Posted 8 years ago
It is well known that the Harrach glassworks in Neuwelt used a great variety of manufacturing and decoration techniques. It was unique in the way it responded to changes in styles and adapted own designs quickly to market movements. At the same time, Harrach also made its own contributions to the artistic and technological development of decorative glass.
At the Art Nouveau period Harrach applied common technologies to refine decorative glass like casing glass, enamelling, acid etching, iridescence, etc. The pair of jardinières approves that Harrach also experimented with refining technologies.
The jardinières made of purple glass have been mold-blown and then cooled. The surface was first matted and then brushed with bone glue. While drying out, the glass surface chipped and the result resembles of frost patterns (fairy frost) known from frosted windows. The German word is "Eisblumenglas", plainly translated: ice flower glass. The term "Leimeis" (glue ice) is also but rarely used for that type of glass decoration, which is much more common for flat glass. The glue-chipped surface was then gilded by means of a brush and the gilding fired in a kiln. Finally the enamel flower decor was painted and again fired. At the end the pontil was grinded and polished out.
Both jardinières bear two marks, the mark of the Harrach glassworks (coat of arms and the words HARRACH NEUWELT BOHEMIA, divided by dots) and the reseller's mark. This second mark shows the double letter LB for L. Boutigny, Harrach's French representative located in the "PASSAGE DES PRINCES" in Paris. It is probable that Harrach made this pair on order from Paris.
It is interesting to note that both glasses are not equal. One is made of much thicker glass, clearly visible by the darker color and outweighs the other by 50 percent. Truly hand-made glasses.
Glue-chipped hollow glass ware is very rare. The elaborate technique on one hand and the less artistic appearance on the other may have forced Harrach to produce only a very limited number of glasses with this decoration. There are two other examples displayed in the Passau Glass Museum, one with the gilded "Harrach" mark.
I have to thank Regine Steib, teacher for glass painting at the glass school in Zwiesel for helping me with information on the "Eisblumenglas".