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Unsung Heroes of Glass #2 Erwin Pfohl –the younger brother

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Art Deco1 of 3939Black AE 40 Monophone with Brushed Gold BandsEuropean Cut Diamond Ring.
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Posted 5 years ago


(22 items)

Well I set myself the task of featuring some, in my opinion, (very) ‘unsung heroes of glass’ I did not fully realise that as they are really unsung then finding pictures of their work gets really hard.

It doesn’t mean though I can’t go a little oddball.

For me No2 in this series goes to the great (and I suspect a little crazy) Erwin Pfohl. Erwin was the younger brother of the more famous Alexander and often when Alexander left a job his younger brother took over. Erwin (1905-75) is usually noted as a glass painter, or rather, as we might term it, an enameller. For Josephinehutte and a number of Novy Bor glass makers he enamelled some pretty wonderful and strange pieces.

The two enamel examples above (left and right) are what I call ’tropical deco’, simple goldfish bowls enamelled with strange and colourful tropical scenes. The Museum Szkla Novy Bor has a larger and much finer example of the left hand one, which leaves me to believe my two, although period, may only be ‘School of’ Erwin Pfohl. Whatever they are they are quite wonderful and I think worthy of sharing. The museum also has a selection of his drinking glasses, ridiculous things often a foot or more tall, with tiny bowls depicting cartoon characters playing a variety of games ranging from poker to polo. Alas I’ve never seen an example outside a museum.

In 1930, whilst at Josephinehutte (technically not Bohemia but Silesia, but still only a few miles from Novy Bor), Erwin designed some more crazy, almost psychedelic, enamelware and a strange range of mould blown furnace pieces. Somewhere halfway between WMF Ikora and 1920s style Kralik; they called them ‘Vineta Kristall’. They look wonderful and were done in dozens of variations and designs. Alas even the Passau museum has only one or two examples (centre picture) and these are the only ones I’ve seen. Fortunately I have permission to share my photos from Passau. Maybe this range was never popular, but they look really interesting and fun.

Sadly we have only a few examples from this man’s glass career. I really wonder what else he did.


Next time Africa!


  1. Greatsnowyowl Greatsnowyowl, 5 years ago
    the younger bother! :)

    Again interesting article! keep em coming!
  2. manddmoir manddmoir, 5 years ago
    oh thanks -GSO- corrected now
  3. Greatsnowyowl Greatsnowyowl, 5 years ago
    I thought you were channeling A. A. Milne. :)
  4. jericho jericho, 5 years ago
    what is pic 2 for, seems not to fit...
  5. manddmoir manddmoir, 5 years ago
    sorry that's from Passau and a rare example of ‘Vineta Kristall’
  6. manddmoir manddmoir, 5 years ago
    Yep that's Vineta glass -can't decide if its realy rare or too like other things
  7. haidagirl haidagirl, 5 years ago
    The goldfish bowls are beautiful. One seller on German eBay has been offering those past about a year. I asked him if they were originals and he told me they were made by a young lady in Novy Bor as a reproduction. She does an excellent job. Don't know if those you are showing are old or reproductions but in either case, they are stunning. Thanks for the info about Erwin Pfohl.

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