Hennessy X.O Mathusalem by Frank Gehry and Baccarat
From a twisting tower to a dancing house, titanium curves and a glass ship – Frank Gehry’s works of art convey their poetry in different forms and materials.
Frank Gehry captures the spirit of a place. He explores the environment and takes inspiration from it, ready to embrace the unexpected, passionate and curious. With a single stroke, his hand draws a distinctive sketch on the paper that will soon embody the sky, forest or sea. Although technology allows him to tame strange geometries, it will never be anything more than a tool he uses to serve his creativity. When the work is finished and the impossible has been brought to life, it becomes clear that only one person could have designed it.
Today, the artist Frank Gehry continues his collaboration with the cognac brand Hennessy. In this dialogue with expertise, he is joined by one of the most famous brands ever: Baccarat.
Frank Gehry and the Baccarat artisans have created a magnificent cognac decanter, which is both a monumental sculpture and a masterpiece. The striking asymmetry, the powerful movement, the imposing size and the desire for a tangible experience, all bear the mark of the most outstanding architect of our time. Frank Gehry unites two Maisons of equal age and prestige, which are magical melting pots of a living world shaped by their craftspeople. His creation combines tension and grace, as well as unity and contrast, for the Hennessy X.O Mathusalem cognac, which is spectacular, surprising and sensual.
1765. Just as Richard Hennessy was founding a brandy business in the town of Cognac on the banks of the Charente river, the first furnaces were being lit in the heart of a glass factory established a year earlier in Baccarat, a village on the Meurthe river in eastern France. More than a place, Baccarat has become a signature. For more than two centuries, the manufacture’s creations have enchanted people all over the world. The expert craftspeople endlessly repeat spectacular rituals: removing the matter when it has melted, continuously turning the cane, blowing the gob, rounding, stretching, cutting, engraving, gilding, etc. Their hands are essential and perfectly mirror their thoughts. They are truly rigorous and can feel even the smallest defect. They have captured the best of fire, air, earth and water. Like the Master Blenders, the glassmakers have been entrusted with a living heritage, which they both guard and pass on, taking care to maintain tradition while also innovating. The most extraordinary creations shine in their hands and their complexity is a true challenge.
The cognac decanter designed by Frank Gehry embodies this incredible dialogue between maker and designer. With the supervision of the best craftsmen – the winners of the competition Meilleurs Ouvriers de France – it represents a collaborative project, from prototype to sculpture. Each piece requires a unique mould that encases and shapes it and is broken after a few days. Freed from its casing, the decanter emerges from the fragments, like a precious gem eager to amaze us. It waits to shine, a truly pure and transparent jewel created by the artisans. Its interior structure, outer shell and protruding yet infinitely soft blocks all testify to the ingenuity, consistency and skill that have underpinned its creativity. Its striking contours, stunning radiance and the golden letters of Hennessy X.O continue to capture the spirit of the glassmakers and the delicate techniques of the founders, carvers, polishers and gilders.
Permeated with light, the shades of the blend have sparkling reflections, as if the fire of the workshops was burning within them. The curved shape of the cap, an unexpected corolla with flamboyant petals, evokes an organic and living quality. Each element awakens the desire to touch, to hear the material resonate, and to continue to discover and experience. Fascinating, dramatic and architecturally impressive, this decanter illuminates the different stages and journeys of the cognac tasting process. It casts a glorious light on the sensory journey promised by Hennessy X.O. Striving for perfection, three names, Gehry, Hennessy and Baccarat have pushed the limits of imagination. Together, they have created a piece that celebrates the extraordinary.
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