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Glass of Germany and Holland

Aug 17, 2007
The quality of the paintings of the glass made the Germans' noteworthy. The Germany craftsmen were able to successfully engrave natural rock-crystal adapt that to their skill to glass setting a new standard of glass-making. And Netherland made the Venetian type of glass in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They excelled in glass decorations.

The hold of the Venetians on the markets of Europe was a strong one, and continual efforts were made to break it in all the countries concerned. The Germans were skilled at enameling their glass, but it was of Venetian type and only the quality of the painting makes it noteworthy.

Late in the seventeenth century they managed to develop a heavy type of crystal glass to which they applied cutting on the wheel; a revolving fine grindstone against which the article was held for pattern -malting.

This was a method first used in ancient times by lapidaries in the forming of gemstones, but had been employed also by the Roman glassmakers notably, as mentioned above, in the Portland Vase.

The German craftsmen had already achieved success in engraving natural rock crystal, which was then mounted elaborately in gold set with gems, and it was not a difficult step to adapt their skill to glass. The most famous of these engraving establishments were in Berlin, Petersdorf in Silesia (now Poland), and Cassel.

Their successors, but the glasswares of Silesia and Bohemia continued to be made throughout the eighteenth century did not equal the fine workmanship of the earlier craftsmen.

A milky-white glass, often decorated in enamel colors, was very popular and much of this has survived. It can be confused with the rare white Bristol product by the inexperienced, but is seen to be commonplace when compared closely.

A deep red, or ruby, glass was made in the early and mid-nineteenth century, and cut in the manner of 150 years earlier. It was exported and proved highly popular in England; much of it was of clear glass 'flashed' with a thin coating of red cut through with scenes of stag hunting and views of German spas.

Glass of Venetian type was made in the Netherlands in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but it was in the decoration of glass that the Dutch excelled. Like the Germans, they ornamented much of their output with cutting on the wheel, but a specialty was engraving with a diamond which was often done so finely that the decoration can be seen only when the light falls across it.

There are specimens of diamond engraving in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, dated 1600 and 1604, and similar work was done throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The names of Frans Greenwood (a Dutchman in spite of his English surname) and David Wolff are the best known of those who did this delicate work. Some of the surviving examples are signed and dated, but many bear no indication of artist or of when they were executed. Some of the late eighteenth-century engravings were on English glasses of the period, which were then being imported into Holland.

At the end of the eighteenth century an artist named Zeuner, of whom remarkably little is known in the way of personal details, executed a number of paintings on glass. These were done in an unusual manner, with gold and silver leaf laid on the back of the glass which was then scratched through and filled with black paint.

The skies in outdoor scenes were painted in natural colors, and the effect is striking and decorative. Some of his surviving works are of views in Amsterdam, and a small pane! in the Victoria and Albert Museum shows a view of the Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, in about 1780.

The Germans and the Dutch gave a new look to glass and did ornamentations with it. The Germans specialized in engraving the natural-rock and the Dutch specialized in diamond engraving and cutting on wheel. The Dutch were also famous for their excellence in the decorations of the glass.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.kitchen-plans-n-designs.com/ , http://www.guidetocollectables.info/ , http://www.bathroomaccessoriesmadeeasy.info/
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