This wonderful piece was produced by Riedel c. 1905. The glass itself is cased white glass covered by a very deep mauve glass (deep enough to be sometimes confused with black). The piece is cut in an obelisk form and beautifully decorated in an Art Nouveau style with white and gold enameling depicting a clean outline with a reef of flower and garlands of leaves.
Dimensions: Approximately 19 cm (7 1/2 in) high.
Condition: Very good. No chips, cracks or repairs; wear consistent with age. There is a "flea bite" (>1 mm) to the base edge of the piece and there is some noticeable wear to the gold enameling as well as some surface scratches to the main body.
A Note About the Manufacturer:
The history of the Riedel family is rich and dramatic and follows the evolution of glass thru no less than four centuries and ten generations. It all started in the 17th century with Johann Christoph Riedel, a glass merchant born in Leipa, Bohemia. His son, Johann Carl was a glass enameller.
It was the third generation, Johann Leopold Riedel (1726-800) that initiated the efforts of the family in glass production. He started by managing the important glasswork of Antoniwald of Zenker, before acquiring it in 1756. It was his development of a new process to manufacture windows which brought him fame and fortune....these were necessary at the time for the rebuilding of the city of Zittau following its destruction by Austrian artillery during a seven year war with Prussia. Johann Leopold eventually built his own and first glasswork in Christianthal.
Johann Leopold's line splits into two branches: Polaun and Reinowitz. It is the Polaun line which is attributed with significant technological developments in the field of glass production. The line established in Polaun was that of Johann Leopold's older son Anton Leopold Riedel (1762-1821). His son Franz Anton Riedel (1786-1844) directed the firm toward the expansion of designs and promoted artistic creativity.
The firm headed deeply into the industrial revolution with Josef Riedel Senior (1816-1894). Josef Riedel Sr. became one of the most important and successful businessman of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He is credited with the development of various processes including glass dichroic colouring; that is yellow and green glass created using uranium oxide pigments. He also established a glass pearl industry. His legacy in Polaun was one of the greatest industrial cities of the time encompassing five glassworks, two glass finishing shops, a bronze foundry, a cotton spinner and a textile factory.
Josef Riedel Junior (1862-1924) was the seventh generation to have an impact on glass making. Josef Riedel Jr. was actually a well recognized and established scientist. He received the Nobel Szimondi Prize for his work on colloids (solid particles in suspension). This work had an important impact on the development and production of coloured glass. Toward the end of the Art Nouveau period, he used the results of his research in combination with an avid passion for styling to produce a panoply of patterns. There is little in the vast domain of glassmaking that Josef Jr. did not impact.
The Riedel family continued to produce and develop glass technology with Walter Riedel taking the helm during the Art Deco period. As a gifted engineer, Walter actually invented the glass fibre.
Today, Riedel is still in existence and of course the manufacturer of some of the best wine glasses on the market.
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