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Fritz Heckert, Petersdorf- Renaissance Revival enameled Becher, ca. 1879-80

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    Posted 8 years ago

    (631 items)

    In the second half of the nineteenth century, there was great interest in glass done in the "Alt Deutsch", or old German, style of glass vessels decorated in Renaissance themes. Early workshops producing this type of glass were Friedrich Egermann and also Harrach in Neuwelt. As it gained in popularity, other European glass companies filled the demand - one of which, notably, was Fritz Heckert in Petersdorf.

    I found such an example in this vessel, a "Becher" or tumbler, at our local flea market. It is decorated with a cartouche that shows a pair of bows surrounded on both sides with "lions salient". In heraldry, this refers to lions leaping with forepaws in the air, which is a rare position for a lion. Above is the name "Johann George Schmidt." Below is a date - 1707. On the other side of the becher is a German inscription in Gothic script that translates basically as "He is prudent and learned who turns everything to its best. May we all be well. Honored be only God." (Thanks to my friends Andy and Kai for help with the translation)
    It has a fire polished rim, a broken pontil and is unmarked. Height is 6 inches.

    Even thought the piece is unmarked, with a little research I was able to locate this exact vessel in a scan of original pattern pages (ca. 1879-80) from the Fritz Heckert firm. These are reproduced in the book Fritz Heckert, Kunstglas Industrie 1866-1923, by Dr. Stefania Zelasko. The originals are kept in the Museum Karkonoskie in Jelenia Góra, Poland, Library No. 527. According to the catalog (see last photo), my glass is Patent: (form) 420/8 Orig. (decoration) 512.

    Speaking of the decoration, I also did some searching for the relevance of the name at the top of the glass. I did find reference to a Johann George Schmidt born in 1707. The information below is courtesy of Wikipedia:

    Johann George Schmidt or Johann Georg(e) Schmi(e)d (1707, Fürstenwalde bei Geising - 24 July 1774, Dresden) was a German architect of the Dresden Baroque. He was brother-in-law, student and successor of George Bähr.

    He became well known for his building, in the reconstruction of Dresden after the Seven Years' War. He designed Dresden's second Annenkirche, and cooperated with Christian Friedrich Exner as designer of the Kreuzkirche and with Johann Gottfried Fehre to build the Dreikönigskirche. The new church at the Schloss Weesenstein is also ascribed to him.

    I love pieces with history, and this piece fits the bill perfectly - it is 135 years old in its own right, and it documents a time, a place, and a person that goes back over 300 years!

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    1. Moonstonelover21 Moonstonelover21, 8 years ago
      Great information and research. Many thanks!
    2. ozmarty ozmarty, 8 years ago
      Fantastic!... it is oh so good to have the original reference and the added history make this piece such a treasure.
    3. sklo42 sklo42, 8 years ago
      Some posts are truly breathtaking......and to be found in a flea market!
    4. kivatinitz kivatinitz, 8 years ago
      Warren so beatiful and so interesting...
    5. lostspirits, 8 years ago
      Thoroughly enjoyed the research information and the photos of your find!
    6. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Great find, WARREN !!!!!
    7. IanBrighton IanBrighton, 8 years ago
      Warren, I think the lions salient are actually a rather loose "antik" lions rampant - much more likely to support a shield. The execution of heraldic forms even by experienced draughtsmen in the rococo was very variable - I think this is an interpretation of that looseness in the victorian period.
    8. bohemianglassandmore bohemianglassandmore, 8 years ago
      Thanks for the info, Ian - I'm kind of lost in the area of heraldy :)
    9. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      What a great find-- and amazing that you could find the same one in a catalog!

      Sounds like the stars were aligned during your research on this one.

      Thanks for sharing.

    10. IanBrighton IanBrighton, 8 years ago
      One of my very early passions was (and remains) heraldry. That said, there are enormous differences between UK and continental heraldry...I think, however, I am on the right track.
    11. Historismus Historismus, 7 years ago
      The correct translation for 'Becher' is beaker. A 'Humpen,' another popular glass form in medieval and 'Historismus' (historicism, or historical revival) glass, is technically a large (typically larger than a beaker) cylindrical beaker, such as the well known 'Reichsadlerhumpen,' and the 'Kurfürstenhumpen' (examples supplied with, or without, a glass set-on lid). A 'Deckelhumpen' is a Humpen with a glass set-on lid. Each glass form (i.e. glass blank) has its own specific name in German, such as, for example, Römer, Kelch, Pokal, Karaffe, Krug, etc.
    12. Historismus Historismus, 7 years ago
      Heckert's Historismus glass, as described by Heckert, was produced 'im alt Deutschen Stil' (in the 'old German style').

      I own an example of this beautiful and interesting Becher. Aside from being a collector of Historismus glass, I am also a student of German heraldry, a former heraldic artist, and calligrapher.

      The armorial bearing (FYI - coat-of-arms, crest, etc., are all American misnomers for an armorial bearing) on this Becher is a 'Zunftwappen' (an armorial bearing of a guild), as opposed to a 'Familienwappen' (a personal, or 'family' (as they were mostly hereditary) armorial bearing), and a 'Staatwappen' (civic armorial bearing), amongst other forms. A 'coat of arms' (the technical term escapes me at the moment), was the cloth cape draped over the knight's armour, which bore the knight's 'arms' (i.e. armorial bearing). The cape came about during the first crusade, and was multifunctional; it kept the harsh beating sun off of the knight's armour (which was essentially an oven), and it assisted in the identification (through the armorial bearing) of a fallen knight. A crest (a term sometimes used in America to refer to an armorial bearing) is but a component of an armorial bearing, being the portion that sits atop the 'helm' (helmet to you Yanks). However, the crest can be displayed separately in England, but typically not in Germany.

      In the case of the lion on this Becher, this particular form of the lion is referred to in German as 'ein aufspringender Löwe' (English heraldry: a lion rampant). Also, and with respect to this Zunftwappen, the lion is represented as a 'Schildhalter' (English: shield supporter).

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