Designer: Milena Veliskova
Date of design: c1943
Produced: Mid-late 1940s
This is a real little gem, and an extremely rare one at that. Bubbly ‘Antique Glass’ was the first range produced at the important Skrdlovice factory after it was founded in 1941. The rudimentary factory facilities at the time did not allow for the production of clear glass so a translucent, almost waxy glass containing a myriad of bubbles, known in Italy as pulegoso, was produced. Most of the early designs were by factory founder Emanuel Beránek but, from 1944 onwards, he invited other designers to contribute. Perhaps the most important of the two early designers was Milena Veliskova, and this design, numbered 4512, was the first of her designs to be put into production.
It was named the ‘Little Scarf’ vase as its frilled rim was reminiscent of the traditional headscarf worn by Central European ladies. Interestingly, this name is written next to the design drawing in the factory pattern book, which is unusual as most designs were simply numbered, not named. The design was not new, as Veliskova had first produced it for her previous employer CMS Krásno around 1943. Although produced in a similar bubbled glass, according to author and researcher Robert Bevan Jones, examples produced there tend to be “more refined and heavier in weight and are usually marked with CMS Krasno and BMG (Bohemia Moravia Glassworks) marks.“. Although these CMS/BMG examples are hard to find, examples produced at Skrdlovice are much, much rarer – to date only a couple of examples have been found by collectors. The rim of this light blue bodied example is decorated with randomly applied tiny chips of maroon (or berry-brown) coloured glass found on other examples of Skrdlovice’s generally scarce ‘Antique Glass’.
4in (10cm) widest, 3in (7cm) high.
Another example of this vase, without the rim decoration, can be seen in Berànek & Skrdlovice: Legends of Czech Glass by Robert Bevan Jones & Jindrich Parik, published by Mark Hill Publishing Ltd, 2014, p.12.
About The Designer
Argentinian born Milena Veliskova (1917-?) studied plastic art education at the School of Architecture from 1936-39, completing her studies there after the war from 1945-46. After also studying at the Secondary School of Applied Graphic Art from 1941-43, she was a designer at CMS Krasno from 1942-45. She taught at the Charles University from 1945-46 and produced designs for Skrdlovice from 1945-60, working as Director of Design from 1951 onwards. She collaborated with the Kvetna glassworks from 1957-65 and produced designs for Harrach in association with Maria Stahlikova from 1960-61. After 1961, she designed chandeliers for N.C. Lustry before becoming a successful textile and furnishing designer.