A 1960s Novy Bor ‘Dual’ Range Bowl by Karel Wünsch

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Factory: Borské Sklo, Czechoslovakia
Designer: Karel Wünsch
Date of design: c1962
Produced: 1960s-70s

The design of this bowl demonstrates how traditional techniques were revived in the postwar period by avant garde Czech designers. Colourless glass covered with a layer of differently coloured glass, known as ‘casing’ (or ‘flashing’ if the layer is thin), has been practised in Czechoslovakia for centuries. Rather than cut through the outer, coloured layer with traditional figurative patterns, Wünsch’s design is angular and modern, and is allowed to reflect and refract on itself creating a superb optical effect.
Long, jagged cuts contrasted against lenses are highly characteristic of Wünsch’s work, and the lens motif is particularly associated with designs of the period. In addition to the low profile, the large vertical front and back vertical facets allow light into the interior of the bowl, which allows the other cuts to stand out.
Profiled in the quarterly trade periodical Czechoslovak Glass Review in  June 1964, the Dual range comprised three different vases in three different heights, two sizes of bowl, and a decanter and liqueur glasses. Patterns varied, including cut lines, lenses, panel facets, and diamond motifs. Colours comprised the pinky-red here, known as ‘gold ruby’, dark amethyst, dark green, dark blue, and amber. In excellent, original condition, bowls like this are harder to find than vases, as they sold in smaller quantities at the time.

8in (20cm) wide, 4in (10cm) high.

A similar example of this bowl was shown in Hi Sklo Lo Sklo: Postwar Czech Glass from Masterpiece to Mass-Produced, by Mark Hill, 2008, p126