St. Louis Glassworks (French, f. 1767)

The St Louis Glassworks, known in French as the Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint Louis, is an important manufacturer of glass in Saint-Lous-les-Bitche, in the French department of Lorraine.

The glassworks began operating as early as 1586, though it was in 1767 the company received its royal seal of approval from Louis XV. Soon afterwards, in 1781, the makers at St Louis discovered the secret for making genuine crystal as opposed to crystalline glass: the addition of lead.

It was this discovery which made St Louis the first manufacturer to produce crystal glass in Europe, and one of the most important glassmakers of the late 18th and 19th Centuries. They specialised in the production of glass drinkware, chandeliers and vases, and had many of their works exhibited at important exhibitions. Antique pieces of St Louis glassware generally sell for high prices at auction.

St Louis continues to operate today in the town of St-Louis-les-Bitche, where there is now a museum dedicated to the history of the manufactory. 

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