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, Jugendstil craftsmen experimented with the nature of glass – particularly its malleability when heated and its translucent properties.
A number of techniques were used to create original works of art. These included the iridescence produced by coating the glass with a metal oxide and heating it in a furnace, cased glass made with two or more layers of differently coloured glass, cameo glass made by cutting or etching cased glass and combed glass in which threads of molten coloured glass are dragged across the surface to produce a marbled effect.
The best known of the Austrian glassworks is Loetz, which is noted for its iridescent glassware, particularly that produced in the 1890s, and J & L Lobmeyer, which pioneered the commercial production of iridescent glass in the 1860s.