Antique Moser glass is one of the most collected types of glass ever made. From antique vases to tumblers the high quality and beautiful design make it a favorite of collectors everywhere.
History of Moser Glass
The Moser Glass Company was founded in 1857 in Czechoslovakia. Ludwig Moser created high quality engraved art glass products. In 1873 he received a medal at the Vienna International Exhibition and this lead to increased interest in his products. In 1893 Moser expanded his company to create a full service glassworks which employed over 400 people.
In 1904 the quality of Moser's products won him the favor of the Imperial Court of the Emperor of Austria and he was hired to supply the court with glassware. Among other famous people who had a love of Moser Glass were:
- Edward VII
- Pope Pius XI
- Sultan Abdul Hamid II
Because of the company's affiliation with royal courts they created the slogan King of Glass, Glass of Kings.During World War II Moser Glass was taken over by the German government and many of the workers were put into concentration camps. The workers who were left were put to work for the war effort as little more than slaves. In a passive retaliation the workers created flawed glass that would shatter on impact for the tank windows and filter glasses.
After the war Moser was one of 15 companies granted independent operation by the communists. It is still in business today.
Styles of Moser Glass
Ludwig Moser created a thick colored glass as well as molded clear glass with inclusions of colored glass. His vases were often dark blue, purple, and amber and had patterns cut into them in shallow relief. He also created clear glassware with purple or green glass carved into cameos. This deeply carved glass had precise and perfect edges, and was beautifully designed with flowers and figures.
Johann Hoffman was one of the early Moser designers. He often used opaque purple or black glass to create everything from goblets to bookends. He particularly liked to use figures of animals or female nudes in his work.
In the 1890s Moser used gold leaf pressed between two layers of glass and heavily decorated with flowers. This process is called "Zwischengoldglas". These pieces are signed with the Moser hallmark.
In 1900 the company began experimenting with the addition of rare elements to the mixture to produce unusual colors and textures.
Identifying Antique Moser Glass
Moser was one of the few Czechoslovakian glass companies to sign their products, making it a simple matter to identify this beautiful glass. Not all Moser is signed; however it is still possible to identify it if you look for details. You should keep in mind that this glass is easily duplicated, although not with the finesse of the original.
- While it is great to get a deal beware of buying Moser glass that is too inexpensive.
- Perfection is literally a hallmark of Moser glass. The clarity of the glass will be excellent. Moser did not, and does not; create an inferior product in any way.
- The carvings in the glass will be deeply carved and beautifully detailed.
- Enamel, if it is used, will be carefully applied, may be covered with gold leaf, and will look perfect.
- Moser glass is mouth blown and has always been. Look for a finely finished pontil at the base of the piece. A pontil is a scar in the glassware where the glass blowers tool has been attached to the glass.
- Look for the Moser signature. Not all pieces have it, but many will.
- Read about the glass and talk to experts in the field.
You may want to watch this slideshow with more tips for identifying antique glassware.
Images of Vintage Moser Glass
Here are some beautiful examples of this glass on the Internet:
- Three beautiful examples of Moser glass
- Moser cranberry vase with enameled flowers
- A pair of vases made by Ludwig Moser in the 1890s
Caring for Your Moser Glass
Antique Moser glass is a beautiful example of Czechoslovakian workmanship. In order to keep it looking its best you should not wash it in a dishwasher or use it in a microwave. Wash it with some gentle soap, laying a dish towel at the bottom of the sink before filling it with water. This will guard against nicks and chips in your glassware.
Rinse your glass carefully and dry with a soft towel or cloth. Store out of direct sunlight and away from the possibility of sudden temperature changes like a heat or air conditioning vent or a window.
By taking good care of your glass you will have an heirloom to pass down for generations.