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Grenadiers by Bernardaud features delightful toy soldiers, Christmas trees with candles, and a garland of holly and berries. For a festive holiday celebration – “C’est magnifique!” Bernardaud is a legendary French manufacturer of fine porcelain china, jewelry, and giftware.  The company’s original factory still stands – established in 1863 by another firm on Rue Albert Thomas in Limoges, France. The factory was purchased by Leonard Bernardaud in 1900, when he founded the company, Bernardaud & Cie. Limoges is a city known worldwide for the deposits of kaolin and extraordinary clay nearby, and has been a center of fine china production for centuries. Michel Bernardaud has served as director of the company since 1994 – he represents the fifth generation of the Bernardaud family to provide leadership to the firm.

Baccarat Capri (Optic) crystal features a tulip-shaped bowl, subtle optic design, and round stem and foot. Capri (Optic) is a magnificent example of European crystal making! In 1764 King Louis XV of France granted the Bishop Montmorency-Laval of Metz rights to build a glassworks in the town of Baccarat. By the 1830s the company was producing crystal glassware, candelabras, and banisters for palaces and manor houses in England and across Europe – even crystal hookahs for Constantinople! By the end of the 19th century, Baccarat crystal was known throughout the world. In 1885 orders poured in from India, the United States, England, Mexico, and Brazil. Baccarat crystal has graced the tables of King Louis XVIII, King Charles X, Emperor Napoleon III, and many French presidents.

The Georg Jensen Acorn pattern was introduced in 1915 and has become a sterling silver classic. It is an excellent example of applied art from the European Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900s. Artists in this movement, as in the related Art Nouveau movement, placed little emphasis on neoclassical or “historical” styles and instead looked to the organic shapes of nature for inspiration. Georg Jensen, who had studied fine art, founded his silver smiths company in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1904. Jensen himself was recognized for his artistic designs. But he had the foresight to allow his designers to follow their own creativity. Johan Rohde, a close friend of Jensen, created the Acorn design, which is now an icon in the history of flatware design. Georg Jensen would go on to open retail outlets in New York, London, Paris, Stockholm, and Berlin.

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