Bohemian
great glass from the center of Europe

Bohemian

Bohemian weights (Bohemia and Silesia)

Some say the first glass paperweights were made in Bohemia. If not first, they were a close second to Venice. Bohemia and Venice were both parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at times. Bohemian weights were made from the 1840s to present. Over the course of all those years Bohemian glass artists employed numerous techniques and produced many fine and fascinating paperweights that add an element of paperweight history and diversity to a collection. My estimated dates are ball park figures as accurate information is difficult to find. These weights are way undervalued which gives you a lot of history and artistry for excellent value. We use the term Bohemian a bit loosely and it may include areas that are now Germany, Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Historically the glass regions for central Europe were in Bohemia, Thuringia, Austria, and Silesia. The area has a rich history.

PW2451. Josef Riedl (Polann, North Bohemia) Museum Piece (c. 1880-1890). These are my personal favorite Bohemian weights. I place them in a category with the best French closepacks and they are at least as rare. The canes are colorful and exciting. It has a fabulous mica flecked green ground (with an extra helping of mica) that is reminiscent of the famous Clichy moss ground and an overall festive appearance. The condition is original excellent with some shelf wear. An important weight for any complete collection of the world’s great paperweights. It includes four “pimento-stuffed olive” canes. This a quite large for a Riedl and an almost magnum 3 3/16 inch diameter; 2 1/16 inches tall; one pound and two ounces. $650

 
 
 
 

PW659. Bohemian Magnum Museum Piece (c. 1890-1930). This is a large multifaceted paperweight in a classic Bohemian style with a large attractive flower. The lower portion of the piece has a colorful, multicolored swirl of glass out of which springs two leaves, a stem, and a six-petaled lampworked flower. The artist made great use of controlled bubbles, especially on the leaves and petals where tiny bubbles appear in near perfect lines and grids. Condition is very fine with a few nips and scratches above and on the base. 3 3/8 inches tall; 3 3/8 inch diameter; one pound and twelve ounces.  $140

 
 
 

PW660. Bohemian Museum Piece (c. 1890-1930). This is a large multifaceted paperweight in a classic Bohemian style with a large attractive flower surrounded by three smaller attractive flowers. The lower portion of the piece has a colorful, multicolored cushion out of which spring the stems and expertly lampworked flowers. The large flower has a pearl-like center and the smaller ones each have controlled bubbles. Condition is extra fine with a few nips and scratches above and on the base. 3 1/4 inches tall; 3 1/8 inch diameter; one pound and eight ounces.  $150

 
 
 
 
 

PW877. Bohemian Museum Piece (c. 1890-1910). This is a large paperweight in a classic Bohemian style with an interesting and attractive lampworked flower that looks like it came out of a Dr. Seuss book. This one has a lot of complex work going on. I expect it took an experienced artisan many hours to construct and encase. The lower portion of the piece has a colorful, largely red and white, cushion encircled by a red “fence” with controlled bubbles. Above the cushion is a central controlled bubble which leads to the complex leafy plant and its stunning blossom with yellow center and red petals fringed in white. Condition is excellent with a rounded base with a pontil mark. 3 1/4 inches tall; 3 3/16 inch diameter; two pounds. Probably one-of-a kind.  SOLD

PW3087. Josef Riedl (Polann, North Bohemia) Museum Piece (c. 1880-1890). This one is different from others I have owned. To me it has a more modern look . The green base is translucent, as if it’s the same green glass with more clear added. It has just a tiny amount of mica and has other colors of glass mixed in the swirl. The colors are brighter and some are different. One cane that repeats here in two color combinations is similar to the “pimento-stuffed olive” cane we see in other Riedls. The condition is original extra fine with light a few surface anomalies from the making (as if it brushed lightly against something after it was done but not yet annealed) and some scratches, one of which is deep enough to feel with your fingernail— excellent for 120 years old—and some shelf wear – no significant issues. I suspect this to be a late Riedl. 2 3/4 inch diameter; two inches tall; thirteen ounces. $600

PW1047. Bohemian Magnum Museum Piece (c. 1890-1930). This is a large multifaceted paperweight in a classic Bohemian style with an especially complex butterfly. The lower portion of the piece has a lime green cushion above which floats the butterfly. The butterfly is quite lovely with one millefiori cane embedded on each wing. Condition is very good with minor signs of wear to the upper portion and scratches on the base. 2 3/8 inches tall; 3 1/2 inch diameter; one pound and twelve ounces. Probably one-of-a kind.  SOLD

PW232. Josef Riedl (Polann, North Bohemia) Museum Piece (c. 1880-1890). These are my personal favorite Bohemian weights. I place them in a category with the best French closepacks and they are at least as rare. The canes are colorful and exciting. It has a fabulous mica flecked green ground that is reminiscent of the famous Clichy moss ground and an overall festive appearance. The condition is original excellent with some shelf wear – no significant issues. An important weight for any complete collection of the world’s great paperweights. It includes two “pimento-stuffed olive” canes and one that looks like lemon custard. 2 13/16 inch diameter; 2 3/16 inches tall; fourteen ounces. $575

PW3010. Bohemian Museum piece. 19th or early 20th century. The butterfly has been the quarry of many a glass worker over the centuries, and many techniques have been employed in this quest. The age-old issue with glass manufacture is that unless whatever you add is made from glass, it will incinerate once it meets the orange-glowing molten glass of the paperweight making process. What we have here appears to be glass cloth with frit painted on. Stunning in its simplicity. Condition is excellent for its age – nothing but light shelf wear and light scratches. 3 1/8 inches tall; 3 ½ inch diameter; one pound and fifteen ounces.  $75

PW1630. Josef Riedl (Polann, North Bohemia) Museum Piece (c. 1880-1890). These are my personal favorite Bohemian weights. I place them in a category with the best French closepacks and they are at least as rare. The canes are colorful and exciting. It has a fabulous mica flecked green ground that is reminiscent of the famous Clichy moss ground and an overall festive appearance. The condition is original excellent with light scratches you need to look hard to see and some shelfwear – no significant issues. An important weight for any complete collection of the world’s great paperweights. This one was particularly well made with properly spaced, uniform-sized, colorful canes in a very nice dome-shape. I suspect this to be a mid-to-late Riedl due to the complexity of the canes and quality of the work. The mica-flecked green ground is especially sparkly.

2 13/16 inch diameter; 1 7/8 inches tall; twelve ounces. $600