Bohemian crystal is a national treasure of the Czech Republic. It is impeccably transparent and of unparalleled quality. The tradition of glassmaking in Bohemia has never been interrupted, which gave it the right to set the tone in the art of glassmaking all over the world. Just as in ancient times, Bohemian glass is processed today with diamond tools, they create a play of light using copper, manganese and iron additives, and they decorate with silver, gold and precious stones. In addition, I would like to note that you still can find some sets and glasses from Bohemian crystal here: aleks-crystal.com.
History of Bohemian glass
The land where the Czech Republic is situated now used to be called Bohemia. Archeologists assure that the glassblowing skill appeared here in the IX century. At that time there were very few glassblowers and carvers, and therefore crystal and glass products were available only to the rich and the nobility. But in the XII century the Bohemian glass industry began to actively develop, and by the XIV century glass objects in Bohemia could be afforded by every petty bourgeois.
Natural crystal is a rare mineral, which the ancient Greeks and Romans skilfully handled. The Czechs succeeded in creating artificial crystal by adding barium and lead to the glass. The Czech jeweler to Emperor Rudolf II, Caspar Leman, used the Roman technique of carving crystal — and made the Czech glass famous all over the world. Lehmann’s uniquely delicate engraving made the glass like a diamond and fascinated connoisseurs of the beautiful for many centuries. The beauty of Bohemian glass products, their wide range of colors and quality have surpassed the popular Venetian glass and then English glass.
Czech glass has always been famous for its particular transparency: The reason is that the sands in Bohemia contain a minimal amount of iron oxide. It would, however, be wrong to attribute the success of Bohemian glassmaking solely to the abundance of good raw materials. Many dynasties of glassmakers lived on the territory of Bohemia. The secret of glass-making was handed down from father to son. It was the Czech dynasties that developed glassmaking technology and spread it throughout Europe. It is interesting that the Austrian brand Swarovski was created by the hereditary glassblower Daniel Swarovski, who was born in Bohemia.
Today in Bohemia, there are living traditions of the ancient manufacture of crystal and smooth glass, which can be engraved, ground or painted. Many operations are still done by hand. Czech glass becomes the highlight of fixtures from the world’s best manufacturers.