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crystals and twisted “bamboo” arms that are hollowed to hide the electric wiring.
The Zénith has virtually never been absent from the Baccarat sales catalogue, evolving,
with new variations, down the years. It was revisited in 2003 by talented designer
Philippe Starck, who created an all-black crystal design so captivating that it enjoyed
huge success. In 2009, Starck again took a fresh look at the design, adding coloured
features to present Flou, je te vois flou.
Maisons Baccarat
Starck also worked with Baccarat in 2003 on a wonderful project to create the Maison
Baccarat in Paris. The designer was given free rein to refurbish the legendary mansion
at 11 Place des États-Unis in the 16th arrondissement. The building was previously
owned by Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles. From the 1920s to the 1950s, “Marie
l’Or” (a descendant of the Marquis de Sade through her grandmother) was the most
lavish, ostentatious and visionary patron of French art, supporting figures such as Jean
Cocteau, Luis Buñuel, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp.
The building was chosen to house the firm’s Parisian headquarters and the magnificent
Baccarat Gallery-Museum, which exhibits the most extravagant pieces of Baccarat
heritage. In these 3,000 square meters, where Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali’s mentor
put on lavish parties in the 1920s and 1930s, Starck conceived a Palace of Lights, worthy
of Alice in Wonderland, which showcases all the Baccarat creations.
The visionary Starck has said: “For me, Baccarat’s very essence is a world of illusion,
viewed through the faceted lens of cut crystal. I therefore imagined a Crystal Palace,
where anything is possible.”
The success of his opulent dreammade manifest was confirmed when the designer was
also commissioned to work on the Maison Baccarat in Moscow, a masterful replica of
the Parisian Crystal Palace. It opened in 2008 on the prestigious Nikolskaya Street – a
fitting location for a celebration of one of the world’s finest brands.
A phenomenal international success
Today, Baccarat’s international celebrity has earned it a host of prestigious orders from
all over the world. Its chandeliers and candelabra sparkle in palaces fromConstantinople
to Saint Petersburg, from Bombay to Persepolis, and fromNew York to Buenos Aires.
Even now, celebrities and dignitaries commission their prestige luminaires from
Baccarat. Some of these are one-off designs, satisfying the most lavish, fanciful and
opulent requirements.
Since 1997, all Baccarat chandeliers feature the signature ruby crystal pampille. It’s a
lovely touch and the kind that has typified the glorious Baccarat brand throughout its
history. Long may such an admirable dedication to luxury continue.