Glass Message Board

Glass Identification - Post here for all ID requests => Glass => Topic started by: rabugheida on January 07, 2018, 10:07:43 PM

Title: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: rabugheida on January 07, 2018, 10:07:43 PM
Hello everyone

This vase has me excited to learn more.. it seems that the blue was applied as a stain and not flashed
the motifs are etched however the dots around the base might have been cut

height 14 cm
weight 375g
diameter at rim 9cm
thickness at rim 4mm
the rim is cut smooth

I believe it is from the bohemian period but can't date it further
what interests me most is the architectural motif, being an architect myself  ;D
when was it first used, and what does it represent?  could it have originated from an actual structure?
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: Paul S. on January 07, 2018, 10:34:38 PM
There is a subtle difference between a colour being 'stained on' (the sort of application that might wear with use), and colours that are fired on and which don't wear with age.      The difference between the two might show up in terms of quality and evenness of colour.          Is there any sign of the blue 'wearing' from areas not cut to clear.

As with your amber 'beaker/goblet' - the clear areas/motif, have been wheel engraved (cut to clear) and not etched, which is a wet acid process.
This is despite the rough almost acid like treatment of the motif/images  -  such images are left rough deliberately - it would be uneconomical for the worker to polish such a complex engraved area, whereas the oval windows are far simpler to polish.

As to solutions to your last three questions, it may not be possible to find definitive answers  -  in art so much is taken from fanciful imagination, but who knows, someone may recognize what appears to be depictions of historic buildings.    We will ignore the palm fronds.
Certainly stags and those frilly edged oval shaped cartouches were not uncommon on similar pieces from the second half of the C19.

Pieces with this type of surface decoration have been made for much of the C19 and C20, and the output of Egermann for example was truly prodigous - it's unlikely apart from a stab at age - that you will every discover the maker.        But again it's attractive and will make a nice vase to show.

Hopefully, others will give their opinion, I've been known to be wrong many times. :)

P.S.   this general outline with the bulbous base was a shape produced commonly over a long period of time.

P.P.S.     Tell us what you understand the Bohemian period to be - date wise ;D
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: rabugheida on January 07, 2018, 11:26:50 PM
you again ! :)

if you look quite closely it is possible to see traces up and down the vase of the tool used to apply it, as if it was applied on a wheel with a small brush.

there are a few quite small nicks where the blue has been scratched with wear that show clear

AND I was thinking the beginning of the 19th century until WW1 ;D which definitely needed  clarification as I now know that the tradition dates back to the 12th century and hasn't stopped since, cheers ;)

PS. what is also curious about the piece is that the blue finish has a sort of matte quality to it, unlike my other examples
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: Paul S. on January 08, 2018, 09:25:47 AM
 ;) I'm afraid in the absence of the folk who really know what they're talking about  .......................yes, you get me, again.         It seems no amount of temptation is encouraging others to join in.

Assume you are speaking of the 'blue' being applied when you say "as if on a wheel with a small brush".      Quoting from an English text volume (Charles Hajdamach - 'British Glass 1800 - 1914'  ..  page 84) he writes  .........     "Stained glass can often be recognised by the painterly, flowing effect of the stain as it has been applied by the brush".          So yes, this would appear to confirm your comments regarding a brush.              Charles Hajdamach's book, although an English text, covers the period we are discussing - and has a substantial section dealing with the subsequent influence - on the British and States markets - of stained, overlay, cut glass etc., coming from what was then correctly called Bohemia.         They were the movers and shakers of this type of glass, much of which was later copied on both sides of the 'pond'.              You could do worse than getting a copy of C.H's book  -  it has received much praise from collectors in the U.K., and running to over 450 pages covers just about every aspect of glass and the various types, and despite the title does seem to provide much information on Continental glass.
Because of the various copying of styles etc., this alone makes it difficult to be certain of the origin and provenance of some types of glass, especially where - as with this stained and overlay glass -  it was produced in such profusion and in many different areas.   

My thought are that the beginning of the C19 could be a tad early for the Bohemian period  -  it's described often as having been a cottage industry, with integration of some sort whereby the various aspect of glass production, blowing, cutting, decorating etc. were carried on by separate groups who each specialized in these individual parts of the whole process.         This stained and overlay type of glass from eastern Europe looks to have begun around 1830 - 1840 with a massive explosion which has continued until the present time.   It has acquired a huge tourist status - presumably travellers who visit the area want a piece of what is perceived as historic Bohemian glass.
We should be careful not to suggest that the good burghers of the Kingdom of Bohemia were making the same sort of glass in the C12  -  I assume you were referring to the stained glass work in the context of church windows, which was an early use of stained glass, and may have been a big market  -  perhaps the skills for that trade were imported from France?

Not sure why your blue piece appears to have a matter surface  -  are you sure it doesn't simply want a good clean  -  if it is second half C19, then the blue outer surface may have been worn to the extent that the shine has gone.

Would suggest you do acquire some books on this subject - you'll be amazed at what you can learn in a short time - provided you read them, of course. ;D
It might possibly help you with dating this blue piece if you can make some comparisons with other examples - this might mean looking in museum galleries etc. - always worthwhile.     Best of luck.
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: rabugheida on January 08, 2018, 03:32:03 PM
Hello Paul, nice to hear from you again. 
It would be nice to have some other voices and opinions, but its not like me to bite the hand that feeds me.  So if its just me and you we'll make the best of it then 8)  As I just joined up, I don't know really what to expect as far as input.  I read that it could take up to a month to have your thread resolved, and already having reached the maximum number of open threads it seems like I'll have to wait it out. Could it be as simple as the fact that once I respond, the "new" tag disappears and therefore others pass me by?  Anyway, on to better things...
Books are wonderful things and I know I could use them, but before I make a large investment I want to hone in on my specific interests, which are still developing.  I'm less of a historian and more an artist, I choose what I find beautiful over what might be a proper investment. Your recommendation is on my list, however and I will look further into it. 
I also make all my purchases at the flea markets all around Paris, and I spend very little on them.  Egermann and his ruby glass is what I see the most of, so nice that you pointed me in his direction.

Now about the vase...

I have already given it a scrub, and because it has few scratches and an even stain, I doubt that the matte surface is due to wear.
But as I found it on a grubby table for 10euros, could it be that something went wrong with the annealing process?  Have I a precious little reject?  I do look at many many photos online, but generally information about a pieces origins, date and value are rarely provided
which is frustrating and one of the reasons that I joined this forum.  I like a good story to go with my treasures :D

I was referring to the origins of the culture of glass making which flourished in the bohemian era when I said the 12th century.
So as not to think that the biedermeier style developed out of nothing.  I'm very interested in this period in history, if you have some things to say about it  ;D

one last thing, can we place the vase in a more specific time frame?  Possibly from oh,1840 to when?  I think that the thickness of its walls which are quite thick could be a good indicator, but we need an expert for that I presume :-X
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: Paul S. on January 08, 2018, 04:48:46 PM
gosh, and here's me hoping you'd gone on holiday for a month ;D ;D ;) only joking - it's good to chat - a shame that no one will join in with us. :'(

Regret I know zero about glass from the C12 - but glad to hear it's a period of special interest to you - what might be described as the middle ages of the medieval epoch do you think, or should that be the Dark Ages?   Knights and damsels in distress, possibly.
In the U.K., glass making was non existent around that time, and it looks to have only got going with the Venetians c. middle of the C15.   The Muranese glass workers were forbidden to travel outside of their country, on pain of much discomfort, so the spread of knowledge of glass making was very slow, but toward the end of the C16 we Brits. did give the world lead glass, courtesy of Mr. Ravenscroft.     

"Getting your threads resolved" is a bit too much of an unrefined expression  -  members here do their best, but we are virtually all amateurs like yourself and whatever knowledge we have is limited, but we do our best by means of experience and our books.        Regret I know nothing of limitations of posts for new members - I'd just keep banging away if I were you  -  they'll soon moan if you get it wrong.

As for buying glass and what you spend - I agree that you should buy what really turns you on - don't remotely think of glass as an investment - that is the surest way to go wrong.          The main Egermann colours were red and amber, and I expect that somewhere in the east of the Continent they are still churning it out just as they did in 1840 - 50.         But, age carries a massive money premium  -  people will pay fortunes for something that is genuinely old - and just think that if you do learn about glass you will eventually reach that day, in the market, when the light bulb goes on and you realize that you're looking at something that's early C19 perhaps and all they want for it is ten euros.   It really does happen, but you must read the books, go to antiques fairs/markets and handle the glass - it's a useful and inexpensive way to learn.

The annealing process wouldn't, IMHO, cause the surface to become matte  -  more likely the blue was dull to start with, or some other agent has deteriorated the original lustre, assuming it had one.       Glass is notoriously difficult to re-shine -  it can be done but needs prodigious amounts of patience, or alternatively you need professional acid treatment  ..........  but then again if acid was used in the proximity of stained glass more harm might happen than good.               Live with the dullness, it's part of the life of your piece of glass, which if it could speak would have such tales to tell, and no it isn't a reject - just something that has seen life and lived - do you shine all over? ;)          Don't under any circumstances go anywhere near acid - simply isn't worth it.
Problems with annealing are possibly  .........  cracks, shrinkage, distortion, but not usually a lack of shine.

The next step up in terms of quality - re coloured glass that is cut-to-clear, is the proper overlay process  -  have a look at some of the Val Saint-Lambert from the early to mid C20 - breathtaking beauty and skill - especially the art deco shaped/designed pieces.      And then view some of the art nouveau Daum, Galle, Goupy, Baccarat deco shapes, Argy-Rousseau and States Tiffany style glass - it does tick on a bit.
If I have a favourite it's probably deco.

Know what you mean about wanting to know about your pieces  -  unfortunately in the glass business we have to learn to live often with anonymity and lack of attribution  -  this is what drives some people to collect only those pieces that come with provenance of some kind, but that's to overlook the fact that beauty remains beauty whether there's a label or not.

As for the Biedermeier style, it seems to have a smaller following here than the Continent, perhaps.        I'm never quite sure how to describe the style  -  is it a sort of middle European arts and crafts, late French Empire fashion which came from Germany - is this your architects coat now speaking. ;D      Something to do with the Romantic movement?  or is that wrong.

Finally, as for dating your blue piece - my honest uneducated opinion is that it's more likely to be from the first half of the C20 than the second half of the C19  -  but that is my humble opinion only - and just think, once you've read your books you may be able to tell us when it was made.
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: rabugheida on January 08, 2018, 08:12:21 PM
I was just thinking...since it seems that you have been around this place a bit, what if you invited some of the others to drop by and take a look then?  Not that I'm not appreciative of my audience of one, but it does make me feel a bit of a Forum Flunky :'(

I'm sorry to say that the 12C is certainly not at the top of my list for interesting eras past.  ;D  I was more hoping to learn about crystal artists from the region during the biedermeier period, that is to say 1815-1848, other then the great Egermann of course.
You are correct to say it was of German origins, but the waves were felt throughout central europe and into bohemia.  As any other artistic style, like art noveau, Deco, the bauhaus , I like to think it was a mood, a set of trends that influenced all the arts of the period, music, literature, the visual arts and in our case the decorative arts. But all this you can find online...

For myself, I like to place buildings and objects in the spirit of their time.  If I can imagine how people were living, what was important to them, how they dressed and spent their time, then my understanding of the art and architecture produced is much much deeper and enduring quite simply.

If you are ever in Paris you must visit  the Petite Palais to see their glass collection.  Its quite small but their examples of Galle, daum and lalique, up close and personal, take my breath away.  It's even free.

And as a sidenote, a wierd and wonderful film on glass is "Heart of glass" by Werner Herzog ;)

Back to the task at hand... I have to disagree with you on placing the vase in the 20th century.  I have wandered, scoped out and picked up lots of glass in all shapes and sizes, and I absolutely think it is 19th century. 
as its motifs is what drew me to it first, how can I learn more about these?  It couldn't be that you have stags in a forest or buildings in the tropics cut into crystal and passed down through history without them having meaning, instead just as cute little drawings that speak of the tradition of crystal making. 
A stag in the forest could represent nature, and its strong haunches and horns its strength and virility,  the king of the forest, for example, and a deep respect for him.  A building certainly represents the man-made but no less important endeavor that is architecture.  Perhaps the palm trees make it paradise and the first of these motifs was inspired by an incredible castle  of towers that was the pride of the whole nation or just the imagination of the first person to cut it into a crystal goblet, his own little paradise.

Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: KevinH on January 08, 2018, 08:39:29 PM
In Reply #5, Paul said:
Regret I know nothing of limitations of posts for new members - I'd just keep banging away if I were you  -  they'll soon moan if you get it wrong.

 ;D ;D Some members might say something, but us Moderators will simply smile and refer you to what we think is the most relevant part of Board Policy. As for "limitations of posts" what we have in the Rules section ( is simply:
Please do not have more than two or three ID queries on the front page at any one time. This is considered impolite as it hogs the board and makes it difficult for others to discuss their glass.

Also in the Rules is a comment about how long it takes to get a reply, which couild be "many months":
Not everyone drops by on a daily basis. It may take a week or two, or longer, to get a reply. Some after many months! Bumping after a month is fine.
Some requests get no reply at all - but many members do at least say, "Hi, welcome, sorry but I know nothing about your item ..." - just like Paul has done here.  ;D
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: KevinH on January 08, 2018, 08:51:36 PM
As an addition to the discussion, I can add that one of the main problems with trying to set a date for generic "Bohemian" items with wheel engraved motifs is that those motifs have been repeated ever since the first Egermann ones became popular.

There are some basic differences between the 19th century versions and those of, say, modern "Bohemiai Crytsal" output, but what is lacking for most of us is a research manual detailing all the motifs and their variations over the years!

If I can get some decent photos I may set up a thread showing close-up details of a few motifs from a very few items I have which are thought to be 19th century. And I might also make some comparisons to similar motifs that I can find on the internet. But if I do that, it could take "many months".
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: rabugheida on January 08, 2018, 08:59:59 PM
I'm so excited guys!!!
at the same moment Kevin stopped by, I decided to check into photos of Prague for ideas as Prague is renown in the Architectural community
In my research about the motifs I have come across many variations of the building motif, but  what was always the same was two towers, one taller than the other, connect together by a bridge of some sort..*

And I just found it!!!
well at least I think so
I still have to learn more but its called "the lesser town bridge tower" Wonderful day!

p.s  As this motif was repeated, it does make sense that there are variations, as different artists slowly changed the motif over time, interpreting the drawing or perhaps even unknowing of the building which inspired it.  I have also seen the Architectural motif as more of a sort of castle or palace too.
Kevin, I'm very glad this subject is of interest to you as well.  Can't wait to learn more


pss.  I can't stop and I have to get up early tomorrow
here is another example of the two towers with bridge no time to research now but certainly will , but it will be a few days as I have a guest arriving and can't be glued to the computer all day
the painting is called "towers of king karls bridge"  by anatole krasnyansky

here it is...

Towers of King Karls Bridge (

The Lesser Town Bridge Tower (

Mod: Images replaced by links to websites - in accordance with Board Policy on use of third party copyright images.
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: Paul S. on January 08, 2018, 09:23:04 PM
well, at least I can take a rest now that Kevin has joined the conversation ;D ;)

I don't know that there was much respect for the stag as king of the forest in the mid C19  -  more likely that stag hunting was a popular pastime, along with boar hunting, and much other hunting - trophies on the wall were very popular, and they probably shot anything that moved.
Such images were popular on ceramics and glass, and the geometric patterning - shown commonly on the Egermann pieces as Kevin has reminded us - has remained almost unchanged since the mid C19  ..........  if you have something that is successful then don't change it. 

Would agree it's just possible that your 'towers image' might actually represent some location from the real world, but not an easy one to pin down.           Never been to Prague but pictures I've seen do suggest it's architecture is visually very attractive.

I no longer have the book, but from memory there's a volume by a States couple whose name was Truit or very similar, and I forget the publishers too.        There's much Bohemian art nouveau glass depicted and seem to remember there is a lot of Egermann and similar stained glass shown in the book.        Perhaps someone here can post the full title of the book etc.            It's worth getting if you are interested in that style/period/fashion from the C19.
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: KevinH on January 09, 2018, 07:50:26 PM
The book that Paul mentioned is: Collectible Bohemian Glass 1880-1940, by Robert & Deborah Truitt, Published by B&D Glass, 1995.

As Paul said, there are many images of "Egermann line" items - they are reproductions in b&w of six pages from a Goldberg catalogue of the 1930s. Sadly, the images are too small to easily view details, but with patience and a magnifier, it is possible to get a general idea of the motifs used.

There was also a second book, published 1998, with basically the same title but for 1915-1945. It covers Art Deco and onward, but shows one "Egermann style" item from the Palda works and three from Exbor (the Exbor items are under a heading of "recent and continuing production).
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: Paul S. on January 09, 2018, 08:00:35 PM
thanks Kevin.
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: rabugheida on January 12, 2018, 06:08:26 PM
Hello there :D

I'd very much like to respond to some of Paul's interesting ideas and Kevins too, but now the idea to start a new thread seems a better place for it...
somehow I just got very busy, and as a newcomer here I'm a bit shy of starting a new thread myself
so I was wondering if you, Kevin would be able to do so?
It would be great to solicit as many pictures as possible from other members for a start...
Title: Re: bohemian blue etched vase
Post by: Anne on January 12, 2018, 11:51:53 PM
Please don't be shy, just dive in and if you get stuck holler for help, and if we see you going off base we'll guide you gently back.

Did I say welcome to the board already... if I didn't, I will now...  welcome! :)