Bohemian glass, sometimes called Bohemian crystal, is produced in the regions of the Czech Republic and Silesia. Bohemian glass has a long history and is internationally recognized for its high quality, craftsmanship and beauty.
Carving, engraving, decorative painting from champagne flutes to huge chandeliers, jewelry, figurines and other glass items are made by hand.
Bohemian glass is one of the most famous Czech https://aleks-crystal.com/martini/ exports and is extremely popular as a tourist souvenir. The Czech Republic has numerous glass studios and schools where local and foreign students study. Glass items found during archaeological excavations in the Luzicky Mountain of Northern Bohemia date back to around 1250.
Over the centuries, the most notable glass industries have been in Skalice (German: Langenau), Yablunytsya, Železny Brody, Podebrady, Karlovy Vary, Kamenicky Šenov (German: Steinschönau) and Nowy Bor (German: Haida). Some of these cities have their own glass museums with many items dating back to 1600.
Yablunitsa is particularly famous for local traditional glass jewelry. The Museum of Glass and Jewelry in Jablonec nad Nisou has a long history of great collections.
Crystal differs from glass by the presence of lead in its composition.
Glass products containing less than 4% lead are defined as «glass» under EU rules.
Glass containing more than 10% lead is referred to as crystal, and products containing more than 30% lead are defined as «tall crystal».
In the USA, glass is classified as crystal if it contains only 1% lead.
In the Czech Republic, the term «crystal» is used for any exquisite glass product with high quality glass. Crystal is true to its name if it contains more than 24% lead oxide.
The lead content in crystal softens the glass and makes it more accessible for cutting and engraving, increases the weight of the glass and causes the glass to refract light.
For maximum glass hardness, a lead content of up to 40% is desirable. On the other hand, crystal can contain less than 24% lead if it has a high proportion of barium oxide, which provides high quality light diffraction.
Czech Bohemia, formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, famous for its beautiful and colorful glass during the Renaissance. The history of Bohemian glass began with rich natural resources. A combination of potash with chalk was found here, which was used to create a colorless glass that was more stable than glass from Italy.
The term «Bohemian crystal» first appeared in history in the 16th century. To distinguish the qualities of their glassware from others, they used the term «Bohemian crystal». This glass is lead free, as is commonly thought. Large quantities of limestone and silica were used. In addition, resources such as wood for the stove were burned to the ground and created potash.
In the 17th century, during the reign of Rudolf II in Prague, Kaspar Lehmann used a stone-cutter adapted to the glass technique for engraving jewelry made of copper and bronze wheels.
From 1685 to 1750 — the era when the Czech Republic became the dominant producer of decorative tableware and local glass production, earning an international reputation for high Baroque style.
Czech tableware was becoming prestigious and widely popular among the aristocracy of the time. Czech crystal chandeliers adorned the palaces of the French king Louis XV, Maria Theresa, Empress Elizabeth of Austria in Russia.