The Colored Glass

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Colored wine glasses have a noble history. They were popular with the Romanovs, the French Court and Britain’s Georgian dandies, and now they’re back in vogue. Versace, for example, has brought out wine glasses with arabesque patterns and yellow-tinted glass heads, while the antiques market is aflame with colored glasses from names like Moser, Heckert and Baccarat. Europe’s oldest glass studio, with roots in the 16th century, is the Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint-Louis in Lorraine, France. “The first colored pieces were created at Saint-Louis in the 19th century,” says Jérôme de Lavergnolle, the glassmaker’s CEO, who describes the creation of a colored crystal glass as “a kind of alchemy”. It should go without saying, but colored wine glasses should be made of colored glass: that is, glass with color contained within its crystal, rather than sprayed on. As M. de Lavergnolle notes, “Each colored crystal glass turns a dinner into a celebration and gives a little extra to the ordinary.” Let’s drink to that.