Factory: Borské Sklo, Novy Bor (attributed)
Date of design: Late 1950s to early 1960s
The design of this vase has a strong Communist aesthetic and recalls the TV and communications towers and avant garde architecture built from the late 1950s-70s by the Soviet régime. The shape of the cut panels recalls a television screen, a similarity that is accentuated by the austere grey glass. The panels also act as lenses, which refract and reflect off each internally, creating an interesting optical effect. This type of simple lens cut was a popular motif in Czechoslovakia at the time. Bohemia has been celebrated for its cut and cased an cut glass for centuries and, during the 1950s & 60s, traditional figural or heraldic motifs were replaced by simple cuts where the cut itself, and the abstract optical effect it created, mattered more than using cuts to create a scene or image.
The body is covered with a thin layer of contrasting white enamel and the austere monochrome appearance is highlighted by the use of ‘luxurious’ gilt rings, which also serve to accentuate the waisted form. The white overlay again harks back to traditional 18thC and 19thC Bohemian cased and cut glass. In the mid-20thC, the use of geometric forms and cuts, a white external overlay and gilt details recalls a very rare range of bottles, vases and bowls designed by Jaroslav Lebeda and produced by Borské Sklo for exhibition and sale at the Brussels International Exposition in 1958. It is possible that Lebeda also designed this vase, but there is currently no literature to support this.
This is an extremely rare, high quality vase – no other shapes have yet been found and only one other (slightly shorter) example of this form has been found to date and is now in a private collection.
8in (20.5cm) high.