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"Glasi" Hergiswil (Switzerland)

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The "Glasi" in Hergiswil ( has been mentioned several times on this board before. Unfortunately their web site is German / French / Italian only, and most other info German only. Therefore I'll try to provide some info in English here - let's start with the History.

The history of the glass works Hergiswil dates back to 1723, when the 3 brothers Josef, Peter and Michael Siegwart from the Black Forest were granted the permission to set up glass works in the Entlebuch region of canton Luzern: the first glass works were set up in Flühli - giving the name to "Flühli-Glas", nowadays highly collectable items (will come back to that later). During the following decades several other glass works were started by the family. In 1781 the largest glass works in Kragen started production - and soon all production was centralised there, with the other works being closed. The massive consumption of wood was increasingly causing problems, however, and during the early 19th century the family looked for a more suitable location.

This location was finally found in Hergiswil, directly at the Vierwaldstätter See (Lake Lucerne), where raw materials could be delivered by ship from further away; also for the produced merchandise this was a good transport opportunity. Production started in Hergiswil in 1817, and by 1869 all production was centralised there - the end of glass production in the Entlebuch region. Only in the beginning also flat glass was produced; since 1841, however, only blown glass was produced in Hergiswil. The Siegwart family was involved until 1963, when "Gebrüder Hoffmann AG" took over. Despite new ownership the necessary modernisation did not take place - and by 1975 the glass works were closed. The premises were taken over by the community of Hergiswil, possibilities to rescue the factory were evaluated within the "Hergiswiler Glas AG", and production was taken up again. In 1977 Roberto Niederer (will come back to him later) introduced his new concept (I guess, today this would be called a business plan). Roberto led the enterprise until his passing in 1988, when his son Robert Niederer took over.

Source: This short summary is largely based on the highly recommendable book "Vom Feuer geformt - Die Geschichte der Glashütte Hergiswil" by Heinz Horat, published 1992 by Hergiswiler Glas AG, ISBN 3-85928-026-0, a "must" if you are interested in the "Glasi" (and can read German).

If you are interested in the history/genealogy of the Siegwart family, including many historical information on glass making as well, I recommend the book "Die Siegwart und die edle, freie Glasmacherkunst", edited by Dominik Siegwart, published 2009 as Book on Demand, ISBN-13: 978-3-8370-9226-4.

The "Lula" Christmas Angel was already mentioned in another thread: the discussion there had somehow left the original topic, which is why I have started a new thread. You are invited to watch a short video "The making of ... Lula". A few images of the result, as displayed in the showroom, follow below (click on thumbnails to see larger images):

Items still on sale may be viewed online. If you have language problems with the navigation, however, or don't find what you are looking for, post your images here - I'll try to help. I do have several old (printed) catalogues (although my collection is far from complete) - so I might be able to identify discontinued items as well.

Cathy B:
 :hiclp: Thank you for this, Wolf.

Wolf, thanks for this information. I'm personally quite interested in handmade art glass produced by German and also Swiss or Austrian glassworks between 1945 and roughly 1980 - do you know of any resource online that would show me some examples of art glass produced by this company in that period? Or is their current work still very much what they produced in that period?



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