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Bohemian Art Glass4254 of 4507RUCKL GREEN SHIMMY DECOR 988A hand me down
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Posted 5 years ago


(360 items)

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.


  1. jericho jericho, 5 years ago
    al, these colors were available to any firm at that time, so color in my view is never a good indicator of maker. these pieces could be anybody... so i agree with your theory that mark alone is not the answer. if a huge order needed to be filled they could have stamped other factories pieces or used them as sub-contractors.

    welz has a few things that give them away 80% of the time
    1. shorter pieces, usually under 8 1/2" inches
    2. the glass is thinner, more worked (great technique)
    3. the rim is ground with a smaller beveled edge (45 degree) than kralik
    4. the base has a rippled flat surface or base grinding is crude

    so, it was made by... who knows? its nice czech from the last century
  2. dlfd911 dlfd911, 5 years ago
    I always enjoy a mystery, but I enjoy seeing one solved even more. I, like Al, suspect that the marks were added by the importer (or exporter), and it's very possible that the mark could have been applied to pieces of another house, although in smaller numbers. Considering the huge number of pieces exported, if a few dozen Welz received marks that we consider to be for Kralik, few would have survived, and the average collector/student of glass would never see one. We have the benefit of viewing thousands of other people's glass, so we will occasionally come across that one that doesn't fit the mold.
  3. scottvez scottvez, 5 years ago
    Great discussion!

  4. charcoal charcoal, 1 year ago
    Here's the same hex shaped thorn vase shape in a familiar spatter decor:
  5. yesterdaysglass yesterdaysglass, 1 year ago
    Not same shape, not even that similar imo.
    They both have thorns and feet but that's about it...

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