23. февраля 2020

1900: WHEN MOSER STARTED ON ITS WAY DOWN GLASSMAKING HISTORY

So far, 2020 has had a good reputation – it’s being praised at all events as a new and positive beginning. Let’s wait and see.

Nevertheless, it’s quite clear already that there is, indeed, one quite powerful symbolic. 120 years since the time of great expectations and human progress celebrations! In 1900, Moser Glassworks also entered the 20th century in a high style.

Real success and remarkable changes usually don’t happen overnight, but there’s some strong foundation. Ludwing Moser already started to build these during the latter stages of the 19th century. One can hardly imagine a stronger start than a brand-new workshop opening. However, for Ludwig Moser this was no business lullaby. All of his focus and effort were directed at timely reactions to the changes both in social and cultural life. The emphasis on manual production, inspiration in nature and in Far East art, which had gradually crystallised into a new style: Art Nouveau, therefore, could not be neglected by this entrepreneur. Among the main assets of the Karlsbad glassmakers was, by all means, the art of engraving. This mastership then became the driving force behind Moser Sezession.

The evolution of engraved floral motives, inspired at the beginning by Belgian and French patterns, escalated in 1899 through a specific form – characterised by deep-cut engravings. The Art Nouveau styling is achieved through gradual undulation of stems and leaves, going gradually from one side of the vase the other. The deep cuts go over the edges and, intentionally disrupt its solid shape and compactness, shaping its silhouette. Name? Quite characteristic at the beginning: “moderne Plastik“, later “Eckentiefgravur“, under which the technique has been known ever since as a Moser invention.

Reflection on and processing the latest trends in one thing. On the other side, however, there has to be also the look ahead into the future. Then indeed, Ludwing Moser knew that this is the only way to win the place among the glassmaking world leaders. Therefore, he assigned his master glassworkers with a task that might had seem almost unreal at the start. Complex creations of floral motives with insects and birds, combining differently coloured attachments with delicate engravings and paintings in embossed or transparent enamel, were supposed to show the full width of technological and craftsmanship possibilities in the glassworks. The collection was to comprise of six-dozen new vases, goblets, bowls, jugs, and many other forms and shapes of decorative as well as tableware glass.

And so it happened – beauty so-far not seen in the glassmaking world was born under the name “Karlsbader Sezession“. The ambitious plan had only one goal – the Exposition Universelle in Paris planned for the significant year 1900. The story of Moser entrance into the new era is then quite swift. The glass from Karlsbad was presented in a separate exhibition as part of the Hungarian-Austrian section of the Grand Palais, having showed clearly that Ludwig Moser wanted to move the limits of the craft. Apart from “Karlsbader Sezession“, the delegation also brought the already mentioned new addition according to the Art Nouveau taste called “Eckentiefgravur“.

How did it all end up? Among 76,000 exhibitors from all over the world, Ludwig Moser gained the Silver medal. Furthermore, together with the prize there went the attention of emperors, kings and sheiks of that time. Unique techniques of “Eckentiefgravur“and colourful floral motives then followed the glassworks ever since, providing the basis for other new, ground breaking techniques, such as intarsia. Most importantly – after 1900, the Moser brand name started to resonate thanks to Paris Exposition Universelle. The success was followed with an award by the Persian shah Mozaffara-ed-Din, as well with an exclusive supply to the court of emperor Franz Josef I, as well as, for example, to the English, Italian or Portuguese king.

It was a shiny crystal success indeed, and therefore, Ludwig Moser, together with his sons, could go into further development, progress and exploring. Does the Moser progressive thinking resonate with you? Then there is no hesitation – in 2020, you’re also opening a new exciting decade.

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