The History of Moser Glass

Andrew Lineham Fine Glass, London (by appointment only)

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Moser of Karlsbad - Antique Glasswares & History

back to Antique Moser Glass 

The Moser glass factory was named after Ludwig Moser (1833-1916) and established in Karlsbad (now Karlovy Vary) in North East Bohemia in 1857. Moser glass first became famous for the quality of engraved decoration. He employed brilliant engravers including Edward and Johann Hoffman. The engravers followed long established Bohemian design themes of hunts, stags and wooded landscapes, which appealed to the indigenous population of Bohemia. Moser was also influenced by European art movements and produced designs inspired by European Baroque works, Japanese ceramics and Islamic goldsmiths. During this period Moser was solely concerned with the decoration of glass, the glass blanks being bought in from other manufactories, such as Meyr’s Neffe and Kralik. 

Moser realised quite early on that a recognised ‘trademark’ other than a signature would be of tremendous importance to customers who wanted to show off their Moser glass in a showy yet discrete manner. He achieved this by using applied glass acorns; polychrome enamelled oak leaves, enamelled bugs and applied grapes formed from glass ‘jewels’. His other known distinguishing features included raised enamel birds. We have owned pieces with birds, including parrots, eagles, macaws and small domestic birds. All high quality and most beautiful. Once you have handled a piece of Moser glass you will recognise your next piece instantly!  

It was not until 1893 that Moser was granted a licence to melt glass and produce glasswares. The new Moser factory at opened at Meierhofen. The quality of this glass was of the utmost importance and inferior flawed glass was destroyed. The manufactory initially concentrated on tablewares and even invented new forms of drinking glasses, particularly liqueur glasses with finely drawn out stems. Moser opened shops to sell his wares in the affluent areas of Karlsbad and then concentrated on the various spa towns where the waters attracted Europe’s aristocracy and followers. Through this plan Moser’s glasswares attracted international acclaim. Moser glass was then retailed in capital cities around The World including Wilhelm & Graef of New York.  Moser held the positions of court purveyor to the Vienna Imperial Court, and Court purveyor to King Edward VII, marking the Moser manufactory as one of the most prestigious glass manufacturers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 

In the 20th Century Moser produced a new range of glass called Alexandrit. This is unusual glass because like the stone alexandrite it can change colour and yet is man made.

 

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Last modified: 01/14/10 (note American date arrangement)