Posted 3 years ago
In Truitt I; 124-25. the story is told of how Theodor Rössler, of Jablonec, revived the art of "Persian style" enameling" when he discovered that he could use enamel cakes flaked off and melted, not diluted with any solvent. As a result, "his colors cold be applied much closer to each other with no danger of their mixing" (Truitt I, 124).
The four examples in Truitt show figures from the Italian Commedia del'Arte, which immediately attracted my attention (Pic. 1). The Pierrot is one of my inner doubles (Pic. 2).
Thus, I decided to get exactly the same set of figurines (pic. 3- but not exactly). In the process I learned that (a) the very small blanks are not made by Rössler. Mine are 5.6/8" and the tall ruffled ones 7 6/8" tall; b) they come in a variety of transparent colors and shapes, including, amber, gray, violet, blue and pink; (c) the enamelings being individually applied, there are variations in the quality of the figurines.
I gathered five vases, but the Pierrot, my archetype, eluded me. Until my friend Dan Duback, who has an extensive Rössler collection, generously agreed to trade for an extra he had. He had previously presented me with the pink Harlequin (pic. 4).
The Rössler family, being of German origin, was caught in the great extermination and expulsion of Czech Germans from Czech territories in 1945, and their descendants now live in Germany.
Rössler glass is of historical and artistic significance. It reminds us of the close relationship between countries which were later to become mortal enemies, and of the level of artistry achieved by Czech refiners and enamel artists before the WWII destruction of Europe at the hands of the Nazis, Soviets, and Allied Forces.