above: Loetz "papillon"
glass vase c. 1900
| Loetz or Lotz Glass: A short explanation
The Loetz glassworks existed in Klostermuhle, Austria, for just over a hundred years, starting from 1840. But its heyday was during the life-time of Max Ritter Von Spaun, grandson of the original Johann Loetz who had founded the company. Von Spaun took over the company in 1879 and ran it until 1908, a year before his death. He was assisted by Eduard Prochaska, his technical specialist, and together they invented, designed and produced a whole series of wonderful new types of glass, taking out several patents and winning awards at all the major world exhibitions during the 1890's and the first years of the new century.
The Loetz company were amongst the leaders in Art Nouveau design and expecially in irridescent art glass. "Papillon" glass, like the vase on the left, is sometimes known today as "oil spot" glass. Another favourite Loetz colouring was irridized glass with pulled trails called "Phenomenon" glass. There were irridized vases with ribbons of metallic colours winding over the surface, and many spectacular designs with applied trails of beautiful colours, or simply pulled out of the body of the glass to form handles or decoration.
About 1900 the company started collaborating with outside designers, and some great artists designed pieces for Lotz, notably Joseph Hofmann, Koloman Moser, Maria Kirchner, and Hofstatter.
In 1908 Loetz was taken over by Max Von Spaun's son, also called Max, and although it struggled financially (going through bankruptcy in 1911 and again in 1931) there were several great designers whose work was produced by Loetz during those years and through the art deco period. These included Adolf Beckert and Michael Powolny.
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If you are looking for glass made by Loetz, you can often find items on offer on ebay
- click here to see the Loetz glass listings currently offered on ebay.
The items below are for sale right now on eBay - we thought you would like to see these examples.
There are two large reference books by Ricke which reproduce the original company catalog pictures, to help identify Loetz glass. But Loetz glass was rarely signed, so some pieces are often mis-ascribed and hard to identify with certainty.
References & Bibliography:
1: Lotz: Bohmisches Glas 1880-1940 Band 1, Werkmonographie, by Helmut Ricke, 1989.
2: Lotz: Bohmisches Glas 1880-1940 Band 2, Katalog der Musterschnitte, by Helmut Ricke, 1989.
3: Collectible Bohemian Glass: 1880-1940, by Robert and Deborah Truitt, 1995
4: Glass: Art Nouveau to Art Deco, by Victor Arwas, Academy Editions, 1987.
5: Czechoslovakian Glass 1350 - 1980, Corning Museum of Glass, 1981.
6: Loetz Austria 1905-1918, by Waltraud Neuwirth, 1986.
7: Loetz Austria 1900, by Waltraud Neuwirth, 1986.
8: Bohemian Glass, by Sylva Petrova & Jean-Luc Olivie, 1989.
9: Das Bohmische Glas, 1700-1950, band IV "Jugendstil"
10: Das Bohmische Glas, 1700-1950, band VI "Art Deco/Moderne".
Here are some books which include sections on Loetz glass that you may like to know about. Click on any picture to read more about that book, including price and any available discounts for buying on-line.
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