Thursday, February 3, 2011

Raise Your Glass!

While we are touring the interior public rooms of the fabulous SS France, let’s take another break. The French Line had a reputation for employing the best designers and craftsmen, to achieve a travelling showcase of the best design that the country had to offer. This was just not limited to interior design, but went right through the whole design process right down to the toothpicks being used by the passengers.

One of the areas where the French Line excelled, especially on the France was the design and manufacturers of the glassware used on board. For utility pieces these are the ultimate in design. The design of glassware on the France remained virtually unchanged from the 1930’s when the glassware was manufactured by Lalique.

One of the changes made however was with the manufacturer and also the material used. Manufactured by Daum whose mantra has been “Art is the Ultimate Luxury”, these were beautiful objects to not only be drunken out of, but to be admired as well.

Manufactured completely out of 100% lead crystal, and then highlighted with the CGT logo in a frosted contrast, these utility items whispered savoir faire to the user. With over 4,800 wine and water glasses alone, this was luxury on a grand scale for both First and Tourist class passengers.

Another service also by Daum consisting of liqueur and champagne saucers was also made. These are stunningly beautiful in various shades of green, with long elegant stems. It must have been an absolute pleasure to hold one in one's hand and drink from them!

Another service of glassware commissioned from Crystal Saint Louise in their typical style, was also part of the First Class Service. This service consisted of liqueur glasses in blue with an incised clear cut out design. I am not exactly sure where these were used, however aren't they elegant?

So raise your glass and drink a toast to the savoir faire of the SS France!


  1. Wow impressive glasses!! The blue ones are just ahh stunning I want to have them!!! So luxurious!


  2. D...I just love this SS France series that you are doing. Saint Louis crystal?! Those cobalt glasses look like my mother's SL pattern! ...Hard to imagine something so expensive being used on a cruise ship today...Thank you for sharing this....k

  3. Beautiful designs! Is it my imagination, or are these designs all featuring more substantial stems? Would that be a consideration for trans-Atlantic travel?

  4. Mark is right, these are wonderful glasses that are not tippy. We should all take a cue from the clean and practical lines of luxury hotel, train, airline, and ship designs. If you entertain at all, you quickly come to realize how nice it is to use such glasses that one doesn't have to be careful with. I'm not an expert, but I think that the green ones are intended for French and German white wines from particular regions...very refreshing in summer, n'est-ce pas? I have a few engraved glasses from Rideau Hall, residence of the Lieutenant Governor, and they are equally practical and unpretentious. Interesting post as always.

  5. Mark and Mr. SWF, you know I had never thought of the substantial stems in that light and always just thought it was the design. Just proves that you can be beautiful and practical at the same time.

    Andy, I will have to fight you for them!

    Kathy, they could very well be the same pattern. This particular set was recently in an auction that was selling "France" artifacts.

  6. Hi I was happy to find this article since I have a set of CGT glasses I received from my grandmother a number of years ago. They are like ones above the green glasses. This is the first time I have seen others like them. Thanks for posting


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