Factory: Exbor, Novy Bor
Designer: Karel Wünsch
Date of design: c1962
After World War Two, traditional cutting and engraving techniques were revived and modernised by avant garde Czech designers. Although much was colourless, some designs used coloured glass that had been cased (layered) with another, often contrasting, colour. The Dual range was perhaps the best and most successful example of the latter. Profiled in the State’s trade periodical Czechoslovak Glass Review in June 1964, the range comprised three different vases in three different heights, two sizes of bowl, and a decanter and liqueur glasses. Patterns varied, and included cut lines, lenses, panel facets, and diamond motifs.
Colours comprised a pinky-red known as ‘gold ruby’, dark amethyst, dark green, dark blue, and amber. This particular design is shown on the first page of the article, and is numbered 46184. Jagged, angular cuts are typical of Wünsch’s cut designs, and here they have been combined into a pattern that owes more to tradition than modernity.
Although the clean lines and focus on the shape of the cut are modern, the pattern resembles simplified late 19thC glass designs, or even glass produced during the Art Deco period by companies such as Val St Lambert. This highly appealing design seems to have sold in smaller quantities than the more clearly modern designs from the Dual range, and is very hard to find today.
10.25in (26cm) high.
About The Designer
Karel Wünsch was born in 1932 and began his studies at the glass school at Novy Bor from 1946-50. His studies continued at the Academy of Applied Art in Prague, where he studied under Professor Josef Kaplicky from 1953-59. From 1959-69, he was employed as a designer at the Novy Bor glassworks, where he produced a wide range of engraved, cut, and enamelled designs. He also produced designs for tableware and architectural glass. Since 1970, he has been an independent glass designer and glass artist who cuts his own unique studio works. He is best known today for his designs that use combine modern, angular, jagged cuts with coloured casings.