Loetz Glass

Loetz Glass from the
Glass Encyclopedia Glass Encyclopedia

Loetz glass vase
above: Loetz "papillon"
glass vase c. 1900

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Loetz Glass

Loetz or Lotz Glass: A short explanation

The Loetz glassworks existed in Klostermuhle, Austria, for just over a hundred years, starting from 1840. But its heyday was during the life-time of Max Ritter Von Spaun, grandson of the original Johann Loetz who had founded the company. Von Spaun took over the company in 1879 and ran it until 1908, a year before his death. He was assisted by Eduard Prochaska, his technical specialist, and together they invented, designed and produced a whole series of wonderful new types of glass, taking out several patents and winning awards at all the major world exhibitions during the 1890's and the first years of the new century.

The Loetz company were amongst the leaders in Art Nouveau design and expecially in irridescent art glass. "Papillon" glass, like the vase on the left, is sometimes known today as "oil spot" glass. Another favourite Loetz colouring was irridized glass with pulled trails called "Phenomenon" glass. There were irridized vases with ribbons of metallic colours winding over the surface, and many spectacular designs with applied trails of beautiful colours, or simply pulled out of the body of the glass to form handles or decoration.

About 1900 the company started collaborating with outside designers, and some great artists designed pieces for Lotz, notably Joseph Hofmann, Koloman Moser, Maria Kirchner, and Hofstatter.

In 1908 Loetz was taken over by Max Von Spaun's son, also called Max, and although it struggled financially (going through bankruptcy in 1911 and again in 1931) there were several great designers whose work was produced by Loetz during those years and through the art deco period. These included Adolf Beckert and Michael Powolny.

Loetz glass was rarely signed, so some pieces are hard to identify with certainty. There are four excellent reference books (pictured and listed below). Two are by Helmut Ricke and two by Waltraud Neuwirth which help identify Loetz glass. Unfortunately the two huge books by Ricke are only written in German, but the pictures and illustrations are invaluable. The Neuwirth books have the text in four languages, English, German, French and Italian.

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References & Further Reading

Click on any picture or book title to read more about that book.

Lotz by Ricke Lotz catlog book Lotz Austria 1900 Lotz 1905 to 1918
Arwas big book Bohemian Glass book by the Truitts Bohemian glass book 2 Arwas glass book Bohemian Glass 1992 Bohemioan Glass 1990

Many books about Bohemian glass and Art Nouveau glass include information about Lotz glass, including the following:

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