Kralik 7: Silberband and related decors

1. Passau Museum Silberbands

For many years I have obsessed about a series of vessels, ranging from the truly monumental to miniatures, which appear in the Passau Museum catalogue (1989) under “unidentified,” though Jan Mergl mentions the Fritz Heckert Studio as a possible source.

            In my own article on Kralik glass for Loetz.com (2000) I purposely dealt with them at the end, tentatively attributing them and describing them as such: “There is a large family of vases constituting perhaps one of the greatest attribution mysteries in Czech Jugendstil production. From the 70’s to the present they have been classified and marketed as Loetz, no doubt because of their exquisite colors and decoration, their many times considerable size, and their exotic shapes (See Hilschenz: 365 through 372; and also the Habsburg-Feldman catalogue from May 13-14,1990: 62/168; 62/184,186,188). They also have been classified as Pallme-König (Hilchenz 399,400; Brohan 294,295). However, the PMC currently lists them as "anonymous production".  Check out pictures 39-50 in the Kralik article for Loetz.com

           

            I also decided to call them “Silberband.” As it turned out, this particular denomination only applies to two types of decors.  To make matters more complicated, I eventually discovered through a comparison of shapes that other decors were also used.  Therefore, I ended up with a large group of related vessels in a wide variety of decors, but showing subtle similarities in shape. Whenever possible, I will use vases not shown on my article for loetz.com.

    Silverband proper does refer to two specific decors: vessels in clear glass with a combination of cranberry and amber or green and amber spots and wide irregular “silberbands”,  amber glass submitted to metallic salts and turning silvery.  The bands are "fused," that  is, totally integrated to the body of the vessel.

 

 

 2. Green Silberband

 Vessels in red also exhibit the bands of silver metallic iridescence (see loetz.com) but in many, the amber is far more pronounced:


3. Red/amber silberband

A  second variation appears, with cobalt or salmon/pink vessels exhibiting symmetrical Silberband decoration.  These are the rarest and most difficult to find.



4. 9.5", 12"

Gary Gibson has sent me the follwoing pictures.  The bowl is his; the vase comes from Internet:

      5. Notice how this shape appears in different  decors

            
6.  This vas ecurrently retails for $3000 as Loetz!   
                      

A third group comprises vessels in clear glass, amber spots and wide darker amber irregularly looped  "fused" decoration.    

 

7. Amber "fused" band decor

                           

Let's move now move on to a different décor, characterized by a very marked "raised" threading, quite distinct from the Silberband or  wide amber festooning.  By "raised" I mean the decoration seems to stand out from the body of the vessel.

 1. Clear vessels with bright metallic amber spotting and raised irregular gold thread decoration.   

   

8. Gold raised decor, 13"

 2. Clear glass vessels with metallic amber spots and  irregular green fused threading:.


9. Green fused decor, 10"

3. . Dark purple vessels with amber metallic spotting and  fused amber irregular threading.  Both vases below are 14” tall.


10. Purple raised decor

This next example comes from Internet.:

11. Vase in metal frame, also offered as Loetz


  4. Vases in clear glass with amber and cranberry spotting and amber fused/raised threading.  The photograph below shows vases in both techniques.  The vase on the right is my latest:

12. RED BANDED AND FUSED DECOR, 12"

5. Vases in green glass with amber spotting and raised  irregular festooning:

 

13. GREEN FUSED DECOR, 13"

            The raised decor also appears on inkwells and lamp shades:

14.GREEN SHADE WITH RAISED DECOR

  


15. MOTTLED SHADE WITH RAISED DECOR

 
I later found two pieces in clear glass, amber spotting and reddish-brown threading.  Both are quite large: the vase in the metal frame (which is not original to it) measures 12” and the scissored piece is 14”.  In terms of sheer monumentality, they correspond to the others in my collection:



16. REDDISH BROWN "FUSED" DECOR

             There are several characteristics these groups of vases all share.  Though they do come in all sizes and shapes, they are most frequently found in very large sizes—I have seen a 26” trumpet vase both in the red and the gold.  Their shapes show an unmistakable influence from Islamic and Oriental glass and ceramic production. Decors employ variations on irregularly applied threading of different thicknesses and widths.  Most are made in clear glass, with combinations of cranberry, green and amber spotting.  Their type of threading extends to shades and inkwells.

Ironically, even today, at the Passau Museum, they are  displayed on the floor of a case most infamously in a niche under a stairwell—the trumpet vases are in the last row. Notice that the Silberbands are simply mixed in with vases by other makers.
17. PASSAU DISPLAY 2

 However, they are routinely marketed as Loetz, though no one has been able to document them as such.  I have made it a habit to add pictures of new shapes to my archive every time they appear on eBay, and their sheer variety still astounds me.  These vases constitute a major production effort on the part of their manufacturer, and a paragon of Czech Art Nouveau glass production. Since identification and attribution, according to the market, is perception turned into reality, I chose to say they are Kralik, but will be very glad if someone proves me wrong (with ample research and documentation, not “The former owner/auction house/a friend/a dealer/a gypsy woman/my deceased grandmother/ told me so).  Just don’t tell me they are Loetz!

Kralik 8: Miscellaneous pieces

           

VASES FROM INTERNET: I have put together pictures of vases from Internet in order to give an idea of the tremendous variety in shape.  Pictures from the collections of Wayne Pattinson, Gastone Buonsembiante and Rosa María Mastomas are also included:

First group: clear glass, spotting, threading in amber, clear, green, blue

or brown:

18. Gold/amber 1


19. Gold/amber 2 (WP)

20. Gold/blue (WP)


21. Gold/brown


22. Gold/clear


23. TRUMPET VASE, 26"


24.GOLD/CLEAR


25. GOLD/AMBER


26. GOLD/GREEN


25. GOLD/GREEN


27. GOLD/GREEN


28. GREEN SILBERBAND


29. GREEN SILBERBAND

30. GREEN ON GREEN


31. GREEN LAMP TANK




32. GREEN SILBERBAND


33. RED SILBERBAND


34. RED SILBERBAND


35. RED SILBERBAND

36. RED SILBERBAND (RMM)


37. RARE PURPLE RED.  IT MIGHT THROW A NEW LIGHT ON "CARDIAC" VASES ATTRIBUTED TO PK.


38. BANDED SALMON VASE


  SHAPE STUDIES REVEAL THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DIFFERENT DECORS:


39. HEXAGON VASES


40. JIP VASES


41. TRICORN VASES


42. HYACINTH VASES



NEW: IMPORTANT PIECE BECAUSE IT SHOWS SILVERBAND WITH AN EXTRAORDINARY SCISSORING ON THE TOP. THE SELLER ADVERTISED IT AS 26" ACROSS.  IT TURNS OUT SHE WAS MEASURING CIRCUMFERENCE!  IT IS REALLY MORE LIKE 9"X9" AND 5.5" WIDE

 
43. JARDINIERE
6/20/09 UPDATE
Kai Hasselbach, a German collector and glass researcher, has provided two photographs further confirming that these vases all have a common manufacturer:

44. Vase in purple/blue, raised decor.


45.  Same shape in the brown threading.

My latest:


46. Green raised decor

And a new shape in purple/blue raised decor

47. New shape

UPDATE: FROM PHOTOGRAPHS FROM KAI HASSELBACH'S EXTENSIVE FILES AND CONTRIBUTIONS FROM OTHER CORRESPONDENTS, I HAVE CREATED A SHAPES CATALOG FOR THIS FAMILY OF VASES, CONTAINING 66 DIFFERENT SHAPES WHICH APPEAR IN SEVERAL DECORS.
THE FILE IS TOO BIG TO BE POSTED.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE IT, OR TO SEND ADDITIONAL PHOTOS, WRITE TO MY E-MAIL ADDRESS ON THE HOME PAGE. 

Comments