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Harrach Paperweight/Formosa type scent bottle, ca. 1895

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Bohemian Art Glass4084 of 5051"Art" Cameo Glass Vase ... French?  Bohemian?Josef Inwald Art Deco Fish Vase 1930's.
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Posted 4 years ago


(476 items)

Full disclosure - the stopper shown in these photos is not original to this bottle. It is one I just happened to have on hand that actually fits. I don't think it belonged to the bottle I took it from, either!

That said, the real star here is this gorgeous little scent bottle, courtesy of the Harrach glassworks in Neuwelt, Bohemia. The thickness of the glass, and the colors used are the deep greens and reds found in Harrach's Formosa decor, but this is mottled, and the green is much more dominant on this piece. It is reminiscent of some of the Loetz paperweight vases, but the colors used, the gold enameled cockatoo and florals, the ground and polished base, and the design number inscribed on the bottom are convincing enough Harrach markers. The bottle (without stopper) is about 4" high, and about 3.5" across.


  1. famatta127 famatta127, 4 years ago
    Really cool.
  2. vetrissimo, 4 years ago
    Good detail in the bird.
    I've seen lots of birds on Bohemian vases but never one in this style. Ditto the Cleopatra's Fan. The style is a little naive, which has its own charm. An element of exotic fanasty ? Very nice.
    The "18" is I assume the decorators piece-work mark. A nice low number.
    So the "F 890" is the "design number" ? Which element of the design ? Shape ?glass colours ? or decor ? All three ?
    I've seen worse stopper marriages but unless you actually want to use it, I wouldn't bother. Often a missing stopper screams it's absence but with this piece I think it looks better without. Just my humble opinion.
  3. bohemianglassandmore bohemianglassandmore, 4 years ago
    Peter - I feel the same way - the stopper is just for illustrative purposes - I don't plan to make it a permanent marriage. :)

    18 is probably just a number to match it with the missing stopper. The F 890 would be a decor number. I believe in Harrach's design books, the shape would be designated by a "Production Number" which may or may not be marked on the bottom (in this case, it isn't). Thanks for weighing in.

  4. Greatsnowyowl Greatsnowyowl, 4 years ago
    totally jealous! love this piece to bits! I have an example too. I have mine under Riedel on my Website. Riedel marked with letter and numbers too and there were examples of paperweight glass for Riedel in the museums but not Harrach..

    but Harrach did mark this way as well.

    I love this style of glass. I like the decoration on yours much better than mine.
  5. LoetzDance LoetzDance, 4 years ago
    Very nice. Is the green in the Harrach Formosa decor a solid matte color or is a metallic and/or aventurin like a Titania or metalin?
  6. Greatsnowyowl Greatsnowyowl, 4 years ago
    Peter, I think the 18 is the number that would have been on both the bottle and the stopper to match them up
  7. bohemianglassandmore bohemianglassandmore, 4 years ago
    The green in Formosa is more metallic.
  8. Greatsnowyowl Greatsnowyowl, 4 years ago
    I recall formosa as having more of a aventurine look than metallin type look these have? does it look like the green in these?
  9. bohemianglassandmore bohemianglassandmore, 4 years ago
    I'll have to take a photo of them side-by-side. I think there are similarities, but also clear differences; For one, formosa has a red lining, and these pieces are cased in clear.
  10. vetrissimo, 4 years ago
    In my experience stopper matching numbers are usually (not always) engraved.
    This 18 looks to be painted and in the same enamel used in the decoration.

    I'm glad to see Riedel being considered (even if incorrect). It was a very large company with several glasshouses and huge production capacity, yet usually gets forgotten.
  11. bohemianglassandmore bohemianglassandmore, 4 years ago
    I don't think there's any rule of thumb regarding how stoppers are marked - sometimes small numbers are added in order to match the piece up as part of a set, i.e. a pair of vases may be marked 1 and 2, or part of a garniture set may be marked in a particular way... I've seen them painted, etched, inked, and everything in between. I do love the quality of Riedel's art glass production, particularly their cameo and late Victorian/Nouveau era production. As far as I know, they produced a version of Formosa that is practically indistinguishable from Harrach. They were certainly on par, quality-wise, with Harrach and Moser - I won't throw Loetz in there, as that seems like an apples to oranges comparison to me.

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