Author Topic: "Glasi" Hergiswil (Switzerland)  (Read 8588 times)

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Offline Wuff

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"Glasi" Hergiswil (Switzerland)
« on: November 26, 2010, 06:33:02 PM »
The "Glasi" in Hergiswil (http://www.glasi.ch) 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.
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
Interested in any aspect of Scottish glass? Have a look at Scotland's Glass.


Offline Wuff

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The "Lula" Christmas Angel
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2010, 06:36:43 PM »
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):
(http://www.seelentags.de/pw/DSC08876k200.jpg) (http://www.seelentags.de/pw/DSC08873k200.jpg) (http://www.seelentags.de/pw/DSC08874k200.jpg) (http://www.seelentags.de/pw/DSC08875k200.jpg)
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
Interested in any aspect of Scottish glass? Have a look at Scotland's Glass.


Offline Wuff

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Identifying Glass from Hergiswil
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2010, 06:44:47 PM »
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.
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
Interested in any aspect of Scottish glass? Have a look at Scotland's Glass.


Offline Cathy B

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Re: "Glasi" Hergiswil (Switzerland)
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2010, 10:03:04 PM »
 :hiclp: Thank you for this, Wolf.


Offline astrid

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Re: "Glasi" Hergiswil (Switzerland)
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2010, 11:32:15 PM »
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?

Astrid
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Have a look at my collection online and see if you can set me straight on my identifications : http://picasaweb.google.nl/102861706167408125672


Offline Wuff

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What is "Art Glass"?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2010, 11:35:01 AM »
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?
Astrid
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:
(http://www.seelentags.de/pw/glasi1890k200.jpg) (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.
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
Interested in any aspect of Scottish glass? Have a look at Scotland's Glass.


Offline astrid

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Re: "Glasi" Hergiswil (Switzerland)
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2010, 03:31:16 PM »
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.

Astrid
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Have a look at my collection online and see if you can set me straight on my identifications : http://picasaweb.google.nl/102861706167408125672


Offline Wuff

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What is "Art Glass"? (2)
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2010, 07:47:33 AM »
(http://www.seelentags.de/pw/Lichterschale2k200.jpg) (http://www.seelentags.de/pw/Lichterschale3k200.jpg) (http://www.seelentags.de/pw/Lichterschale6k200.jpg) (http://www.seelentags.de/pw/Lichterschale7k200.jpg)
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 "Gebügelte 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:
(http://www.seelentags.de/pw/Niederer08102k.jpg) (http://www.seelentags.de/pw/Niederer08103k.jpg)
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
Interested in any aspect of Scottish glass? Have a look at Scotland's Glass.


Offline Wuff

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A Siegwart vase from 1957 or few years later
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2010, 02:33:02 PM »
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.
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
Interested in any aspect of Scottish glass? Have a look at Scotland's Glass.


Offline rosieposie

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Re: "Glasi" Hergiswil (Switzerland)
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2010, 04:45:00 PM »
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. 
Rosie.

When all's said and done, there's nothing left to say or do.  Roger McGough.

 

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