Nemo & Czech Gilded Glass – Buyers Beware!

A quick, but important, one here. On my trip to Novy Bor, I was taken to the Crystalex factory shop. A selection of  ‘interesting’ decorative pieces and tableware was available, but the things that caught my eye were those in the photos below.
The collectors amongst you will recognise the glass in the first photo (left) as ‘Nemo’, designed by Max Kannegeisser in 1963. Vintage examples aren’t too hard to find if you look hard enough, but I’d be prepared for an influx of these new versions. Jindrich Parik and I agreed that some shapes may be different, the colour tones of the dots are different and, most importantly, these new versions had relatively thick bases which made them heavier in weight than the originals we’ve seen in the past. Of course, it’s difficult to be sure so some more work will need to be done. Prices ranged from around £8-12. My suspicions had been aroused earlier in the year as I had seen a small vase in a charity shop in Honiton, which claimed to come with its original box. I naturally presumed this box must date from the 1960s-70s and would be interesting.  Sadly the box couldn’t be found, and my instincts told me to leave it where it was. So, it turns out I was most probably right…
Across the room were other gilded designs on simple mouldblown shapes that looked very retro in style. Like ‘Nemo’, many were undoubtedly designed in the 1960s-70s, and prices for these new examples were around the £10 mark.
I’m not saying that this should put you off buying this sort of glass. Don’t forget that some legendary postwar designs were produced (even if they were often modified) into the early 1990s before factories began to falter and close in the tough economic environment. I still love it, and if I see a piece I like here, then I may well add it to my collection. But at least I’ll now buy it with my eyes open – probably closely examining the base and finish for signs of age!


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