Loetz 4: Tango Glass

Tango Glass, created by Loetz, was soon produced by several companies in great quantities, making it very difficult for it to be attributed correctly to any one of them.
The very first issue of Czechoslovakian Collectors Guild International (spring 1995) carried an article called "The Art of Michael Powolny, The Master" in which Wes Nedblake attributed practically all existent Tango glass to Powolny, with particular reference to three handled pieces.
 
In 2002, in the first issue of the Journal of Czech Decorative Arts, Jitka Lnenickova publishes "Tango Glass by Loetz" where she clarifies once and for all that Tango three handled pieces fall collectively under Ausf. 162 which she describes as "hot shaped decoration with three contrasting feet and flat handles", with the shapes "inspired" by Marie Kirschner.
In another issue of the same journal, 2,1 (Spring/Summer 2003), Ron Perrin further explores Powolny glass, making a few important observations: (A) Powolny was primarily a ceramist; (B) His glass designs number about 25; (C) He was mainly known for vessels with vertical stripes and vessels with multiple handles pulled from the mass. Perrin shows three handled pieces clearly labeled "non-Powolny designs". Both issues may still be available from the Czech Collectors Society (See Useful Links).
 
However, in the recently published Loetz Tango Glass, Herman Spenk repeats Nedblake's misattribution of all Tango glass to Powolny. Moreover, he creates a new category called "Loetz-Kralik", as if both companies were one and the same. Buy the book for the pictures, but not for the information, which is totally useless and actually dangerous, since by now every dealer on E-Bay is referring to the book as if it were the Tango "bible".

In other words, 95% of what is called "Powolny Tango" (one of the great internet urban legends) is not only not Powolny, but not even Loetz. However, "Powolny" has become generically associated with all Tango glass, a canard that dealers and collectors are only too willing to perpetuate, I assume for the cachet of owning and selling "designer" Loetz.


 
1. POWOLNY DESIGNS AT THE PASSAU MUSEUM

There is a further aspect to be considered. Loetz Tango pieces were often decorated by other companies. In Collectible Bohemian Glass 1840-1940 by Robert and Deborah Truitt there is a most intriguing picture of a page from a Carl Hosch catalog showing what are unmistakably enameled Loetz three handled pieces.
 
2. PAGE 76, BOTTOM LEFT

These are some Loetz decorated Tango pieces at the Passau Museum:
3. DECORATED LOETZ TANGO AT THE PM

4. MORE PM LOETZ TANGO

Some pieces of Loetz Tango come marked with the oval provenance mark associated with late Loetz pieces. 

5. OVAL MARK, LOETZ (INT)

Loetz has another, square mark, which appears in even later production. As far as I know, it does not appear on Tango glass.

 
6. LOETZ SQUARE MARK

I only have three Loetz oval marked pieces in my Tango collection:
7. MARKED PIECES AVC

It is safe to assume tht three handled pieces are Loetz, but not Powolny. The only known design, Ausf. 162, was "inspired by Marie Kirschner", according to Lnenickova. I have divided them into groups according to color.
 
8. GREEN WITH BLUE HANDLES, AVC

The vase below has the same kind of apple green color, but it has changed with the light.

 9. GREEN VASE, AVC

10.  RED/ORANGE GROUP

The vase below has a darker red hue:
11. DARK RED, BLACK HANDLES, AVC
 
Yellow is perhaps my favorite Tango color:

12.  YELLOW GROUP, AVC

13. A RECOGNIZABLE LOETZ SHAPE

14. The foot has French marks. But the shade is unmistakably Powolny Tango. AVC


 
The next category comprises sherbets or ice cream glasses and plates. The plates are 9" in diameter and have polished pontils. They are unmarked, but correspond in color to the goblets:
15. PINK GOBLET, MARKED
PINK DISH, UNMARKED


16. JADE GOBLET AND DISH, UNMARKED

The next dish is smaller, at 8" in diameter, and the black rim is placed so that it does not show from the top. It also has a polished pontil.

18.  ORANGE PLATE

The next 2 plates are 8.5" in diameter, have a pontil, and a softer rim:
18.  LARGER ORANGE PLATE

19. LARGER BLUE PLATE

I have tentatively classified these two water bottle sets as Loetz based on color similarity to my other Loetz pieces:

20.  WATER SET RED

21. WATER SET YELLOW
 
David Littlefield has contributed pictures of vases in his collection which also have the oval mark:
 
22. DL 1
   
 23.DL 2
 
24. DL 3
 
Tom Rood has these pieces: 
 
 25. TR 1
 
     26. TR 2
 
It is extremely important to remember that there are at least two oval marks that do not correspond to Loetz. Both say "Made in Czechoslovakia," as in this piece belonging to Warren Gallé:
 
27. WG NON-LOETZ VASE
 
28. NON-LOETZ MARK 1
 
Tom Rood has the following piece, wiht a second non-Loetz oval mark:
 
29. NON-LOETZ VASE
 
30. OVAL MARK, NON LOETZ 2
 
If you have Loetz Tango, marked or unmarked, which does not already appear on this page, please send a picture. Remember, for an oval mark to be Loetz, it cannot say "Made in". 
 
31. TRUE LOETZ OVAL MARK
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