Glassworks   de

Glashütten = Glassworks - Please also look at the Glassworks Map!

Index: Where does it come from?


BACCARAT Compagnie des Cristalleries de Baccarat, in Baccarat,  Meurthe-et-Moselle, and Paris.

Founded in 1764 in Baccarat sur Meurthe,  about 30 miles southwest of Nancy in Lorraine. The rise of the  glassworks began in 1816 when  Gabriel d'Artigue bought  it. He had been director first of the neighbouring St. Louis  glassworks (which his father owned) and then  director  and owner of a glass manufacture in the north of France,   which fell to Belgium after the defeat of Napoleon I.  He brought with him dozens of skilled glass-workers and a long  experience in making crystal glass.

Under his three successors (from 1823 on) the  company expanded and it was then that the technology of  pressing glass must have been developed; at least we know that  an invention which was helpful in the new technology - the use  of compressed air to support the blowing of the glassmaker was patented in 1824 (the Robinet pipe). Baccarat became the  manufacturer for the rising bourgeoisie and began to collect  prizes at exhibitions for the quality of its glass and  glassware. At the beginning of the 1830s cooperation with St.  Louis started which lasted well into the 1850s. Both had their  products sold by a Parisian wholesaler “ Barlier, Launay &  Cie, later Launay Hautin & Cie and moulds were either  exchanged or the same moulds  made for both  companies.

In 1860 Baccarat registered its trademark, a  wineglass, a carafe and a goblet. A label bearing the drawing  was pasted on the finished product. Since about 1875 the  pressed products were provided with the name 'BACCARAT' in  relief. In 1873 a German journalist called Baccarat "the  largest and most famous glassworks not only of France but  worldwide." They are certainly the most famous yet.

Two museums, one in Paris, the other at  Baccarat, and several catalogues of Launy Hautin , two of them  easily accessible through "Pressglas-Korrespondenz", document  the pressed glass production of the 19th century fairly well.  A catalogue of 1893 has been reprinted lately. 


BERNSDORF  Aktiengesellschaft für Glasfabrikation, vormals Gebrüder  Hoffmann in Bernsdorf (Oberlausitz),

about 20 miles north of Dresden in Saxony.  Founded in 1871 as Glasfabrik Gebrüder Hoffmann in Bernsdorf.  First, production of chimneys and shades for oil lamps and  electric lamps, later pressed glass for the household and for  inns and restaurants. In the 1930s one of the greatest  producers of pressed glass in Germany. Its products were  inexpensive, the design was unambitious, mainly imitating cut  glass.

Situated in the Soviet occupied zone it was  nationalized after WWII and produced under the name of Ankerglas until 2000, when it was shut down. (An anchor  –Ger. 'Anker'- was its trademark since 1898).


BROCKWITZ Brockwitzer Glasfabrik AG, Brockwitz bei Dresden.

Founded in 1903, nationalized after WW II,  shut down in 1990. When the company registered its first  trademark in 1904 its list of products ran the whole gamut of  household ware, drinking glasses and lamp shades. In 1914 they  took over one of several  glassworks in Ottendorfwhich, however, was closed in 1929, when the company came  into financial trouble. Production came to a halt and in 1932  the company was taken over by an American group of investors  (General Mortgage Credits Corp., New Jersey). The catalogues  in the 20s and 30s display the usual cut glass imitations with  a spot of Art-Deco thrown in.


BURTLES Burtles, Tate and Co., Poland Street Glassworks, Oldham  Road, Manchester.

Founded in 1858. Produced pressed glass  mainly. Well known in the 1890s for their 'Topaz Opalescent'  ware which was similar to Davidson's 'Pearline' design. Taken  over in 1924.


DAVIDSON George Davidson and Co., Gateshead.

Founded in 1867 in Gateshead, Tyneside, close  to Newcastle. One of the great names in the history of pressed  glass in Britain. It started with producing glass chimneys but  later added all sorts of pressed household ware. In the 1880s  Davidson purchased the stock of moulds of the Neville  Glassworks as well as those of  W. H. Heppell and Co. and  Thomas Gray and Co., which made their stock of patterns "one  of the most extensive and complete in the trade" as an advert  in the Pottery Gazette in 1884 said. Their most famous design  was the Pearline glass made in two colours: blue and yellow.  It was patented on Dec 7, 1889: The pressed object was taken  out of the mould and reheated. The parts heated strongest  became milky and/or opaque, the rest remained translucent.

The glassworks closed in the 1950's.


EHRENFELD  Rheinische Glashütten AG, Ehrenfeld.

Near Cologne. Founded in 1864, the glassworks  became famous in the 1880's and 90's for their re-introduction  of old forms and techniques (influence of the Arts and Crafts  Movement). For some time around the turn of the century well  known artists and designers worked for the company. The  production of pressed glass must have begun in the 1870's.  Their first pressed object "a pressed glass plate" ,  "production number 1" was registered on "August 19, 1876, at  11:45 in the morning".

The glassworks were shut down in 1931.


FENNE Fenner  Glashütte, vorm. Raspiller & Co., Fenne bei Luisenthal a.  d. Saar. (Near Saarbrücken).

Founded in 1813. There were several owners,  before, presumably in the early twenties, a member of the  Raspiller family bought the glassworks. The Raspillers were a  family of glassblowers who came originally from Tyrol/Austria.  In the 1780's a Raspiller became co-owner of a small glass  factory in Soldatenthal in Lorraine/France. Members of the  family play a role, some time or other, in the glassworks of  Vallérysthal, Val St. Lambert and Wadgassen as well. In   the 80 years in which the Raspillers owned Fenne glassworks it  expanded considerably and and there were display rooms as far  away as Leipzic and Berlin. The production of bottles of all  kinds was an important part of their business as well as raw  glass for Dreibrunnen glassworks, which turned it into watch  glasses and other technical glass-products. The production of  pressed glass may have started in the 1870's. Economic and  financial difficulties around the turn of the century almost  brought the closing down of the factory. However, new  investors were found: the owners of the glassworks in  Dreibrunnen (Fr. Troisfontaines), Leo Hirsh and Leo Hammel.  They took over in 1903, and in 1909 they merged their two  establishments to "United Glassworks of Fenne and Dreibrunnen,  Hirsh & Hammel".  After WW I the Saar region became  part of the French customs territory; so Fenne had to adapt  its production to the French market. They did so successfully  it seems with modern equipment and new buildings. In 1934  Fenne separated from Dreibrunnen and became "Saarglas-A.G." At  the beginning of WW II, machinery and workers were evacuated  and production was never taken up again.


GREENER Angus  and Greener, Wear Flint Glass Works, Sunderland.

Founded in 1858 by Henry Greener and James  Angus. Between 1869 (death of James Angus) and 1884, the  company's name was James Greener, since 1885, Greener & Co after being sold to a Newcastle  chemical merchant, James A. Jobling. The glassworks produced  all sorts of glass in different colours for the household as  well as for commercial use  (e.g. lamp glass). As far as  pressed glass is concerned they are best known for their  commemorative pieces. Around the turn of the century business  was not so good and the owner was not interested in investing  much in his company. Things became better when his nephew  became manager in 1902, and with the production of  PYREX since 1921 (for the markets outside the U.S. and Canada)  the company began to flourish. Only then was the old name  dropped and the company's name changed into James A.  Jobling & Co, Ltd. In the 30's the glassworks acquired  a reputation for their fine hand-pressed glass in the Art Deco  style.

In 1973 the firm was taken over by Corning  and , in 1975, renamed into Corning Ltd. Greener was one of  the few British glassworks that had a trademark, in fact, they  had two. The first one, a lion with a star in its paw, was  registered in 1876. When Jobling bought the firm in 1885  another lion was introduced: it now held a battleaxe.


KASTRUP  KastrupGlasvaerk, Kastrup near  Copenhagen,

founded in 1847  as a subsidiary to  Holmegaards Glasvaerker (which were founded in 1823 in the southwest corner of Sjaeland). At the beginning  Kastrup  produced bottles mainly; in 1867 tableware was  added. When the    owner of the glasshouses wanted  to modernize Holmegaard he sold Kastrup in 1873. In the  following years Kastrup was very successful and began to  control several smaller Danish glassworks. It seems that in  this period the glass pressing technology was introduced.

After 1907 there was some sort of cooperation  and division of labour among the Danish glasshouses (except  Holmegaard) with Kastrup leading. At last, after surviving the  depression and two world wars, the two competitors threw  forces together and re-united under the name of Kastrup og  Holmegaards Glasvaerker in 1965. They are doing well to  date.


KÖPENICK Marienhütte Köpenick in Köpenick

(then) near Berlin. A smaller  glasshouse which does no longer exist. Founded in 1869, sold  in  1873 and since then called "Marienhütte". Around the  turn of the century some 170 people worked there producing  hollow glassware mainly, later pressed glass as well.  Production came to a halt in 1921 when the glasshouse  was no longer profitable and the machinery had become  antiquated. Work was taken up again in 1924, but in 1932 the  factory was closed for good. No catalogure has surfaced so  far, but a beer mug with the trade mark, a six-pointed star,  might be found once in a while at a Berlin flea market. Two  advertisements in a trade journal from the last period are  known.


MALKY Malky  & Jahncke, Deuben

near Dresden. Founded in 1884. Not much is  known about this company. Pressed glass for the household with  its trademark - an edelweiss can be found rather frequently  at Berlin flea markets. So it seems that its output was high  before and after WW I. The trade mark was first registered in  December 1906, registration in a slightly different form was  renewed in 1920, but now by Gebr. Malky. In 1914 the  design for a beer mug (in Art Deco style) was registered, in  1921 another Art Deco design was registered, headquarters now  being in Freithal (a few miles farther south). Both Malky and  Jahncke, together or separately, appear several times in the  registers of companies as co-owners of glassworks in the  Lausitz region.


MEISENTHAL Burgun, Schverer & Co., Verreries de  Meisenthal.

Founded in 1711 in Meisenthal in the French  province of Lorraine near the French-German border. Between  1871 and 1918 the area was annected to Germany. Only one  building, now housing a very fine glass museum, has survived  the demolition after the shut down of the glassworks in 1969.  Like the Raspillers and Stengers, the Burguns and Shverers  (originally Schwrer) come from families of glassmakers whose  names appear, again and again, in the annals of the glassworks  of this region. Meisenthal is best known for its cooperation  with mile Gallé. He worked there as a trainee in 1866/7, and  between 1885 and 1896 the company manufactured and sold under  its own trade mark art glass objects designed by him. It was  well prepared for this job: the quality of the crystal glass  was excellent, the glassworkers were highly qualified, and the  refining department had been experimenting with new techniques  for years, and last but not least, Meisenthal now belonging to  Germany was a gate to the German market. During that time  there was also a close contact to Vallerysthal, many designs  are similar and moulds are said to have been exchanged. Art  glass, however, was only a small part of the company's  production and it seems to have been given up after 1903 under  a new director.

Glassware for the household and for inns and  restaurant had always been its main line of production. When  the technology of pressing glass was introduced is not known.  The first known catalogue (1883) shows designs and forms of  pressed glass similar to those we know from Vallerysthal :  there is a sugar in the form of a tortoise. Another object  which may have been produced at that time and still appears in  a 1907 catalogue a swan flowerholder bears a striking  resemblance to the Burtles, Tate and Co. swan registered in  1885. And lastly, the designs for three pressed or  press-moulded articles were registered in 1888 and 1889 in  Germany with low production numbers (20 and 21). The period  between WWI and WW II marked the peak of pressed glass  production. The glassworks were shut down in 1969.


MOLINEAUX Molineaux, Webb and Co., Ancoats, Manchester.

(Sometimes spelled Molineux.)Founded in 1827, the company is best known for its pressed  glass. They began registering their designs in 1864, the first  or one of the first ones being a Greek key pattern, partly  frosted. Production came to an end in 1927 (another source  says 1936).



[There is a catalogue in one of the Berlin  archives whose title page reads "Wholesale Export. Crystal-  and glassware manufacture Mühlhaus & Comp. Berlin S.,  Stallschreiber-Strasse 27/28 ...". Since some of the words  are spelled the old way a spelling reform came into force in  1901 one could date back the catalogue to the 1890s.  According to the Berlin register of companies "a commercial  company" was established in 1875 in Berlin; "area of business:  glass." Between 1876 and 1900, Mühlhaus and Co. are listed in  the classified directory of Berlin sometimes as "wholesalers"  sometimes as "manufacturers", or both. Where they could have  produced is unknown, production in Berlin is unlikely. There  is one piece in their catalogue, a small plate named "Cora",  which appears under the same name in the 1894 catalogue of  Villeroy and Boch in 5 different sizes as part of a larger  "service".]


NOELLE Noelle  & von Campe Glashütten, Brückfeld b. Fürstenberg a. d.  Weser.

So far I haven't found much about the  glassworks. They were founded in 1874 and registered three  trade marks in Oct. 1875, one being an anchor; registration of  the latter was renewed in 1898, and in 1910 they introduced a  new trade mark, a steering wheel. They must have produced  pressed glass from the beginning: the registration entries  list as products: "White [i.e. colourless] and coloured hollow  glassware, pressed glass and hardened glass."


[To be  continued].

© Copyright 2001-2009 Simon Becker.  All rights reserved. Last update 01/10/09.