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"Glasi" Hergiswil (Switzerland)

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--- Quote from: astrid on November 26, 2010, 11:32:15 PM ---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?
--- End quote ---
Nothing I would be aware of.

Now - what is "art glass"? In general there will be no clear-cut distinction between art glass and handicraft, I guess, neither between handicrafted glass and consumer glassware. As far as production in Hergiswil is concerned we also have to make a clear cut between items produced before and after 1975. Before 1975 it will have been mostly consumer glassware, especially directly after the war things like preserving jars were top sellers - items which already by 1975 will have been produced worldwide by machines: although Hergiswil invested in such equipment at some stage, it was too late to prevent the decline of the factory. It was the idea of Roberto Niederer to produce well designed, highly decorative, handmade tableware, which describes most of the product line since 1975 and today's success. Let's look at the nut bowl with integrated nutcracker as a (fairly recent) example:
(click on image for larger view)
Is this art glass? I don't think I would call it art glass - but it is certainly highly decorative, in addition to serving it's purpose. And from here it's only a small step to items like the Lula angel shown above, serving no real purpose, but being just decorative - now would Lula be art glass?

To return to Astrid's question about online images of discontinued Hergiswil items. There is not much on ebay, but if you search Ricardo for "Glasi Hergiswil" you'll also see discontinued items, though usually not dated. If there is a label, this helps: the present transparent plastic labels were introduced around 2000; any items with paper labels will be older.

Searching for Siegwart will result in fewer hits, but occasionally you'll see e.g. old vases.

Thanks Wolf, that link helps. Local selling sites can be a great resource, especially for glasworks that aren't deemed important enough yet for dealers or the more expensive selling sites like Ebay. I've bookmarked this one as a place where vintage Swiss glass might turn up.



This arrangement is not on sale as such in Hergiswil - but all the bits and pieces (apart from the seahells) are - mainly a 48 cm diameter "Geb├╝gelte Schale flach" and several floating tealight holders "Schwimmer". Whilst these images were taken on my living room table, the following were taken some time ago in Hergiswil at a small exhibition of Roberto Niederer "non production" designs:

I had mentioned earlier that Siegwart (predecessor of today's "Glasi") items occasionally show up on Ricardo - right now there is a vase on offer. Images are reproduced below with seller's permission. The label reads Siegwart, 140 Jahre Glas aus Hergiswil, mundgeblasen, Kristall (140 years of glass from Hergiswil, mouth-blown).  The first number is barely readable - seller assumes 240, which is impossible. As the Siegwart glass works started production in Hergiswil in 1817, it only can be 140, and dates the vase to 1957 or a few years later.

Base 105 mm by 105 mm, height 270 mm, weight about 2 kg.

What informative and interesting readingthis makes Wuff.  Thank you so much.

I saw a piece of glass listed that I recognosed as Glasi Hergiswil, and have informed the seller, as she had listed it as Kosta Boda. Item number 380295400229 on eBay. She has added my message but I do hope she changes the listing category & title as otherwise there is ambiguity there.

I agree about the difficulty in defining art glass from decorative glass.

Traditionally 'art' glass is hand made , and may or may not be decorative. 

Decorative glass just has to be pretty and may be molded.......does it truly matter?  I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the Lula angels are so beautiful in their simplicity, and in my mind are Art glass, whereas some epergnes are so decorative and over embellished that whilst I am able to appreciate the skill the maker employed in the production, I find them vulgar and couldn't offer them house room.

In the end though, they may both be used to enhance a candle's light. 


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