Bohemian art glass was made in and around the present-day Czech Republic during the Art Nouveau or Jugendstil era. Antique pieces in this genre most often consist of a classic vase form that has been hand-worked and sometimes deformed into swirling, organic-looking shapes like seashells, flowers, and tree trunks. Decorative vases, cups, and pitchers were popular forms, and many of the pieces have an iridescent sheen from the firing and reduction techniques used at the time.

The movement grew out of a rich tradition of Bohemian glass making, which goes back to the 16th and 17th centuries. But it was the Marmoriertes and Lithyalin glass of the mid-19th century that really paved the way for the iridescent Art Nouveau art glass that contemporary collectors are most familiar with. These types of "marbled" glass signaled a shift away from a study of form to an infatuation with surface treatments and techniques.

One of the region’s leaders in this field was Loetz, which took first prize for its pieces exhibited at the 1889 Paris Exhibition. Loetz pieces from this period include the vases, pitchers, and bowls in the Phänomen series. The chief characteristic of the series was the rippled or featherlike designs on the object’s surface, which was achieved by wrapping a molten piece of glass with equally hot glass threads, and then pulling those threads to make waves and other designs while the materials were still malleable.

Loetz patented the Phänomen technique in 1898, but by that time the firm was also incorporating techniques pioneered by L.C. Tiffany in the United States—in particular, Tiffany’s iridescent Favrile work. Combined, the two techniques provided plenty of inspiration for Loetz designers and artisans, including E. Prochaska, Franz Hofstötter, and Koloman Moser.

The Kralik glassworks was another well-known maker of antique Bohemian art glass, although it would not rise to prominence until the Art Deco period. During the Art Nouveau, it was largely producing vases, jars, and shells in the style of Loetz and others. Today, collectors of antique Bohemian art glass are often buying a Kralik when they are being sold a Loetz.

Rindskopf and Sons was another contemporary of Loetz. Although early 20th-century glass enthusiasts had no difficulty differentiating its tall vases, with their slender bodies and bulbous heads, from Loetz pieces, today sellers routinely label Rindskopf pieces incorrectly as Loetz. Series to look for include Pepita, Grenada, and Alhambra.

Ludwig Moser & Sons of Karlsbad, in what is now Austria, excelled at cut, gilded, and acid-etched pieces. And then there was Pallme-König and Habel, which had its own patent for threading glass onto a vase. In Pallme-König’s case, the threading ranges from tight and regular lines to treatments that are almost Jackson Pollock-like, in which the thick threads of glass appear to be the only things that are keeping the deformed shapes underlying them from collapsing and falling apart.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Loetz.com

Loetz.com

This fabulous site is a guide to Bohemian art glass makers from 1885 to 1920. Loetz was the premier Bohemian glass … [read review or visit site]

Cloud Glass Reference Site

Cloud Glass Reference Site

Chris and Val Stewart’s impressive attempt to create a complete catalogue of all known cloud glass, a decorative … [read review or visit site]

Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club

Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club

The heart of this website, home of the Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club, is the Identification Project, whe… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

C1905 Bronze Patina Metal Mounted Austrian Art Glass Tear Drop Form Vase No ResLoetz "astraea" Art Glass Vase W/ Strong Silver Iridescence, Czech Art NouveauLoetz Iridescent Art Glass Swan Vase W/ "papillon" Feathers, Czech Art NouveauGorgeous Antique Moser Bohemian Cranberry Glass Vase Handles French Ormolu BaseLoetz "crete Rusticana" Iridescent Art Glass Vase, Jugendstil,secessionistAntique Loetz- Rare Iridescent - 1904 Candia Silberiris Astartig Bud VaseVintage Bohemian Art Nouveau Loetz Or Kralik Bronze & Glass Compote CenterpieceNice Handpainted Gilt Bohemian Glass Pillow Vase Dragonfly And BirdArt Deco Modernist Kralik Czech Spatter Art Glass End Of Day Cocktail Bar ShakerVtg Czech Bohemian Ruby Cranberry Cut To Clear Candy Nut Dish W Hobstar Fans MthHungary Ruby Red Cut To Clear Moon & Stars Flower Scalloped Rim Fruit Bowl MthAntique Loetz Silver Overlay Vase Marked "w M Wise & Sons" Loetz Creta Green Glatt 7 1/4" Trumpet Vase With ColumnsSet Of 4 Bohemian Moser Cranberry Art Glass Coupe Glasses Wine Stems No Reserve9 Exquisite Enamel Decorated Pale Green Glass Bohemian Wine Goblets Grape & VineArt Nouveau Bohemian Bluish Gold Iridescent Art Glass Vase - Kralik MarteleBeautiful Moser Enamel Decorated Decanter Set With 6 GlassesVery Unusual Emerald Green To White Cased Glass Ginger Jar Czech/bohemian Nr!Vtg Czech Bohemian Amethyst Purple Panel Cut To Clear Coin Dot Art Glass Vase NrPair Pr Art Glass Cranberry Ruby Cut To Clear Czech Bohemian Moser Table Lamps Pair Antique Bohemian Art Glass Crystal Chandelier Prism Lusters Mantle LampsArt Deco Nouveau Kralik Bambus Czechoslovakian Art Glass Vase5 Bohemian Czech Crystal Wine Goblets / HocksBohemian Cranberry Cut To Clear Crystal VaseOld Blown Art Glass Nouveau Vase - Green Tendril & Frond Design - Kralik?Antique Bohemian Czechoslovakian Ruby Red Heavy Cut To Clear 8" Vase MintC.1900 Loetz Austria Iridescent Art Nouveau Jugendstil Oil Spot Vase 7" Tall N/rAntique Victorian Moser Bohemain Enamel Blue Art Glass Cheese DishCzech Glass Mini French Bulldog & Puppies Perfume Bottle Cracker Jack Charm Htf!Old Bohemian Glass, Moser Glass Tooled Edge Rubina Cup And SaucerSix Multi Color Cut To Clear Crystal Wine Liquer Cordials Ajka MarsalaSpectacular C. 1900 Loetz Medici Vase With Polished PontilVtg Bohemia Crystal Handpainted Decanter With 6 Cordial/shot GlassesCzech Sommerso Mid Century Modern Blue Cased Art Glass Large Bottle Vase Mth NrVintage Czech Amethyst Glass With Cupid Intaglio Jeweled Maybe A Salt CellarCzech Bohemian Emerald Green Glass Covered Candy Dish Gold Gilt Applied FlowersOld Bohemian Glass, Moser Glass Amberina Glass Cup And SaucerPretty Hand Painted Bohemian Glass Stem Gilt Rim And FootCeska Exbor Czeckoslovakia Art Glass FishRare Antique Moser Glass C.1857 2 1/2" Tall - Applied Acorn & Bumble BeeRare Waterford Simply Red Cased Cut To Clear Crystal Champagne Flute 9 3/8"Amethyst Ajka Marsala Cut To Crystal Hand Cut Mouth Blown Wine Goblet W/ Sticker(4) Theresienthal Stem Glass Cocktail Martini Enamel Painted VintageRare Antique French Cased Blue Opaline Overlay Painted Perfume Bottle 19cBeautiful Moser Gilt And Jewel Decorated Wine GobletCzech Loetz Glass Pink Green Comport Bowl Dish Vase - Czechoslovakia - Oval Mk.Antique Czech Bohemian Art Glass Vase. Stretched. Pinched. Oily. 8". Exclnt Cnd.Great Igor Muller Czech Glass. Cobalt Blue Oily Fan Vase. 8" Steuben Aurene -ey.Antique Vintage Rindskopf Czech 10" Art Glass Thumbprint Iridescent Vase Vtg Bohemian Art Glass Applied Petals Decanter W 5 Glasses Style Of Kralik MoserVintage Bohemian Cobalt Blue Cut To Clear Crystal Vase Grape Design 14"Czech Glass Pair Of Art Deco Shape Tango VasesVintage Signed Czech Art Deco Welz Vase ~ Spatter Glass Melon Shape Kralik StyleBeautiful C. 1890 Moser Crackle Vase With Fish And Seaweed DesignSet Of 6 Vintage Bohemian Czech Crystal Cut To Clear Cordial GlassesOld Bohemian Glass, Moser Glass Red Cut To Clear Cabochons Cup And SaucerBohemian Pinwheel Lead Crystal Cobalt Blue Cut To Glass Art BasketMagnificent C. 1900 Cranberry Moser Compote W/ Gold DetailVintage Cobalt Blue Cut To Clear Bohemian Glass Vase-8.25"Antique Bohemian Moser Karlsbad Glass Amber Clear Cut Glass Vase Signed C.1920