Designer: Jirí Suhajek Date of design: 1973 Factory: Moser, Karlovy Vary Period of manufacture: Late 1970s Size: 6.5in (16.5cm) high Price: £250

Jirí Suhajek is one of the Czech republic’s most important and progressive living glass designers. Gaining experience at the genesis of the studio glass movement in Britain under Sam Herman, he is also one of the few Czech glass artists who crosses design and making. Combined with the high quality of glass produced at Moser, Suhajek was able to create a number of important designs, including this vase. All were a new departure for Moser, in terms of their style and the way the designer worked closely with the glassmakers throughout the production process, and often with individual pieces. Random straps or trails applied in an almost painterly manner are a recurring motif in Suhajek’s work at this time. They serve to give an optical effect when combined with the body, and to drive home the unique ‘studio glass’ nature of this serially produced piece. The trailed ‘V’ shape is also repeated in Suhajek’s work …

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Designer: Jirí Suhajek Date of design: 1978 Factory: Crystalex, Novy Bor Period of manufacture: 1980s Size: 11.25in (28.5cm) high Price: £350

Jirí Suhajek is one of the Czech republic’s most important and progressive living glass designers. Gaining experience at the genesis of the studio glass movement in Britain under Sam Herman, he is also one of the few Czech glass artists who crosses glass making and design. Stylised floral or budding motifs recur frequently in Suhajek’s work of this period, and are typically joined by randomly applied trails or threads that indicate the unique, ‘studio glass’ nature of a piece. This piece is comparatively complex, and has an opaque white core cased in cobalt blue transparent glass. This is then embellished with randomly applied white trails, and a large bud-like spot also containing silver chloride. This popular range was produced in a number of shapes and sizes, includng a globe vases, cylinder vases, and a paperweight. It was also produced with an ochre mottled beige background instead of cobalt blue. The range was included in the 3rd …

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1960s Exbor Biomorphic Vase

Designer: Ladislav Oliva Date of design: c1968 Factory: Exbor Studios, Novy Bor Period of manufacture: c1970 Size: 8.25in (21cm) high Price: £550

Although made using historic techniques, this vase reverses the traditional production process. Typically, a vase would be cased in another colour, and that outer casing would be cut through into the body with the design. Here, everything else but the pattern itself is cut.  A large glass gob was overlaid with a thin layer of ‘gold ruby’ coloured glass and blown into a mould with the raised biomorphic pattern inside one side. When cool, the top and bottom and the four flat sides were cut and polished.  As the raised mould impressed the coloured glass into the pattern, it is not removed when the final form is cut. This vase was from a range of rectilinear vases and jardinières that also included geometric, grid like patterns. Colours included light blue, golden yellow, green, the pinky-red ‘gold ruby’, and purple. Inspiration was undoubtedly taken from modern art movements of the time, such as Pop art and …

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1970s Moser Ovoid Vase

Designer: Jirí Suhajek Date of design: 1975 Factory: Moser, Karlovy Vary Period of manufacture: Late 1970s Size: 8in (20.3cm) high Price: £500

Jirí Suhajek is one of the Czech republic’s most important and progressive living glass designers. Gaining experience at the very heart of the genesis of the studio glass movement in Britain under Sam Herman, he is also one of the very few Czech glass artists who crosses both design and making. Combined with the high quality of glass produced at Moser, Suhajek was able to create a number of landmark designs, including this vase. All were a new departure for Moser, in terms of their style and the way the designer worked closely with the glassmakers throughout the development of the production process, and sometimes with individual pieces. Suhajek was inspired by nature, and abstract, modern art in this design, and so has followed a tradition that began in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. The stylised flower is made up from melted glass chips, which are used in an almost painterly manner. The thick colourless body …

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Early 1960s Harrachov Topaz vase

Designer: Milan Metelák Date of design: 1957 Factory: Harrachov Period of manufacture: 1960s Size: 7.1in (18.3cm) high Price: £220

This is one of Metelák’s earliest publicised designs for Harrachov, and is typical of one key aspect of 1950s design in that it takes its inspiration from nature. In glass, this trend was led by Scandinavian designers such as Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva for Finland’s Iittala, and its immediate appeal and success meant that Czech glass designers also pursued it. In this design, this theme is seen in the proportionate, curving form with its asymmetric, pulled rim that opens up like a flower or leaf bud. It was part of a series of vases and bowls in this style that were produced in a range of colours including the orangey-red ‘Morning Red’, the yellow ‘Topaz’, and the deep blue ‘Evening Blue’. The colourless casing that tapers down out of the body forming a solid and heavy base is another hallmark of Metelák’s designs. He used this style of base again in a later range produced from 1968 …

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Designer: Josef Hospodka Date of design: 1965 Factory: Chribská, near Novy Bor Period of manufacture: Late 1960s Size: 8.6in (22cm) high Price: £320

Hospodka is best known at Chribská for his brightly coloured organic forms designed from the mid-1950s-60s, and inspired by glass produced on Murano. However, he was much more inventive, and utilised fully the hot-working talents of the glassmakers at Chribská. This unusual range is typical of that inventiveness. The hallmark pattern was obtained by blowing the core into an optical mould to leave a controlled pattern of diamond-shaped air bubbles. Mica powder was applied, and remained only in these air bubbles when it was blown into its final shape in a mould. Mica is a form of silicate mineral, and the name is derived from the Latin word mica, meaning ‘a crumb’, and also hints at the verb micare, meaning ‘to glitter’. The sandy texture of the mica powder also contrasts with the shiny, glassy surfaces. The core was cased with contrastingly coloured or colourless glass, with colours including blue and amber, amber and green, …

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Designer: Pavel Hlava Date of design: c1972 Factory: Cesky Cristál, Chlum u Trebone Period of manufacture: c1972 Size: 7.75in (19.5cm) high Price: £1,200

Pavel Hlava’s studio vases are almost iconic in the lexicon of postwar Czech glass. Although the studio glass movement was gathering pace outside Czechoslovakia at this time, and Hlava had had direct experience of this when he visited London’s Royal College of Art, it was never really taken up as an separate movement in Czechoslovakia. Unique forms of art glass were created, but these were made primarily in factories, and typically by glassmakers, rather than by the designers themselves. Most were also made only for exhibitions, rather than for sale. This rare vase is from a small range of what is best described as studio glass. Heat-sensitive glass was Hlava’s favoured material as it allowed him to explore colour. The glass mixture contained chemicals so that when parts were reheated, they changed colour and tone. Most examples graduate from yellow to red, as here, but colours may include greens and blues. Hlava’s vases …

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Rare Late 1950s Moser Topaz Vase

Designer: Frantisek Zemek Date of design: 1957 Factory: Moser, Karlovy Vary Period of manufacture: Late 1950s Size: 5.5in (14cm) high Price: £550

In the two years Zemek worked as a designer and cutter at Moser, he both produced new designs and embellished existing designs with new cut and engraved patterns. His own works explore form, and the effect cutting has on them. At its core, this vase has three sides, as indicated by the three peaks in the curving rim and the shape of the base. However, Zemek has disturbed this form by cutting the corners with broad, slightly concave facets. These combine to create an interesting optical and tonal effect that is enabled by the fine quality and purity of Moser’s glass. It was deemed an important design by the authorities and Zemek’s peers, and a photograph of it in Beryl coloured glass was given a space over a quarter page in size in the March-April issue of the State trade publication Czechoslovak Glass Review. In terms of exhibitions, designs by Zemek were displayed internationally for …

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Designer: Josef Hospodka Date of design: c1965 Factory: Chribská, near Novy Bor Period of manufacture: Late 1960s Size: 13.25in (33.5cm) high Price: £350

Hospodka is best known at Chribská for his brightly coloured organic forms designed from the mid-1950s-60s, and inspired by glass produced on Murano. However, he was considerably more inventive, particularly from the mid-1960s onwards, and utilised fully the hot-working talents of the glassmakers at Chribská. Part of the Novy Bor group, this factory specialised in producing hot-worked designs formed and decorated at the furnace. This extremely rare vase is typical of that aspect of his work and the factory. It is rare for two reasons. Firstly, the shape is scarce, but was used in other designs, such as the range with mica inclusions in diamond patterns or striped that was launched in 1966. Combining simple geometric forms of the cylinder, cone and oval, its wide central portion also makes it very practical. Secondly, this banded swirling pattern is scarce and, when found, is only seen on a small number of shapes, including an ashtray and other …

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Designer: Jirí Suhájek Date of design: c1980 Factory: Crystalex Period of manufacture: 1980s Size: 6.25in (16cm) high Price: £120

Jirí Suhájek is one of the Czech republic’s most important and progressive living glass designers. Gaining experience at the genesis of the studio glass movement in Britain under Sam Herman, he is also one of the few Czech glass artists who crosses glass making and design. Stylised floral motifs recur frequently in Suhájek’s work of this period, and are sometimes joined by randomly applied trails or threads that indicate the unique, ‘studio glass’ nature of a piece. Here, a stylised germinating seed, or bud, is joined by optical ribbing, and a complex production process. A gob of translucent white glass was blown into a ribbed optic mould before dark violet glass was trailed on to create the bud motif. The whole was then cased in colourless glass, with smokey grey glass at the base, and blown into a plain cylindrical mould. The piece was then reversed on the pontil to enable the rim to be finished.  A …

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Rare Late 1970s Moser Ovoid Vase

Designer: Jirí Suhajek Date of design: 1975 Factory: Moser, Karlovy Vary Period of manufacture: Late 1970s Size: 8in (20cm) high Price: £650

Jirí Suhajek is one of the Czech republic’s most important and progressive living glass designers. Gaining experience at the very heart of the genesis of the studio glass movement in Britain under Sam Herman, he is also one of the very few Czech glass artists who crosses both design and making. Combined with the high quality of glass produced at Moser, Suhajek was able to create a number of landmark designs, including this vase. All were a new departure for Moser, in terms of their style and the way the designer worked closely with the glassmakers throughout the production process. Suhajek was inspired by nature, and abstract, modern art in this design, and so has followed a tradition that began in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. The stylised flower is made up from melted glass chips and applied trails, which are used in an almost painterly manner. The thick colourless body was then dipped twice …

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THIS ITEM HAS BEEN SOLD

Designer: Josef Hospodka Date of design: 1969 Factory: Prachen, near Novy Bor Period of manufacture: 1970s Size: 8in (20cm) high Price: £280

The simple forms designed by Hospodka for this range almost appear like mechanical components. They were then embellished with a variety of randomly applied shapes, including spots impressed with a grid-like pattern, prunts impressed with a circle (as here) or stylised leaves. All were a new departure for Hospodka, and are quite unlike the curving, bud- or flower-like designs he produced during the 1950s & 60s for the Chribskà glassworks. The contrast between the angular, geometric form and the almost organic decoration is unusual, and is suggestive of outer space, futuristic technology, or alien life forms. Hospodka no doubt knew of the moon landing in the same year, and was perhaps inspired by this. Colour is an important aspect of the design – although they appear to be a complimentary green, the applied motifs are actually blue, and only appear green when combined with, and viewed through, the yellow body. This unusual range appears not …

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