Egermann Glassware and the Inventions of Glass Decoration Techniques

History of Egermann

The company Egermann is situated in the scenic city of Novy Bor in the beautiful area of Northern Bohemia, Czech Republic. The roots of the company go back to the beginning of the 19th century. The name of the company comes from the famous glass technologist and glass painter, Friedrich Egermann.

Egermann, born in 1777 in north Bohemia, learned the art of painting as an apprentice in Meissen, German. Meissen was at that time the center for porcelain. He learned the different manufacturing processes and how to paint on porcelain. Back in Novy Bor he focused on painting glass and he devoted his time to experimenting with new decorating techniques.

It was in 1817-1818 that the he invented the yellow glazing for glassware. He was able to exchange sodium ions from the surface of the glass by silver ions.

About ten years later, in 1829, he invented Lithyalin glass. This type of glass has a marble look. Actually the material was already known but Egermann worked the surface in such a way that they looked exactly like precious stones. These glass stones became very popular and Egermann and imitators exported their products through the whole of Europe. His invention of the Lithalyin glass stones was the first impulse with which Friedrich Egermann changed the glass industry in Bohemia and the rest of the world. He showed the other glass makers that by innovation it was possible to change your market position.

Then in 1832 he did his biggest invention: the red glaze. Red was always a popular color for glass and until then the glass makers only knew how to make a nice ruby red with the help of the expensive ingredient gold.

Egermann found a way to make a nice ruby red glaze with the help of just copper ions. This invention made him rich. Unfortunately the formula was stolen around 1840 and soon after that the technique spread over Europe and the US.

His inventions didn’t only make him a rich man but he also got numerous prices and honors for his work and when he died in 1864 he was famous around the world.

The majestic glassware of Egermann

The factory in Novy Bor, still produces the so-called Egermann glassware. First they produce the “raw” glazed glassware and after that they do their famous cutting, etching, engraving and other decorations.

Their products range from the stained (glazed) glasses, cut and etched and sometimes afterwards painted, highly enameled glassware, cut crystal products and stained glass windows.

The typical Egermann glasses they have not only in yellow stain and the famous red stain, but also in green and black. The decorations on the stained glassware go from simple but elegant grape designs to very detailed images of castles, etched and cut into the surface.

Egermann wine glasses are not the modern wine glass as what we mostly use today. The modern wine glass was only invented in 1957. The modern wine glass is a thin blown glass bowl on a long slim stem. This design makes it possible to enjoy the taste of wine to its maximum. Egermann wine glasses are the old style: heavy, thick-walled glass and richly decorated.

Although the connoisseurs normally drink only wine from modern wine glasses they must admit that drinking wine from an Egermann wine glass is a special experience. While drinking you might not get the maximum taste experience but you will step back in time with every zip of your wine. The majestic wine glasses of Egermann have been used by the rich and noble for over two centuries and drinking wine from these glasses brings you back to those times.

Especially beautiful are the so-called paneled glasses. The glass is first stained and then the majority off the glaze layer is removed by cutting, the clear glass is then polished and at the end decorated with gold paint. The panel wine glasses are the ultimate Egermann wine glasses. A dinner table with these glasses looks royal, even when the food has not yet been served.

Until today the glassware at Egermann is made with the traditional Bohemian techniques. Each vase, glass or bowl is therefor a unique product in the tradition of the grandmaster Friedrich Egermann.