Saint Louis Antique
Founded in 1767, the history of St. Louis closely parallels its rival Baccarat. On February 17, 1767, King Louis XV granted permission for M. Rene-Francois Jolly & Company to build a glass factory in the Munzthal forest of the province of Lorraine, France, and gave them perpetual tax-free use of the factory site. Glass making had existed in Lorraine since at least 1469, with the area well known for the production of sheet glass for windows and mirrors. This new company was named Verrerie Royale de Saint Louis after the King Saint Louis who had ruled France in the 13th century. In 1782, under the management of Count de Beaufort, St. Louis became the first French glassworks to successfully produce a high quality crystal. The French Academy of Sciences that year judged the St. Louis lead crystal to be equal in quality to the English crystal. In 1829, the factory name was changed to Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint Louis to reflect the fact that they were now solely devoted to making fine crystal. In 1851, St. Louis is mentioned in the Jury Report of the Crystal palace Exhibition in London, as being second in importance only to the glassworks at Baccarat. Paperweights were probably being made there by 1842 to 1843, although the first date to appear in a St. Louis weight is 1845. Like other French companies, production was the strongest for the first ten to fifteen years, then gradually trailed off. The last year we have any indication of weights being made is 1867.