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Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
A new exhibit of the month is on view at the entrance to the UPM’s Permanent Collection:

Example of early 20th-century
festive table settings


Serving dish, after 1900
Johann Lötz Witwe glassworks,
Klášterský Mlýn (Klostermühle)
Blown, hot-shaped glass, metal mounts
Inv. no. 73.131 / purchased 1969

Tea table cloth, early 20th century
Manufacturer unknown
Linen damask decorated with ornamental
trim of stylized Art Nouveau flowers and
tendrils, folded ajouré edge
Inv. no. 55.532 / transferred from the Academy of Applied Arts
1960

The turn of the 20th century was one of the most celebrated periods of Czech glass manufacturing. Many glass factories of that time made successful attempts to produce glass in the Art Nouveau style inspired by natural forms. Glassmakers decorated their glass objects with stylized tendrils, foliage, blossoms and other motifs. This serving dish with its iridescent surface exemplifies the various types of products manufactured in the best-known glassworks in the Czech Lands during the Art Nouveau period – the Johann Lötz Witwe glassworks that operated at Klášterský Mlýn (Klostermühle) in southern Bohemia’s Šumava highlands. Produced there were especially vases of organic shapes inspired by the output of the renowned firm of L. C. Tiffany in the United States. In addition to various types of products designed by anonymous artists, the plant realized the works of renowned artists (Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Adolf Beckert or Marie Kirschner). Even then, these pieces were widely appreciated and today they are a much-sought-after article at antique shops. This serving dish’s sinuous, undulating decoration was achieved by combing glass threads, while still hot, along its surface with a metal hook.
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