Posted 3 years ago
My interest in thorn vases stems from having found some examples in the Butler Brothers catalogs, where they are classified as "Bohemian". There is a fierce controversy as to their provenance, for many times Czech thorns are attributed by British glass scholars to British manufacturers, and it is indeed quite difficult to distinguish between them. I have remarked many times that the Czech were so successful at "design shifting" (a fancy term for copying) British glass that the British themselves do not know what belongs to whom (A case in point, the Stevens & Williams propeller mark, which turned out to be Harrach!) The vase I am highlighting will only add another, unexpected angle, to the controversy.
A stirrup thorn vase, 12" high, on a cobalt foot. The color combination is usually associated with Kralik, and indeed I have several pieces marked with the Kralik semicircle provenance mark. But . . . this thorn vase exhibits a provenance mark commonly found on Welz glass!!!!! (see my post on "Welz and Documented Provenance Mark) The last picture shows an 11" stirrup Vaseline piece. I have a 14" piece in crystal, with the peculiar hook attachments which indicates it was meant to be attached to other two smaller vases by glass chains, as per the Hosch West Virginia Museum catalog. Neither the Vaseline nor the Crystal is marked.
The demarcation between Kralik, Welz and Ruckl Czech Deco glass has really never been made clear, for all three produced quite similar wares. Provenance marks may be associated with one particular manufacturer, but it is quite possible for one exporter to have marked products from different companies with the same provenance mark. In other words, it may not be good policy to attribute glass to a manufacturer on the basis of provenance marks alone. The Best ID always involves sources such as catalogs, which are few and far between.
So, I'll go conservative and assert that the only thing that can be said about my pink/blue thorn vase with any certainty is that it was made in Czechoslovakia and marked for export some time in the 20's or 30's, before the collapse of the Czech glass industry in 1945.