Posted 9 months ago
When the Tango exhibit made it’s rounds in 2011-12 in the Czech Republic, it turned certain aspects of Czech glass collecting and research on it’s ear. There were some known companies discussed and displayed, and there were some other interesting aspects of the exhibition. Some items of interest to me, were of course the Welz items which were displayed. By that point in time I had already identified many of the examples that were being shown.
In addition to that, there were examples of Rückl production that were also shown. At that time Rückl was not an entity which had received much attention. It was a line of glass not really discussed to any degree in Truitt, or specifically shown in the Passau. I had always thought that was odd, and found out a while after the exhibition that the almost complete lack of Rückl documentation and literature was due in part to the family destroying it, as opposed to handing it all over to the Communist regime when the company was “Nationalized” post WWII. That information was provided to me by Deb Truitt when she and I discussed the topic quite a few yeara ago.
I know that at one point Deb Truitt was attempting to accumulate enough documentation from friends and family of the Rückls to publish something on the subject, but the lack of that being forthcoming seems to indicate to me at least, that her venture may not have been as successful as she had hoped.
Just after the Tango Exhibition, many people in this forum will remember the following years as ones of rampant Rückl identifications, many based on unpublished pages of décor line art I had provided to an individual. We saw a flurry of decors being declared to be Rückl, based loosely on line art of decors, and many “variants” of those decors declared to be Rückl also.
Through this time, and into the present I have been quite “vocal” about Rückl attributions and the lack of what I consider to be supportable links to decors and shapes being used to broaden the spectrum of what some people now refer to as Rückl production. I am not anti-Rückl…. I am anti-sloppy research and pro supportable facts. My position has always been that Rückl production is difficult to find, as evidenced by my own personal attempts to find known and confirmed shapes in new décors, or to find known and identifiable decors on new shapes.
One of the most distinctive décors seen in the Tango exhibition was a décor known as Canarai Shimmy Pfau. This décor was seen in the exhibition in 4 shapes. I have searched relentlessly for many years for an actual example of the décor. In light of the profound proliferation we are seeing of Rückl attributions in this forum and on the internet, one would think that examples of their production shown in the exhibition could be found in a reasonable period of time. That has not been the case.
The date of 04.20.17 brought to an end, what was a 4+ year search. On that day I found 2 things….. an example of Canari Shimmy Pfau being offered for about $800, but not as Rückl…. A price I thought was a bit steep for a Rückl vase, but what it did provide was a new shape in a confirmed Rückl décor….. It also seems that the shape of that example appears to be a shape shown in the line art drawings. Shapes matching the line art have been beyond difficult to find. In the long run, this may help to establish if the line art represents real shapes or simply drawings to represent décors. It is also a shape, which to the best of my knowledge, is not seen in any other décor claimed to be Rückl.
Shortly after that, and still somewhat amazed that I had actually seen an example “in the wild” so to speak, I came across another truly stunning find. The same décor on a small squat vase simply offered as Czech, and I snagged it up immediately. I believe that this is an example of Canari Shimmy Pfau, a décor which has proven to be quite elusive to find examples of.
One thing that has always bothered me through the years is “Why is it that a company that has been touted as being so prolific in Czech interwar production, is so extremely difficult to locate examples of their known production”?
I am not talking of examples of pieces recently declared to be Rückl, but examples like the Canari Shimmy Pfau which took me almost 5 years to find an example to buy. The two examples I saw the other day, were the first examples I had seen. I have also looked for examples of the pieces to match the Rückl poster shapes as shown by the Passau, and in many years of searching, I have only seen 4 of the shapes shown, and of those 4, one shape is made by so many companies it is almost impossible to distinguish many examples from each other.
My new example stands at 3.75 inches in height, and is 5.25 inches in diameter at the waist. The foot is 2.875 inches in diameter and the mouth measures 2.75 inches in diameter.
The décor consists of a bright yellow ground with varying sized random splashes of orange/red. The upward pulls are in a blue glass, and the overall finish of the piece is silky satin to the touch. There is no ground pontil, but it does have the expected ground rim. Construction appears to be an inner lining of clear glass with the yellow, orange and blue pulls applied over that. The exterior is cased in clear and treated to create a satin finish.
As an example of the types of things I have objected to in this forum, was the classification of Satin glass being a Rückl marker for interwar production.... an idea that was almost as humorous as it was preposterous.
Multi layer casing is relatively common in Czech glass, and there are not really any distinguishing characteristics other than the décor, which is pretty distinctive.
So, until I find something showing me differently, it appears that my new find is a piece of Rückl Canari Shimmy Pfau.
Image 1 and 2 above show my new vase.
Image 3 above shows what I now consider to be the known shapes that this décor is found in.
Image 4 above shows the color line art for Décor 1564 Pierrot, to the right is the outline of that shape, Next to that is the outline of the found shape, which although appear from a different angle seems to share common side and foot, and to the right of that, the actual vase in the Canari Shimmy Pfau Décor