Kralik was probably the largest volume producer of Bohemian ‘art glass’ in the early 20th century.
The range of glass and designs (decors) was immense and in the past much of Kralik’s glass production was attributed to other manufacturers, particularly Loetz. The reason for this was twofold; firstly the glass was largely unmarked and secondly the survival of glass production documentation from the Kralik glasshouses was poor.
Only during the last decade has research begun to reveal the true extent of production. Kralik manufactured glass of varying quality, the best rivalling Loetz and Tiffany. This variety makes it ideal for ‘collecting’ as examples may be found to suit any budget.
It is generally easier to find the cheaper production lines which were retailed in larger numbers across Europe and America whilst the ‘high end’ vessels are generally much harder both to identify and to locate and can therefore command higher prices.
Many sellers are still offering Kralik glass as Loetz and buyers should be aware that ‘misidentification’ is common, sometimes no doubt because traditionally Loetz has commanded higher prices!
Wilhelm Kralik Sohne, Bohemia
At the time of his death in 1877 Wilhelm Kralik (1806-77) had acquired no less than seven glassworks collectively operating under the name Meyr’s Neffe. Kralik developed innovative techniques and processes which were to be widely adopted in glass making in years to come. The early 1880s saw the dispersal and division of the glassworks by his four sons. The Kaltenbach and Fransensthal works were sold. Meyr’s Neffe continued with the Adolfshutte, Idahutte and Louisenhutte glasshouses run by Karl and Hugo Kralik, whilst Heinrich and Johann operated the Eleonorahutte and Ernshutte works. These latter two glass manufacturies were amalgamated by Heinrich Kralik (1840-1911) on the retirement of Johann and became known as Wilhelm Kralik Sohne, finally closing down during the early 1940s war years.
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