Austria-Hungary until Oct. 28, 1918
from then on Czechoslovakia
Ludwig Moser was born on June 18, 1833. He served a three year apprenticeship starting at the age of 14 with the master glass engraver Andreas Mattoni in Karlovy Vary. With seven years experience as a Journeymen he traveled to Zwickau, Leipzig and Berlin to hone his skills as an engraver. In 1857 he return to Karlovy Vary, he obtained a license to operate a refinery (glass finishing works). He offered engraved glass to the local spa visitors.
In 1870 he opened a refinery (glass finishing works) in Mistrovice, near Karmenicky Sonov. There he had available a good supply of glass cutters and engravers. By 1878 Moser had established a network of warehouses in various cities including Saint Petersburg, New York, London and Paris. At the 1878 World Exposition in Paris, he displayed enameled glass with motifs designed by the School of Ceramics in Teplice. The glass was designed for the Oriental market with motifs resembling the work of Arabian goldsmiths. This glass was produced in small quantities for the next 25 years.
Ludwig had six sons from two marriages. He had two son with his first wife, they were: Rudolf and Oskar Moser. He had four sons with his second wife Julie Meyer (of the Meyer Glassmaking family) were Gustov, Leo, Richard and Carl Moser.
Moser purchased blanks form several glasshouses namely Meyrís Neffe, near Vimperk and Harrach at Novy Svet. In 1893 with the planed future opening of the Glasshouse Moserís three eldest sons joined the firm. the company was reorganized as a private stock company and named Karlsbader Glasindustire Gesellshaft, Ludwig Moser und Sohne. In 1895 Moser opened his new glasshouse in Dvory, near Karlovy Vary after several years of being refuse the permission to do so. Prior to building his own glasshouse, Moser operated like other refining (glass finishing works) and exporting companies.
1895 Moser Factory at Meierhofen
Again around 1900 the Moser firm went through reorganization which left Rudolf Moser as the acting Director. Ludwig then 67 appears to have retired to probably be involved behind the scene. Rudolf apparently died in 1908, Leo Moser assumed the duties of Commercial Director the same year. In 1916 Richard Moser became Commercial Director and Leo Moser became the Artistic Director.
Leo Moser was responsible for many of the firm creative innovations. In the early the 1920s he was working with Josef Hoffmann a Viennese professor to create new colors. Leo also worked with Professor Auer, at the Research Institute of Glass, in Berlin to develop new colors. The new colors were obtained by the inclusion of rare elements which produced the desired colors. These new colors included Alexandrite, Amber, Heliolite, Turquoise beryl and dark red Royalite. Also developed at the time was Smoke Topaz and Lemon Yellow. In 1929 Royalite won a Grand Prize, in Paris.
With the beginning of World War I in 1914 it had a major impact on the firm. The Karlsbad spa clients were no long coming to the area. The art Nouveau Period (1890 Ė 1910) was ending. Tastes were changing, next would bring the Art Deco Period which was popular from the 1920s through the 1940s and then waned after WWII.
After World War I, the market of Art Glass improved somewhat. Economic conditions in Czechoslvica were not good and contributed to the fininacial insatiability of the Moser Firm. In 1922 the firm of Meyrís Neffe merged with Ludwig Moser and was renamed A. G. Ludwig Moser & Sohn und Meyrís Neff A.G. After the merger the firm had of six glass furnaces, with 68 pots, 248 cutting work benches and additional engraving and painting department with a total of 750 employees.
The great Depression of 1929 in the USA had major impact of creating a financial disaster around the world, including on the Moser Firm. The largest Austrian and German Banks failed in 1931. In 1932 Moser experienced sever financial difficulties which resulted in the stockholder shares being reduced to 20% of their original value. Due to fininacial pressure and the rise of the Nazi party in Germany, in 1933 the Adolf works at Winterberg was sold. The same year the last of the Moser family left the firm founded by Ludwig Moser, 76 years before.
Leo Moser left Meinerhofen, just before this brother shares were sold. Richard Moser stayed for another three year. He latter accepted a position in Prague for a Swiss based firm. Latter Richard left Prague for South America. Richard son Ludwig was interned in various Nazi concentrations camps for 42 months. By the time he arrived in the USA all contact with his father was irretrievable lost. The details of Richardís remaining life is unknown.
Leo Moser after leaving the firm, became the Managing Director over several glass factories for Joseph Inwald Ltd., of Prague. Realizing the danger of Jewish heritage with the rise of the Nazi party, he obtained passports for his wife Paolo and son Thomas who departed in June 1938 for the USA. Leo daughterís Lea stayed with her father. In August of 1938 Leo and Lea fled to France. Again Leo and Lea fled in June of 1940. For political reason they were stuck on board ship for six month finally arriving in Casablanca. There the entire ships complement was transferred to a concentration camp. Leo and Lea were mysteriously released from the camp and made their way to Spain. In Barcelona they acquired US Passports and finally fly Pan American Airlines to the USA.
In 1938 the Nazi took over Czechoslovakia and under Nazis, the board of director was dissolved and all the Moser stock was transferred to the German Government. The company was renamed Staatliche Glasmannfactur, Karlshad A. G. vormals Moser Karlsbad. They produced items essentials to the Nazi war effort. In early 1945 the furnaces were extinguished by orders of the Nazis.
After World War II the Communist Government nationalized the glassmaking industry in Czechoslovakia. About 50 independent firms were consolidated into 15 firms. Moser was one of the few firms which was permitted to operate independently. The manufacturing emphasis was placed on producing contemporary and the traditional glassware designs. After the collapse of communism in 1989 Moser quickly transitioned to a joint-stock company.
Note to the reader: I would like to gratefully thank Mr. Gary D. Baldwin (author of Moser Artistic Glass Edition Two) for answering my questions and clarifying some Moser's historical facts for me. Thank You Gary.
Below is a Moser rose bowl of cobalt blue glass with applied ball feet and a typical fantastic Moser enameling. ca. 1880s Blanks most likely produced by Meyrís Neffe or Harrach.
Below is a Moser rose bowl of deep emerald green glass with typical fantastic Moser enameling. ca. 1880s Blanks most likely produced by Meyrís Neffe or Harrach.
Photos Courtesy of Brian Severn from www.Glasscollector.net
As side note Brian has a great section on his site called "Decoding the Harrach Signature.
This is most likely not Moser (more likely Loetz or Harrach). The Pillow Vase below in cranberry glass with applied clear glass feet and nice simple enameling not to Moser quality. With Moser work if the enameling is less than great to excellent, it is simply not Moser produced in the Victorian Period.
Moser Pillow Vases with applied glass feet and very nice enameling.
Again, two different Pillow Vases with applied glass feet and great enameling.
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