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The La Rochere factory was founded in 1475, prior to the arrival of Columbus in the new world. La Rochere was founded during the time period when glassworks factories were built in the forests areas surround Lorraine. La Rochere is the oldest continuous working glass factory in Europe. Started by Simon de Thysac, a glassmaker who was granted the right to produce “heavy and slender” glasses at the “Rochiers” and thusly founded the glassworks knows as La Rochere, located between the Lorraine and Franchecomte regions on the edge of the large Darney forest which provided the wood needed to heat the furnaces. In 1636, during the 30 years war, the village was destroyed and it was 27 years later that the factory was rebuilt and since then the furnaces of La Rochere have never gone out. In 1858, the factory was taken over by Francois-Xavier Fouilot and today his descendants, Antoine Giraud and his daughter, manage the factory. Since inception La Rochere has made “hand made and mouth blown” art glass items. This activity was based on the production of glasses, decanters and “gobleterie” ariticles that were mouth blown and molded, cut and engraved for restaurants and bistros. In 1970 la Rochere developed mechanical glass and became the leading factory to produce glass brick, tiles and block, pressed into glass for building. La Rochere produces glasses in “crystalline” a quality close to that of crystal, which has much better transparency and luster, due to the high pitched resonance of the “crystalline.” The La Rochere “crystalline” contains no lead oxide and for environmental reasons, this has been replaced with barium oxide. The French bee was originally chosen during the coronation of Napoleon to appear on his office coast of arms. The La Rochere bee glass collections was inspired by an official travel set belonging to Napoleon in which the bee pattern was used and is today displayed in a Paris museum. This delightful 3-dimenional bee adorns each piece of this collection and is still produced in the original “mould” system with seems to preserve the integrity of the original museum items. The glass is famous for it’s uniquely clear and beautiful look, yet it is sturdy and heavy-duty enough for everyday use and is dishwasher safe.