The Maison A l'Escalier de Cristal was established in 1802 by the widow Mme Désarnaud, née Marie-Jeanne-Rosalie Charpentier. The business with a shop and workshop was based in the Palais Royal, a centre of excellence for the high quality jewellers, silversmiths and manufacturers of Objets de Vertu, for which Paris was renowned. The firm of l'Escalier de Cristal was the first manufacturer to mount crystal taillé objects with gilt-bronze. These were supplied by Aimé-Gabriel d'Artigues (d. 1848), who in 1802 had bought the Vonche glass factory in the Ardennes, later to become the Baccarat crystalworks, and were then shipped and finished in the Palais Royal workshops. The luxury store of A l'Escalier de Cristal supplied clocks, vases, lamps and other objects d'art to ruling families in Europe, and were appointed Fournisseur breveté du Roi in 1819, as well as the Duc de Berry and the Garde-meuble de la Couronne. They dealt in, and carried an extensive stock of porcelain, some of which they mounted. The company produced furniture and all kinds of luxurious objects, commissioning manufacturers to supply individual components, which were then assembled to the firms own design, very much in the tradition of the marchand merciers of the 18th century, from whom they inherited their specialist profession.