LOETZ WITWE & Phänomen Glass from Bohemia

Loetz Witwe was founded in 1836 in Bohemia and gained an international reputation for its glassware, but it became really well known in 1900 when the new boss created an innovative technique for iridescent glass. While Tiffany’s favrile glass in America was all the rage, it was also fabulously expensive. Max von Spaun, the owner of Lötz Witwe decided to cash in on the trend. He developed a new method for making the glass in Art Nouveau style at a fraction of the cost. This magnificent glass was characterized by trailed combed threads and bands with a metallic iridescence. The Phänomen was an instant hit, especially when some of Vienna’s best designers like Josef Hoffman and Koloman Moser were brought on board. But success was shortlived and in 1903, sales plummeted. The factory was finally forced to close in the Second World War.