Kralik

Unravelling the mysteries
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Click on the numbers under each picture to see a larger version

Written by Alfredo Villanueva-Collado, Ph.D.

Photos © Abersio Núńez

 

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Photo 13 shows two vases identical in shape to those in photo 8, but with a very distinct decorative treatment: green glass rolled in white glass powder, coated with clear, heated so that it shades from green at the top to red at the bottom, and then threaded in green. I have called this line "Kralik Silveria" because it usually appears marketed as that particular Stevens and Williams line. However, a vase from this line appears in the PMC , 78, V:109, attributed to Josephinhutte on the basis of its shape, similar to V: 107, 108. Here one encounters a glass researcher’s typical impasse, the type of identification quandary which requires further investigation.

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Photo 14 shows a variant of the shape of vases in Photos 8 and 9: white glass powder on clear glass over which green and red glass slivers have been applied. Photo 15 shows the same shape, 16 inches tall, in a deep purple glass with matte rainbow iridescence; photo 16, a 13 inch chalice-shaped vase in the same type of glass.

 

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Photo 17: further examples of Kralik’s "Silveria" which, because of its decorative treatment, almost never shows a pontil. Photo 18: a blown-from the top "Silveria," together with a purple threaded vase in the by now familiar shape appearing in photos 8, 11 and 13.

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The acquisition of a leaf-shaped "Kralik Silveria"- photo 19 - bowl led to more, startling comparisons. I already had the same bowl, with two accompanying side dishes, in opalescent yellow, ribbed and quilted glass - Photos 20-21-, together with a third bowl-Photo 22-and an oddly shaped vase-photo 23-belonging to the same family.
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Photo 24 shows two vases I bought for their distinctive treatment of the "papillon" decoration. Whereas Loetz "papillon" is brightly iridescent, this variant makes it almost opalescent. Notice how the shape of the upper part of the vase on the right resembles the shape of vase on photo 7. A Christie’s, London, catalogue from 1997 shows a vase from this line as "Loetz"; however, I would tentatively attribute it to Kralik.

Vessels in Photos 13-24 have not been previously identified as Kralik; they are routinely marketed as Loetz, British "Silveria" or as "Unknown Bohemian." Almost two thirds of the pieces offered at auction under Loetz on e-Bay are something else, mostly Art Nouveau Kralik. Nevertheless, there is a tremendous resistance to calling any quality Bohemian glass Kralik on the part of dealers - who may even take offence at the suggestion that what they are selling is, indeed, of good quality, but not Loetz. I think this hostility has to do with the association of the label "Kralik" with the company’s most common ware - that is, the frosted white martelé vases with stuck-on decoration and its later, gaudy "Deco" production.

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