Val Saint Lambert is a Belgian manufacturer of crystal tableware, founded in 1826 and located in Serena. He has the royal warrant of King Albert II .
Background - Woneche glass factory.
In 1795, during the War of the First Coalition that led to the fall of the Dutch Republic, France annexed what was then called the Southern Netherlands, now known as Belgium. During the Napoleonic Wars in 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte asked French industrialist Henri D'artigues to leave the famous French crystal manufacturer Saint-Louis to buy a dilapidated glass factory in Wonech. Like Saint-Louis, Wonech produced lead crystal glass, and within ten years became the largest crystal manufacturer in the French Empire. Two key employees at the plant were chemist Francois Kemlin and engineer Auguste Lelevre. In 1815 , after Napoleon 's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo , the southern Netherlands was united into the new United Kingdom of the Netherlands . As a result of the recently imposed import duties, the Vonêche factory immediately lost most of its French market. In 1816, D'artigues agreed with the French King Louis XVIII to purchase the Verrerie de St Anne glass factory in Baccarat and renamed it Verrerie de Vonêche à Baccarat - a name that he retained until 1843. The Belgian Revolution of 1830 meant that the Vonêche glass factory also lost most of its market in South Holland and therefore was soon closed.
In 1825, Kemlin and Lelevre purchased the site of the former abbey of Val-Saint-Lambert in Seraing near Liege on the Meuse River. There they founded a new glass factory (still operating, initially focused on heavy lead crystals), which initially employed some of the key employees of the former Wonech glass factory. Initially, the two founders built two houses for themselves and blocked housing for former Vonêche workers. Like the same highly religious employers, this policy of full lifestyle development eventually led to the company building more than 200 homes for workers on the site, which became a self-service village that also had a general store, a school and a post office; the local Roman Catholic church was also expanded to accommodate additional believers.
Thanks to the quality of its designs and production process, the company has developed a well-known brand and expanded. In addition to the native territory of Belgium and the Netherlands , the largest export market was then tsarist Russia . In 1876, the company opened a distribution base in New York, and in 1889, the company's CEO visited the store and visited local East Coast rival factories. As a result, upon returning to Belgium, the CEO noted in his report the then excellent quality of American glass and the craftsmanship of its crystal cutters, to which the company responded by developing its own "bright" ranges and the highest cutting quality. The resulting "bright period" expanded the company's reputation and market, especially in North America, and, consequently, today he is well known and collected there for his Art Nouveau and Art Deco works. In 1894, at the Antwerp World's Fair, the company produced a vase with a height of more than 2 meters, consisting of 82 parts weighing 200 kilograms, which is still intact and is on display at the Curtius Museum in Liege. As the company became more successful - between 1900 and 1914, it employed more than 5,000 workers who produced 120,000 pieces of glass per day - the company signed a contract with other factories. later, either by buying them or opening new factories, including: Djemepp (from 1883 to 1952); two near Namur (1879-1935); and Jambes (1880-1931, production of oil glass lamps).
The company stopped production during World War I, and after the war after the Russian Revolution, the market in Russia completely collapsed, which led to financial difficulties and reduction. Exporting to North America saved the company, but it ran into difficulties again after the collapse of that market following the Wall Street crash of 1929. Thus, the company closed the Jambes factories and two factories in Namur and was stable by the time of World War II, during which, like most of Belgium, the factory was bombed by both the Nazi Luftwaffe and the Allied Air Forces RAF and USAAF., Initially production resumed at the factory in Djemeppe, which was less damaged by bombs, until the production lines could not be rebuilt in Seraing, which led to the closure of the factory in Djemeppe in the 1950s. While many of the buildings in Seraing were restored, much of the area remained the same as it was after World War II until the early 2000s, when these abandoned 19th-century buildings were cleared to create a modern steel frame factory, a visitor center and a small factory workshop. which exist today together with the original restored factory offices of the 19th century.
Thanks to the experience of unique craftsmen and the involvement of international artists, the Val Saint Lambert crystal factory is currently known for its products in more than forty countries, in the USA, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Japan. Supplier of Royal houses, manufacturer of unique prestige items and valuable trophies (sports and other cups and awards), Val Saint Lambert, is famous for its magnificent "two-tone faceted" crystal products. Val Saint Lambert also offers collections of rare products that combine precious metals such as bronze, silver and gold.