Friday, October 24, 2014

Private  guide in Prague

Bohemia Crystal
Glass making in the Czech lands occur from time immemorial and inseparably belong together. Historical findings showed glass processing in this area since the time of the Celts, two thousand years ago, at the beginning of the Christian calendar, though the first written references and evidence are from the 60s to the tenth century.

The first industrial production of glass by glass factories in the Czech Republic dates back to the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, when it produced the first glassworks. They are of strategic reason began to exhibit in pristine frontier areas Lusatian Mountains, the Giant Mountains, the Bohemian and Moravia. From the mid-14th century, the oldest Czech glassworks rendered almost transparent glass origin and created from it goblets, cups and church windows (later enriched by paintings), among others, for the Roman Emperor and Czech King Charles IV, who let them fill the window of Prague Castle .

In the 16th century, according to historical sources, the glass has been produced in 34 Czech smelters. In all likelihood, however, there were far more.

Famous era and fame Czech glassworks continued in the next period, which greatly promoted the Emperor Rudolf II, who magnificent Czech glassmakers products. With the acquisition of ever greater popularity in the world, Czech glass and has earned precedence over previously prized Venetian glass, which have already been pushed to one side, and later became an English glass is mainly due to the production of crystal glass, its unique color variation and brusům glass, and so the Czech glass has become a symbol of quality and creativity, in short, has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Bohemia crystal in the 19th century

In 1900, Czech glassmakers were numerically represented at the World Exhibition in Paris, where the glassworks of Klostermühle won the highest award - the Grand Prix (Grand Prix). Impressive levels should also products from Harrachov glassworks in the New World, Moser glassworks in Karlovy Vary. 

The vocational schools in glass Kamenický Šenov and Nový Bor, founded in 1856, was added in 1920, the first Czech Glass School in Zelezny Brod and has been instrumental in the emergence of another important visual centers of development and production of decorative and utility glass in Bohemia.

Chandeliers from Kamenického Šenova lit up in the twenties and thirties interiors opera houses in Rome, Milan, Brussels and luxury hotels in the United States and others.

The 20th century of Czech glassmaking

During the 20th century, the Czechs lands were devastated by two world wars and the iron grip of Communism. Despite the upheavals, crystal production was maintained, and many an artisan turned out excellent works over the decades. With the coming of the free market in 1989, the crystal was available to foreign tourists flocking to the country.  Currently, Czech crystal is one of the most popular items that visitors buy in the Czech Republic. It is available in a staggering variety of forms – glasses, candlesticks, rings, chandeliers, vases and much more.

In the 20th century to the automated production of table drinking glass with the help of the third millennium reminiscent technologies, but did not challenge the traditions and life experiences multiplied attraction in the mill hand shaped and decorated, cut, engraved, painted or using other techniques created objects.
Manufacture of crystal glass in the Czech Republic has a long tradition and today holds the best quality in the world.

Moser crystal

History of the Moser glassworks is historically associated with the name of Ludwig Moser (1833 - 1916), one of the most outstanding personalities of glass manufacturing in the world. He first opened his own shop and engraver´s workshop in the centre of Karlovy Vary and in the same town in 1893 he starts production in his own glass workshop, which has been operating successfully until today. Within a short time he gained the reputation as the most prestigious producer of crystal in the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. The titles of the court suppliers of emperor Franz Joseph I (1873), Persian shah Musaffereddine (1901) and king Edward VII of England (1908) further increased the reputation of the crystal and the interest of other politicians and emperors. Then, in the year 1922, Moser glass manufactory became the biggest producer of luxurious drinking and decorative glass in Czechoslovakia. The success of Ludwig Moser, whose heritage has been developed since then, consists in the production of ecologically friendly lead-free crystal, of a unique colour spectrum, specially designed by the most prestigious designers and in excellent hand manufacturing. To develope this tradition, Moser glass manufactory co-operates with the most talented designers, glassmakers, cutters and engravers, whose craftsmanship helps create masterpieces in their branch. From its very beginning, its products are being presented in the most important world exhibitions, in which they have been awarded with important awards. Special pieces of art require a selected international sales network. The first specialized shop Moser was opened in the centre of Prague in 1925. Since that time, the inland sales have spread to three more brand shops and by exclusive representatives worldwide. Nowadays, the glass manufactory is a joint stock company with entirely Czech capital and approximately 320 employees.


In the regions of Lusatian and Jizera Mountains, Giant Mountains, and Bohemian Forest, glassworks were established since the very second half of the 13th and first half of the 14th centuries. Their products made of practically limpid potash-lime glass always ranged themselves to sought-after articles of respected quality.

The glassmaking in the area of Nový Bor, and the abilities of local glassmakers and decorators became a legend. In the 18th and 19th centuries, almost all the trade with Bohemian glass had gradually concentrated just in this locality. Besides this centre, also new Moravian glassworks were originated. The mature tradition of native glassmaking was then raised to a respectable industrial and trade level.
90% of our production heads successfully abroad, to 70 countries. Our most important consumers are the countries of European Union, Russia, Ukraine, and also the increasingly demanding clientele of other countries of the former Soviet Union. We accomplish significant sales at the markets of North and South America, and in a number of countries of Africa and Asia, too.
Crystalex specializes in stemware, tumblers, various decorations, vases, jugs and decanters.

How to recognize authentic Bohemia crystal?

Here are some hints about how to distinguish fake pressed glass produced in China from original Bohemia hand cut crystal. Most crystal glasses contain a certain amount of lead, which gives the glass the qualities listed below. (However, Moser crystal does not have lead in it.)
-    When you hold it against the sun, it shows rainbow colors.
-    It is heavier than normal glass.
-    When you tap it, the glass makes a longer sound than normal glass does.
When the glass contains a certain amount of lead, artists who cut the decorative patterns into the glass can make cuts into the glass without leaving any cracks. When workers use a diamond cutter, it is said to be like slicing butter. After they are cut, the patterns look matt. The crystal glass is immersed into an acid bath, which gives it the appearance of clear crystal again. Because it is then difficult to distinguish from the pressed glass made in China, the glassmakers sometimes make a few more cuts after giving it the acid bath. They leave the cuts in the glass, so that it is clear that the pieces of art have been hand cut. 

ERPET Bohemia Crystal Shop with the original Bohemia Crystal in Prague:

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