There are many crossovers between artistic genres which have impacted on either glass or porcelain as well as their better-known incarnations over the years, apart from the broader movements (such as Art Deco and Art Nouveau) which encompassed many different creative endeavours by definition.

Consider the Romantic poets and their writings on idealised notions of love and beauty – how many times have these same concepts inspired decoration on ceramics or engravings on glass ?

The late Georgian and early Regency periods saw polite society consumed with a love for all things pastoral by way of distancing themselves from the grime of industrialisation, and again these same themes proliferated on both porcelain wares and in poetry, prose, painting and theatre.

Other touchpoints are less obvious – the imprint left on antique collectables by styles and schools of architecture, for instance. There are, however, a whole range of tall, slender decanters which evoke the soaring spires of perpendicular and gothic buildings, and the whole gamut of baluster stemware owes its name to the use of similarly-proportioned vertical shafts on stairways, balconies and parapets.

In addition to these stylistic similarities which extend over fairly wide-ranging forms there are also far more specific instances where the influence of a particular individual can be seen on examples of different originative endeavours. Josef Hoffman was a naturalised Austrian designer (born in Moravia, in 1870) who made his name as an architect at the forefront of the Viennese Secessionist movement. His designs can be seen in buildings both inside and out, as he also draughted patterns for furniture - and he diminished the scale of his projects further still by coming up with designs for glassware

The windows, facades, outlines and interiors of Hoffman’s buildings would often feature clear, dark vertical and horizontal lines (viz the Palais Stoclet in Brussels – perhaps his signature building) and it was, of course, no coincidence that his glassware often mirrored this same tendency.

There is a whole series of his pieces, produced by Lobmeyr of Vienna around 1910, which feature this precision-enamelling on matt finish crystal – tumblers, decanters, coupes and the wonderful wine glass which we are pleased to currently have listed. It may be just the shock of the new, coming across such a design which is used so very sparingly on glasses, but I personally think that it works very well indeed; clearly Hoffman was able to come up with concepts which looked good on a variety of scales and when manifested in vastly different media – a very underestimated talent indeed.

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