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Producing pieces for almost a century, Loetz Glass upheld the tradition
of Bohemian glassmaking excellence while also exploring innovative
approaches to design. Creating tableware and art glass pieces ranging from
crystalline clarity to iridescent opacity, Loetz became a world-renowned
producer whose name still excites glass enthusiasts today.
Established as the Johann Loetz Witwe glassworks in 1855, Loetz's
initial production centered on crystal glass as well as painted pieces. Within
20 years, however, the company transformed as it embraced modern
technologies as well as emerging trends in glass designs. Loetz designers
experimented with novel glass treatments such as marbled glass, which
resembled semi-precious minerals.
One of the most influential glass trends was that of iridescent Tiffany
Favrile glass at the end of the 19th century. Loetz followed that inspiration
to develop their own Phänomen iridescent glass to capitalize on the Art
Nouveau demand. Loetz continued to stay on trend throughout the early
years of the 20th century with brightly-colored Tango glass introduced in
1914. Though the World Wars would bring Loetz's downfall, the legacy of
their rich glassmaking tradition lives on in exceptional antique pieces
Loetz's Phänomen pieces, created by lead designer Franz
Hofstätter, won a top prize at both the 1900 Parisian Exposition Universelle
and the 1904 World's Fair in Saint Louis, Missouri
Loetz was known to create a paper pattern for each of his designs from
1885 onward that included information such as pattern run, a unique serial
number, and price. Many of these pages are conserved today at the Sumavy
Sušice Museum in Sušice, Czech Republic
A destructive fire in the factory on the eve of World War I followed by
the economic downturn of the Great Depression pushed Loetz to the brink of
bankruptcy in 1939. They finally shuttered their doors in
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