quarta-feira, 9 de fevereiro de 2011

The King's Speech and the History of the Tommy Glass

The movie The King's Speech is up for 12 Academy Awards and has contributed to renewed interest in the early 20th century and the life of King George VI. The glasses shown above are an example of how designs from that period still resonate today. The Tommy Glass is one of Saint-Louis Crystal's most iconic pieces. Created in 1928 in honor of the British "Tommy" soldiers, Saint Louis Crystal named its new emblematic collection, "Tommy." The collection debuted at a 1938 dinner honoring King George VI of The Kings Speech. The luncheon was held in the hall of mirrors at The Palace of Versailles and eleven glasses were set in front of each of the two hundred guests (as shown in the photo at right). Queen Elizabeth was in attendance with her father. The Tommy glasses are still being made in the same careful handcrafted way and are now available in a palette of eight colors showcasing Saint Louis' various crystal cuts including diamond, pearl, olive, and star.

Saint-Louis's history started before the invention of crystal (the addition of lead to glass). It was founded in 1586 Lorraine, France and is one of Europe's oldest cristalleries. At the beginning of the 19th century, Saint-Louis became very popular with French society, and won many awards. Most recently, in 1995, the company was purchased by Hermes, in the effort to keep this French craftsmanship alive and still flourishing in France. Since the beginning almost nothing has changed in the production process. After 10 years of apprenticeship, which is usually generational, passed from father to son, to grandson, the new craftsman can begin working with the masters. Each piece is mouth blown and later cut by hand and no two pieces are exactly the same. A variety of Saint-Louis Crystal's jewel-like wares are available at Michael C. Fina. The colorful glasses shown above are $470 each.

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