Posted 4 years ago
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!