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Harrach Enameled Vase in Black Amethyst glass, ca. 1880

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Bohemian Art Glass5923 of 6439Josephinenhütte enameled glass bowl with applied handles and prunts, ca. 1900Poschinger Uranium Glass and Oil Spot vase with Silver Overlay and Cabachon,  ca. 1900
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (625 items)

    This huge vase came from England, where in the Victorian era, Harrach was selling decorative colored glassware that rivaled anything being produced there. I think it must have taken the Pacific Ocean route, because it took a while, but it was worth the wait. Harrach did enameling, especially birds and florals, like no other. Quality for quality's sake was the mantra. This imposing vase is 12 inches tall, and while it looks black on the outside, a strong flashlight reveals that it is actually the darkest purple. This provides a striking backdrop for the colorful enamels, which are outlined in gold ink. For further reading, see Collectible Bohemian Glass, 1880-1940, by Robert and Deborah Truitt, and Das Böhmisches Glas, Band III - Historismus (Historicism), published by the Glasmuseum Passau.

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    1. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 9 years ago
      this piece makes me drool!
    2. Slave-to-glass Slave-to-glass, 9 years ago
      Gorgeous colours!
    3. LoetzBuddies LoetzBuddies, 9 years ago
      Looks Chinese. Pretty piece.
    4. bohemianglassandmore bohemianglassandmore, 9 years ago
      You bring up a good point, Al - I would imagine that true black (Hyalith) is pretty difficult, so why go there when you can approximate it with deep purple, blue, or even red? I do have a piece at home that I think is solidly black, though - a little scent bottle by either Harrach or Riedel. I'm going to hit it with my super-bright LED light when I get home. I'm curious now. :)
    5. LoetzDance LoetzDance, 9 years ago
    6. Greatsnowyowl Greatsnowyowl, 9 years ago
      I think Harrach claimed to have a perfectly black glass hyalith but you can see a little color in it with a super bright light. but not when you just hold it to the window. Reidel made a black opaque glass that does appear to be perfect black. I can't coax a light out of it for the world. of course the neck is very narrow on the larger piece I have. and I think the smaller pieces are dense by nature.

      I wish I had a larger black piece like a bowl in this glass by Reidel. it would be interesting to see if you can get light thru the glass in a larger example.

      at the time, I think perfectly black was true to the methods they had. Imagine trying to see light go thru the glass by candle light :)

      this piece by Harrach is very very hard to find color with a super bright. I did after about ten minutes fiddling with angles.
      I have other pieces that are a little easier to find color in from Harrach. the new book refers to every black harrach piece as hyalith though.
      I use american black glass as an example. I had a ton of it at one time (I am a sucker for the stuff as well as oxblood and cream, they look so good together) and with american black glass you didn't even really need daylight to see the color underneath it. Harrach adn Riedel are definitely in a different league for color. (obligatory IMHO on such a point LOL)
    7. manddmoir manddmoir, 9 years ago
      Strangely, Moser, Galle and Davidsons - in the UK all managed true black -others too, oddly though, I believe, no-one has ever managed true black cristal. I would expect Harrach and Riedel both managed true black as they were both good with such lythalin colours.
    8. bohemianglassandmore bohemianglassandmore, 9 years ago
      My search continues - the little bottle I thought was perfectly black is in fact purple.
    9. dasullywon dasullywon, 9 years ago
      Shades of the "black tulip" experiments. It is as close to true black as it needs to be, if only an intense beam of light can reveal color. It is not displayed under intense light, I would hope, and when I first saw this vase the enamel stood out so perfectly against that "black" ground it was the ground that almost stold the show. Great piece!
    10. Greatsnowyowl Greatsnowyowl, 9 years ago
      I am not sure where I got the idea exactly that basalt or hyalith must be absolutely perfectly black and show no color at all. They say for basalt glass that basalt was used in the mix but they don't say if other colors were still used in the mix or not. I can't remember if it was just a matter of being opaque enough that no light could come thru or no other colors allowed at all. I do kind of think the test should be without super bright light because when the glassmakers were writing about their accomplishments they would not have had superbright outside of sunlight.
      I went thru a few books last night looking for hte references but I couldn't find any. Granted, I have a ton of books. I may have been looking at the wrong ones.
    11. dasullywon dasullywon, 9 years ago
      My point was basically about technology as well; they would not have had intense laser or LED's lights at the time.
    12. Greatsnowyowl Greatsnowyowl, 9 years ago
      yeah I know, it looked like you were agreeing with what I said earlier :) I was just expounding on it.

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