Welcome to Baccarat, a place, a card game, a famous person (spelt differently) and a company. A Legend. There are times when perusing the grandiose in society that you take a step back and think, “Could I, shall I, will the Missus notice?” Extravagance is definitely our thing so I feel filing for divorce might be a quicker solution but what if it was an Anniversary Gift? I love it, she would really like it… hmm is this the best way to gift the Wife a big present and get something for myself?
Why the runaround? Well, Baccarat Harcourt Empire barware is not cheap. For a single glass, without the essentially opulent wine poured inside, will set you back an astonishing £320 for one solitary glass. This is no ordinary dining room glassware though. The entire range, which encompasses wine glass, champagne flute, highball glass, tumblers and a Whiskey decanter is gilded with gold. No really, and this embellishment is atop some very fine crystal.
The price is not only because such a brand can command it because they can, that the crystal is of the finest quality in the world because it was for a very long time, but this exact design was one of Baccarat’s first collection, way back in 1841. This is an age where Britain took over Hong Kong, the Penny Black saw its last print, Railways were being completed in the UK and Canada was to open their first Parliament since the war.
Baccarat Harcourt Empire Glass Barware
Meanwhile in the Lorraine region of France, where Baccarat the brand began thanks to a little help from King Louis XV, Napoleon III would become President within years and further the long heraldic tradition of Napoleonic power and with it, came his desire for Baccarat and I guess ice cream… Where the Baccarat glassware and barware still resides today in the Palais de l’Élysée thanks to this Gentleman’s interest in the iconic designs of the day.
These same styled glasses and accompaniments have been gilded with gold to accentuate the already proven staple bevels and cuts famously associated with The Harcourt 1841 collection. Termed Empirical as only Gold can afford, the Harcourt Empire collection is now pride and place in the ongoing and historic story of Barracat barware. What is more, you can have some of this fine glassware in your own home.
Baccarat Harcourt Empire Highball – Buy Here
This is the time of revolution but also Royal Courts as Napoleon was still a Presidential Monarch, this and other brands of the time were borne out of disruption. Glass blowing and glass making has been around since at least 1500 BC, so why the importance surrounding Baccarat glasses? As with any invention it takes time for certain aspects to grow in strength and knowledge. For designs and ideas to meld together and Baccarat was in exactly the right place at the right time.
Why Did Baccarat Glassware Become So Popular?
The creation and handling of glassware was very important for the previous one hundred years with European powers trying to keep their glass making secrets to themselves. But it was also the time of the growing Victorian middle class, across the UK and Europe, this made delicate and intricate homewares much more vaunted. As anyone would expect, the middle class, like the working class would have interests in the same sort of products that the upper class had been indulging in for decades. Baccarat glassware with the Harcourt glasses certainly caught their attention.
Baccarat Harcourt Empire Tumbler – Buy Here
The Baccarat Empire tumbler like the rest of the collection, is blown from clear crystal and the same bevels and cuts are carried throughout this small but elaborate gathering of fine dining glassware. As told, based on an 1841 design and in all probability this is the finest crystal that Baccarat makes and should be lead-based Crystal glass. Lead oxide mixed in is what gives a Barracat crystal glass its shine.
This set of Harcourt Empire glassware matters as the period after the original Harcourt barware inception was huge for the company. It had demonstrated at a variety of World Fairs in the late 1800’s and buyers from across the globe had soon inspired the company to become Europe’s crystal glass making powerhouse. To have Baccarat in your home meant you was someone to visit and who could entertain. Not Burt Bacharach, silly! Although yes, a similar status.
Baccarat Harcourt Empire Champagne Flute – Buy Here
It may be possible to purchase just one Baccarat Harcourt Empire wine glass but unless you are going to start a religion and give your congregation a sip from the expensive glassware every Sunday morning, you will probably need to buy at least two glasses for the £640 spend. Should they be the same type, a red wine glass and a white wine glass – trust me, they are different sizes, or should you opt for a Baccarat Harcourt Champagne Flute and a tumbler instead?
Buy Two Barracat Glasses Get A Third For Same Price
I feel the idea of going cheap on the Harcourt Empire collection is going to be difficult, have you considered a loan? Seriously, for special occasions and anniversary events most families have a special set of chinaware, glassware, cutlery and established protocols unveiled, so why not make Barracat your go to special occasion glassware and dinnerware?
We are obviously not talking Birthday parties but if you were to invest in a Baccarat Harcourt decanter (for Whiskey or Whisky), a couple of Champagne flutes, a few wine glasses, tumblers and Highball glasses you really will have an historic glassware collection for decades to come, perhaps even generations. And psst, they do have gold gilding!!!
To prove there really is a difference between the red and white wine glasses, as the images above are not so clearly defined, we looked it up. The Harcourt Empire red wine glass has a capacity of 8.5 oz / 24.15 cl and is 6.1 inches / 15.49 cm in height. The white Baccarat wine glass has 5.7 oz / 16.19 cl and a height of 5.3 inches / 13.46 cm. This is because glasses are made to match the drink they will contain.
Alcoholic drinks have different strengths, aromas and tastes. With spirits it is usually all about the measure, hence shot glasses. Although whiskey is invariably served in a tumbler because while there is room for it to be mixed, it too has an aroma and different tastes over the drinking period. Red wine is a lot more complex than white wine, due to the way it can age and a wider bowl on a red glass allows all these different smells and tastes to grow and or dissipate over the session.
Baccarat Harcourt Empire Whiskey Decanter – Buy Here
As designing glassware goes, you might be surprised how many different ways glass can be blown and cut. Officially, bar wise, there are twelve distinct designs to match the sole needs of each drink. These are actually categories of drink ware and there are even more types of glasses for each drink in that category. So we should be rather thankful that the Baccarat Harcourt Empire glassware collection is relatively small in quantity and big in quality.
If You Drink Great Wine, Drink From A Barracat Harcourt Empire Glass
As someone who has 80 bottles of wine of varying expense, some a lot cheaper than others. I have come to appreciate that there is definitely a place for this type of glassware, expensive though it is. If you consider some wines fetch £4000 a bottle, pouring the nectar into a £2.99 glass from the local supermarket seems a little off. The gold gilding on the Baccarat glass collection is unique and probably has a reason for its exact design – we don’t know it.
Whether you choose the Harcourt Empire Champagne Flute, a tumbler, wine glass or the Highball glass or the whole set, insurance might not be a bad idea. Leaving the best until last. It is the best part of the collection I think. A decanter in any collection always tends to be the feature piece, especially when it contains a veritable liquid. On the front of the Harcourt Empire decanter the gold motif really stands out.
At a height of 3.7 inches / 9.39 cm and able to hold almost half a bottle of Whiskey 9.5 oz / 26.9 cl, it’s time to spend almost £1000 on keeping your whiskey tempting. Overall, this is not the most expensive glassware collection if you’re used to buying flash dinnerware and glassware. Baccarat is a world renowned brand that has used fine crystal for centuries, it costs because it is respected, uses quality materials, has splendid designs and the goods last the test of time and even through revolutions. You may be able to save some money on this purchase, check the David Shuttle offers page for discounts.