Czech Art Deco Figural Glass

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The Art deco style  flourished during the interwar years throughout europe.. and Czechoslavakia was no exception. With the establishment of the new Czech Republic in 1918 the previously strong glass making industry of some 150 glass works was re established . However it was not until 1925 that production recovered and exports began to reach pre war levels .The major glass making studios in Prague and Brno were responsible for technical developments enabling mass production of glass home wares ,allowing smaller studios to start up all over the republic .

Perhaps the most interesting and quirky of all glass production came in the form of handblown figural compositions , lighthearted expressions of the interest in travel and foreign and exotic destinations , which came with the improvements in mass production of literature, films and photography.Like all of the world the discovery of Tutankhamens tomb by the British in 1922 caused considerable excitement and stimulated the creativity of artists everywhere . Many of the figural compositions depict palms,Africa and the temperate countries,usually with elephants ,monkeys and palm trees .All reflect the common dream of sunshine and adventure to transport the viewer to another place during long cold european winters .


 From the late 1920s Jarosel Brychta who worked for the state glass making school ,was responsible for the design of many figurals, made with gas burner flame .Smaller home workshops were set up and given designs to execute ,allowing employment to grow in smaller towns. This integration of art and production into the general Czech society is a hallmark of the Czech Republic in the interwar years.While some earlier pieces were mounted on glass, the majority were set with wire into fine bakelite wafer bases,allowing the whole scene to stay in its intended format and be moved with less chance of breakage.Many Italians had migrated to the Czech capital cities to take part in the building jobs boom and their talents with plaster and glass mosaics where used in much of the new architecture .The similarity in Czech and Italian blown figures is no doubt due to this cross cultural integration of skills and artistic ideas.

These wonderful glass dreamscapes were only produced in small number,and so are in themselves quite rare due to the limited quanity and the fact that they are glass and fragile.When you gaze at one of these artworks and imagine the common dreams and humour that transcend time, it attests to the talents of these artists and designers of the the Czech Republic during the Art Deco years .


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