This company, arguably the leading crystal maker in the world, was founded in 1764 by Monseigneur de Montmorency-Laval, outside of the town of Baccarat in the Alsace-Lorraine district of Northern France. It is an area rich in forests, that originally fueled the fires needed for a glassworks. Founded to produce utilitarian glass such as bottles and window glass, it was originally named Verrerie de Sainte Anne.
In 1816, M. Aime Gabriel d’Artigues purchased Verrerie de Sainte Anne, and a furnace was lit for the production of lead crystal. D’Artigues sold Sainte Anne seven years after purchasing it.
In 1823, under new owners, the factory name was changed to its current one, Compagnie des Cristalleries de Baccarat. Under the leadership of Pierre-Antoine Godard, Baccarat became the leading French crystal company.
Baccarat paperweight production probably began by 1844, though dated examples did not appear until 1846. Production was strong for the next decade, but gradually diminished through the 1860s. There are mentions, here and there, of a small number of weights being made by Baccarat through the early 1900s.