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Ancient glassware and crystal ware

Glass was invented in the Middle East circa 1500 BCE. The finest glassware was produced in Europe at the dawn of the Renaissance. It came from Venice, in Italy, particularly from the Island of Murano. Resembling rock crystal, this glass was called cristallo. As of the seventeenth century, Bohemian glass appeared and, as it was more rigid, it could be cut and wheel engraved. In France, the Royal Glass Works (Verrerie Royale) of St Louis in Lorraine only discovered the secret of working crystal at the end of the eighteenth century.

Over time, the manufacturing and decoration techniques evolved. Crystal could be blown and moulded, producing pieces of extraordinary quality. Saint-Louis and Baccarat became the famous temples of traditional crystal ware. As of the nineteenth century, a set of glasses in crystal became a great classic of the table arts.