The La Grande Dame by Baccarat is more of a grand heritage statement than an actual functioning inkwell. To understand its importance and existence, one first needs to understand its true origins.
During the early 1800s in France, Madame Clicquot was known as la grande dame of Champagne. When tragedy struck and her husband died in 1805, she took the reins of the House of Clicquot at the age of 27 at a time when women had no place in the business world.
Eventually, she’d forge her own name and rightful place in the world of Champagne with her relentless mission to seek out “only one quality, the finest”. More importantly, this global empire was secured with the stroke of her pen through her letters and meticulous handwriting. These letters were mailed to all corners of the world and contained instructions to her agents as well as replies to her clients, whom she called her friends.
These written exchanges in combination with her innovative wines and perfectionist qualities were instrumental in allowing Madame Clicquot’s company to reach its boldest goal: “I wish my brand to rank first in New York like in Saint Petersburg”.
Fast forward to 2020 and the House of Veuve Clicquot has proudly unveiled La Grande Dame by Baccarat, a crystal inkwell inspired by this tradition alongside Madame Clicquot’s passion for the finest crystal.
This exemplary tribute sees the collaboration between the House of Veuve Clicquot and Maison Baccarat, two renowned French names in their respective fields.
Symbol of exceptional French savoir-faire
With the help of modern craftsmanship, La Grande Dame by Baccarat is a feat of technical prowess as much as it is a nod to the past. The inkwell is carved from a single solid crystal mass weighing 90 kilograms – one of the largest crystal pieces ever made in a single block.
The project demanded more than two years to develop and each inkwell is the result of more than 1,000 hours of meticulous French craftwork. As a result, this masterpiece utilises more than eight different experts, including luxury artisans from the Du Bellay network, a group of artisanal businesses in the Anjou region of France. Additionally, the skills of several Meilleurs Ouvriers de France – recipients of the prestigious French award for exceptional craftsmanship – were leveraged alongside a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres – a knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters, which recognises significant contributions to the arts.
Only 15 unique pieces will be created with just one example allocated for Australia. Each one is signed and numbered by Baccarat, and presented with six exceptional La Grande Dame vintages: 1989, 2004 and 2008 in both Brut and Brut Rosé.
These vintages are carefully selected by Veuve Clicquot’s Cellar Master and represent three distinct expressions of a single wine signature: richness.
The inkwell itself opens up to showcase a black and gold pewter champagne bucket that awaits the superb collection of La Grande Dame cuvees. The base comprises a set of four Baccarat crystal glasses and a drawer that transforms into a leather-enrobed serving tray to make for a true conversation piece in any home or office.
To polish off the La Grande Dame by Baccarat, each inkwell is accompanied by a wax-sealed envelope inviting the owner and their guest to Champagne, France, for a walk in the footsteps of Madame Clicquot herself at the House’s historical venues.
This elegant incentive is an exclusive two-day immersion into Veuve Clicquot’s luminous history, personality and exceptional art de vivre.
Visit Veuve Clicquot for more information on the availability of these rare pieces.