Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant

Cut crystal the know-how of Cristallerie de Montbronn

Awarded the EPV label by the French government in 2006, Cristallerie de Montbronn originates from a crystal firm founded in 1930 by the current director's father. The love of the craft has been passed on from father to son, following the tradition of very ancient craftwork. The glassmaker skilfully blows by mouth and the cutter carves accurately by hand. In the 18th century, top glassmakers, specialised in crystal, set up in the East of France. Alain Ferstler's workshop is in Montbronn, a little village in the Lorraine region of France.

Crystal is essentially a compound of silica, lead oxide and potassium carbonate.

But above all, crystal is a refined sparkle, transparency and an unrivalled ring. A poetic material par excellence, it is the décor of choice for presenting the most beautiful bouquets and tasting the best wines.

Since taking over the family crystal firm, founded in 1930 by his father, Joseph Ferstler, know-how has been concentrated on crystal cutting. This know-how takes on a particular kind of magic in two-coloured crystal, consisting of two layers of crystal, one of which is transparent and the other coloured.

Particularly well suited for decorative purposes, the diamond grinding wheel only crosses the coloured layer of crystal, thus making the décor sparkle with transparent reflections. Blue here, green there… no less than 10 colours are worked at Montbronn.


Solidly leaning on his elbows while concentrating on the wheel, the cutter measures his movements with flexibility and firmness. Each cut is irreversible, therefore extreme concentration at every moment and years of practice are required to acquire the dexterity of a good crystal cutter.


Each month, the company produces several thousand crystal items. After a strict inspection, the metamorphosis journey starts with "compassing", which tells the cutter which pattern to follow.This is followed by different cutting steps, such as "flatting", "rough cutting" and then the real cutting begins. The glass then leaves this workshop to receive a surface coating:acid polishing.This delicate step is supervised by Gérard Ferstler.



The cutting-edge technique of acid polishing is one of the most remarkable developments in crystal coatings in the last 30 years. Permanently monitored, there is no environmental impact in this case.


All items made here at Cristallerie de Montbronn receive the seal of the Ferstler company before they are dispatched to Europe, the United States, the Middle East and China, where the company has acquired a well-deserved image of French luxury.

07 June 2013