Loetz Glass

LOETZ glass Phanomen vase, Austria, ca. 1900

p4A ItemID F7963577
Continental Green Iridescent Art Glass Footed Bowl, early 20th c., attr. Loetz

p4A ItemID F7959650
LOETZ Glass Jack-in-the-pulpit vase, Austria, 1900's

p4A ItemID F7952842
LOETZ Glass figure, Stork, Austria, des. 1904

p4A ItemID F7952841

Loetz Bohemian Glass

When excavations of Ancient Roman sites in the late 18th and early 19th centuries turned up mosaics that included iridescent glass (formed by a chemical process whereby the elements in the soil reacted with the surface of the glass) glassworks all over the world rushed to create their own versions of this shimmering material. While Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Favrille iridescent glass may be the most well known, many companies perfected their own beautiful versions, including the Loetz Glassworks.

Johann Loetz purchased the Bohemian Glassworks in 1840, and turned the struggling company into a highly successful manufacturers of Art Nouveau art glass whose unique and beautiful products were shipped all over the world. Much of their iridescent glass was shipped to the U.S. Loetz glass bore such a strong resemblance to Tiffany’s Favrille that a lawsuit was brought with the result that Loetz was no longer permitted to export unmarked glass to the United States. All export ware was stamped after 1901, although some pieces after 1891 were marked, “Loetz Austria.” Pieces made for European consumers we stamped “Loetz Klostermuhle.”

Loetz pieces typify the curving, sinuous forms of the Art Nouveau era. Their organic vase forms frequently include elongated necks and pinched or ruffled rims. Their products included all glass, as well as glass with embellishments, including silver, bronze, chrome pewter, and semi-precious stones in cabochon forms. In addition to vases and bowls, Loetz produced lamps, typically in bronze with iridescent glass shades. The lamps are more rare, and generally bring higher process than the vases.

By p4A Contributing Editor Susan Cramer.

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