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European glass

Venetian Glass

Tradition holds that, after the fall of the Roman Empire, glass makers were among the refugees from the Gothic invasion of Italy in the fifth and sixth centuries AD who founded the city of Venice. The earliest record of glass being made in Venice of a “phial maker” named Domenico who lived there in 909. […]  Continue Reading »

Bohemian Glass

The first country to seriously challenge the domination of Venice in glass making was Bohemia. The area was ideal for glass making because of its white sands and dense forests for fuel and potash. In about 1670, Henry Lehman perfected a method of etching glass with fluoric acid so that the ornament showed smooth against […]  Continue Reading »

Austrian (Jugenstil) Glass

In the late 19th century, when the Art Nouveau movement was sweeping France, Britain and America, a similar movement known as Jugedstil (literally “youth style”) swept Germany and Austria. Its most brilliant flowering was in the Austrian glass design between about 1870 and 1900. Reacting against what were seen as stereotyped designs in Bohemian glass, […]  Continue Reading »

French Glass

During the Middle Ages, the French created unsurpassed stained glass windows, and from the late seventeenth century they were the leading mirror makers of Europe; but, for vessels, glass was considered unworthy of serious artistic treatment. A strict customs barrier imposed in 1830 encouraged the development of French art glass. From 1830 to 1870 most […]  Continue Reading »

Glass Paperweights

Glass paperweights have been a popular collectable for well over 200 years. A particular style is the millefiori in which coloured glass rods are set into clear molten glass to form patterns of flowers, fruit or abstract shapes. This style was developed in the 18th century by Venetian glass makers and the art peaked around […]  Continue Reading »

Lalique Glass

RenĂ© Lalique was born in France in 1860. He trained as a silversmith but, at an early age, discovered a talent and passion for sculpture and jewellery design in many other materials. Lalique was a major force in the art nouveau movement, introducing novel themes and materials into his work. These included the use of […]  Continue Reading »

Swedish Glass

The earliest Swedish glass was made at the Kungsholm Glasbuk which opened in 1676. The pieces produced were Venetian in flavour and highly ornate – often with stems formed from the royal initials, crowns used as handles and engraved coats of arms. In the eighteenth century, a Bohemian influence was introduced with thicker glass, shorter […]  Continue Reading »

Danish & Norwegian Glass

In 1741 King Christian VI of Norway and Denmark commanded the establishment of a glassworks at Nostetangen (in Norway) to meet the needs of his kingdom. After some years of experimental work, in 1760 the Nostetangen was granted a monopoly and the import of foreign glass was banned. From 1760 to 1770, two types of […]  Continue Reading »