Posted 12 months ago
Recent research developments point to Kralik as being the pre-eminent Czech glass company, with 7 different glasshouses operating simultaneously. Moreover, there is evidence that Kralik made items that were sold as Loetz, and that the major glass companies shared order, designs and decors. I have called it "an incestuous glass industry", which makes it difficult to know who made what. Moreover, while records on most Czech glass prior to 1939 were destroyed, Loetz archives were carefully hidden, and only discovered in the 1980's
But we are lucky. We have the Butler Brothers, whose catalogs document the importation of Bohemian/Czech glass to the USA since 1900. I just got Monograph 121 from the West Virginia Museum of glass, called "Imported Glassware in the Butler Bros. Catalogs, 1901-1941". It has also published Monograph 59, which has been confirmed by the curator of the Kralik Museum at Lenora as totally Kralik. These have become practically the only source for Kralik glass production.
And on page 15 of Monograph 121, I found these baskets, middle row, 4th item. They all glow under UV light and belong to Kralik's early production,1905, reflecting the Art Nouveau commitment to organic form.They are 6.5" high and 6" wide at petal level. Amazingly, the handle on the blue one, which seems clear to the naked eye, also glows vivid green under UV light.
Kralik glass needs to be re-evaluated not as "Loetz subsidiary", as some glass pundits have called it in the past, but as another major source of first rate Czech glass.