by George Kulles which does have a section dedicated to the more common patterns used by makers (pg 43-45).

I echo Sophie's thoughts .... a wonderful treat at the end of a long day!

In appreciation ..... Lily  :)

   


 

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