Author Topic: Dating Czech booklet 1920s?  (Read 1001 times)

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Offline Frank

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Dating Czech booklet 1920s?
« on: October 03, 2011, 10:04:14 PM »
I am guessing 1920s for this booklet on Czech glass but am not sure, perhaps this extracts will narrow down the date.

A. Figures. I guess the "..an entirely new method of using glass in the production of decorative objects. It is the idea of a young instructor at the Železný Brod technical school..." Presumably Brychta. The school was opened in 1920 and most sources refer to him being the director. So 1, when did he become director and 2, when was he young!!!

B. 5 pieces in an advert by Joseph Inwald so likely recent products

C. Rear cover. Does Sklářský ústav Hradec Králové relate? I find it hard to accept this as early 20s but Czech glass always surprises me.
Frank A.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Dating Czeck booklet 1920s?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2011, 10:07:26 PM »
Do notice that both male figures are watching the young girl who is presumably to early for Pippi Langstrumpf... so who is she?
Frank A.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Dating Czech booklet 1920s?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 03:12:02 PM »
B. Large fruit bowl appears to be Rudolfovahut Schrötter 7521. (Newhall gives first reference he found as 1933, confusingly labelled in CD database as 'production date' but pattern number also relates to sequence of 1921 pieces - so not a safe date and if 1921 that would fit). Vase on left is 7820 (do. 1933?). The others do not appear in Newhall db, probably all except tall vase have a star base - so we now have 3 more ID'd

Checking all the booklets in the folder I have now found a mention of 1924 and of Masaryk so giving a date range of 1924-1937 which is helping to accept image C. The only remaining possible dating factor to resolve is the date Brychta became director of the school... only finding dead ends there so far.

Another point I notice in the text is that the use of Lead Crystal is mentioned, as distinct from Bohemian crystal which is non-lead. When did Bohemia start using lead and was the Bohemian Crystal phased out or is it still used?

Finally, the whole package is bilingual French/English, but in general French is given first place and the Joh. Lötz Witwe advert is only in French whereas the Inwald is in both languages.
Frank A.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Dating Czech booklet 1920s?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2011, 08:41:06 PM »
With a study of J. Brychta, M.B. Volf - Živé sklo on Jindrich's site I have gone a bit further using image A.

There is a clear evolution in the development of Brychta's figures and based on that evolution the pieces shown in image A are very unlikely to have been made before 1927 and after 1930, with the greatest likelihood that it dates to 1929. I still lack the crucial evidence of when he became director of the shool and this may well be contained in the Czech text... so hopefully a reader of the language coud see if it is mentioned.

It is however fascinating that he evolves to pure lampwork forms and at this point no longer considers them original in method but that the discipline and flexibility of working with the wire based forms, which appear to have evolved from the humble necklace, had lead to greater expressiveness and use of lampwork as an artform. It could certainly be said that the forms he created through the 30s represent a true artistic renaissance in lampwork art. Yet this in turn evolved into the very rigid lumpy ZBS figures that most are familiar with today and have lasted some 70+ years in production. What the three pieces in A. also show is possibly the critical turning point. 'Pippi' on the right has hung on to the old wire strung approach yet the rest of her has developed one stage further. The rope trick artiste, or necklace salesman?, appears to have a spread of rope or bead necklaces in front of him and is mounted on a powerful base, possible a jewellery box or simply a bold statement. Finally at the left, while still clearly in the same stage of development technically as the other two this religious figure does somehow fit with the 'moderne' ZBS style that really started to emerge in 1937.

1929 is a comfortable date for me on this folder of material but I am still open to input and other ideas.

Finally what of C. ? There is just enough information in the image to tell that this piece is cut glass. Surely created at some point after Paris 1925 when the Art Deco design concept kicked the butt of complacent glass design across Europe. It is such a iconic piece that some most have come across this before... who would be the contenders for making this in the late 1920s?
Frank A.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Dating Czech booklet 1920s?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 09:13:18 PM »
p.s. Brychta born 1895 so in 1929 at 34 still just 'young' by many standards  ^-^


p.p.s. Thanks to Anik for help off board on this search.
Frank A.
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Offline Anne

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Re: Dating Czech booklet 1920s?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 10:10:18 PM »
http://www.glassforest.co.uk/scripts/czech-art-glass.asp
"In Zelezny Brod, the first Czech glassware business school was founded in 1920. The director was arch. Alois Metelak (1897-1980). One of the school's lecturers was sculptor Jaroslav Brychta (1895-1971), who created the first Zelezny Brod glass figures, glass engraver and sculptor Ladislav Pfenosil, glass painter and graphic designer Zdenekjuna, metal-chaser and mosaicist Oldfich Zak and others."


Offline Anne

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Re: Dating Czech booklet 1920s?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2011, 10:11:27 PM »
And reaffirmed here:  http://www.detesk.cz/en/virtual-museum/glass-figurines/ (poor translation, but you get the gist!)


Offline Anne

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Re: Dating Czech booklet 1920s?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2011, 10:33:50 PM »
This might be of interest too Frank: http://3d-grafika.deni.cz/bombay,saphire/anglicky,doc,jansa/profil,skoly.doc (downloadable word doc)


Offline Anik R

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Re: Dating Czech booklet 1920s?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2011, 11:42:05 PM »
From what I've read here about Alois Metelak, he came to Zelezny Brod in 1924 as an administrator, only to become the school's first director a year later, where he remained until 1948.  Frank, it seems Brychta never was director of the school. 

[Warning:  Reading Czech is like trying to read Polish while poking myself in the eyes repeatedly... difficult. My interpretation and understanding of what I've read may be wrong.]
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Offline Frank

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Re: Dating Czech booklet 1920s?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2011, 09:55:57 AM »
Thanks for all that, the word document has Brychta as headmaster/director from 1948 which fits with Anik's data. So irrelevant to the dating of the booklet but completing the questions of the thread.

Now who designed C and in which works. Presumably in the 1924-29 period. Perhaps a separate thread.
Frank A.
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