The Saint-Louis Tommy Glass: An Iconic Objet

The Saint-Louis Tommy Glass: An Iconic Objet

The Saint-Louis Tommy Glass embodies the quintessence of French “art de vivre” — a crystal glass that is still iconic, even in 2021!

The manufacture of Saint-Louis Crystal: Exemplary Know-How

This is the oldest crystal making institution in Europe; it was founded in 1586 and is located in the heart of the Münzthal forest, in Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche. This is where the world’s finest crystal is produced, and since it was dubbed by Louis XV, in 1767, Saint-Louis has offered to the world its “art de vivre”.

Indeed, before 1767 the plant institution operated without being aware of the quality of its products. When Louis XV visited and showed his enthusiasm upon discoreving the unique crystal of Saint-Louis, he dubbed it and allowed them to adopt his royal status, in turn accompanying the company ever since with the same Saint-Louis.

Having signed by his hand the patent letter in Versailles, he confered to the manufactory the title of «Verrerie royale». King Louis XV granted it the status of official supplier of the Court, his coat of arms, his crown, and his very name! Saint Louis is indeed a tribute to King Louis XV!

In 1782, after the invention of the crystal formula by the Science Academy, the manufactory becomes an official ” Royal Crystalery…”

This marks the beginning of the French house’s history, around the same time when the French “art de la table” defines itself. This is because it is thanks to this company that the French “service bourgeois” was born in the nineteenth century, launching a trend that would later on become the norm for the best receptions on the planet: “During the nineteenth century it was of the utmost importance to own crystal. Nobody could’ve imagined dressing a table without crystal.”, explains Jérôme de Lavergnolle, CEO of Cristalleries Saint-Louis.

A true art that revolves around an exemplary know-how: “Saint-Louis is more than just a product. We must never forget that behind the crystal lies a worker, a furnace, a village and a forest.”. These are the words of Anne Lhomme, creative director of Saint-Louis. It is true that their know-how is emblematic; Saint-Louis has been orchestrating for centuries around the forest, the river, in this environment that still hosts the workshops.

A short production cycle years before it became a concept, the luxury of Saint-Louis is understood through the care that is brought to each production; before the crystal leaves the workshops, it will have been touched and manipulated by 28 different workers, over a course of 25 days. These rare pieces are thus made by master glass blowers and tailors, 11 of which are part of the Best French Workers.

Yes, each cut of Saint-Louis crystal is a separate story. Especially the iconic Tommy Glass.

The Story of Saint Louis‘s Tommy Glass

There are few tableware objects that can be compared to the refined beauty and the individual nature of Tommy Glass by Saint-Louis. We owe this to Joseph Bleicher for his invention of the Tommy Glass in 1928.

On the occasion of the First World War’s tenth anniversary, it was named Tommy as a reference to the nickname of the British soldiers of that time. If French soldiers were “Poilu” (“Hairy”) then the British – “Tommy.” Even though the Tommy Glass by Saint Louis was not that much known, it is a gala dinner organized in 1938 that boosted it to the rank of absolute icon of the most sophisticated tableware!

In 1938, a year after the House of Saint Louis obtained the Grand Prix at the Paris Universal Exposition, The set of Tommy glasses was chosen to decorate the table at the Gala given in honor of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. This historical dinner was inescapable, representing the tableware art – since then the Tommy Glass symbolizes French excellence!

To produce all these, more than 15 craftsmen worked hard! 93 years later, the Tommy Glass is such a symbol that it is regarded as one of the greatest icons, ornate or not, beveled, tinted with green, grey, red, purple, or lunar blue — the Tommy Glass is also developed over some twenty forms. From a coffee cup, a dessert bowl to a lamp and a stemware: a sublime glass that inspires a lifestyle!

The Tommy collection is encyclopedic. There are all possible items of “art de vivre” from Saint Louis – from tableware to lamps including decorative elements and exceptional creations.