ANTONIN RÜCKL & SONS 1919-1939
Including WILHELM KRALIK & SONS Czech Glass
Groups of Ruckl and Kralik art glass
UPDATED in 2nd half of 2020, since 2015 See Site Map for changes:
Catalog page of Rückl Art Deco Glass Decors
With permission, Truitt's Bohemian Glass Volume II, page 75
Tango Sklo Wall Poster prepared by the NOVY BOR GLASS MUSEUM with A. Rückl & Sons drawings & catalog pages, bottom mark (SMNB) on all exhibit's many fine posters.
Most of the content images are on this site.
- First image represents 3 Rückl glass decorative pieces with a yellow and orange spatter, a hot furnace glass layered decor applied to a clear glass base with a mat colorless glass overlay, a decor of pulled glass in a flame streak effect of mixed dark blue and green colors was applied to the bottom rims: this is called 'canari shimmy pfau*'.
- Image is from another Tango Sklo exhibit Rückl display shelf, with more A. Rückl decors in other color variations applied to an assortment of shapes: an amphora, a vase, perfume bottles, a jar, and a lamp shade.
- This image represents a large Rückl glass electric hanging ceiling fixture shade with three smaller shades, dating 1915-20. It has a yellow spatter hot furnace decor on a clear glass base with a mat colorless glass overlay, and pulled flame streaks of dark blue and green glass from the bottom or from the top of the rims. Another yellow 'shimmy pfau*' variation.
- Pair of perfume atomiser bottles in the Ruckl satin glass finish decors, canari shimmy pfau and orange shimmy pfau.
As many collectors of Bohemian glass know as well as glass museums, researchers and the Czech descendants of the A. Rückl & Sons family and employees. There is very little documentation available of their business dealings, details of their glass production, the volume, the exports, their marketing arrangements etc. This is due to the passing of time, the lack of access to the area during the Communist regime, and to the chaotic political climate of the early 20th century in that region. This has created a hugely challenging task for any accurate attributions to most of the Rückl decorative glass produced and exported before 1945.
We do have a few glass shapes, decors, and catalog designs to work with thanks to the efforts of Robert and Deborah Truitt and their publications "Bohemian Glass" Volume I and II, the glass on display at the Czech Glass Museums, and the 2011-12 Czech Tango Sklo exhibits organised by PhDr. Jitka Letnickova. Their combined work, research and contributions still represent only a small fraction of this successful company's output over the twenty year period of 1920-1940.
The site's purpose is to offer additional Rückl decorative glass identifications in several ways. Bringing together under one roof so to speak documented items as well as researched pieces from recent internet image availability, with my own Rückl collection. Some site pages will be dedicated to the pursuit of study involving other Czech glass companies for comparison purposes especially Kralik items, who produced and exported massive quantities of Czech glass and have very similar types of shapes and style of decorative glass.
This website would not have been possible without the information generated by the Czech Republic's Tango Sklo Exhibits of the years 2011-13 (see page about TANGO SKLO under documentation). It was the first of it's kind, and the first to represent A. Rückl & Sons decorative glass pieces for all to finally enjoy and appreciate.
There was documentation in the form of old catalog pages and drawings from the 1920s and 1930s from Rückl available, as posted here. With the exhibits, seeing an actual grouping of glass pieces together, was a whole new experience, much more informative and impressive. There is a cautionary note here as well, because of this heavy emphasis of my site on the Tango Sklo exhibit Rückl glass pieces content, if there were errors with some of the glass items chosen for the A. Rückl portion of the exhibit, then those errors will be reflected here as well, initially, till research and time has provided a confirmation or not for these attributions. Please contact me, if you find this is the case. The site means to be as accurate as possible in it's representations. If you don't contact me, yet feel the need to criticize the content of this site elsewhere on a public forum, in my opinion, that shows your lack of serious intent in helping everyone, and is more an attack meant against my efforts and is your real personal agenda, no matter how you present it.
We will explore in detail the particular Rückl decorative glass construction and design, which will allow a better understanding of what to look for. There will be few instances of 100% Rückl attribution for the evaluated pieces of glass represented here. In most situations, it will be made clear, what percentage or degree of validity the attribution to A. Rückl is. Images used here are a mix of personal photos, friend's and permitted collector's contributions. Other images available on the internet on sites such as Pinterest and Collectors Weekly will also be used, within the boundaries of appropriate internet copyright law.
The site's objective is based on providing a good look at the A. Rückl & Sons glass company and their Art Deco products. It's efforts will be pursued in a cautious and open minded manner. This site will not venture into the other types of decorative glass this company was famous for in Czechoslovakia: the crystal chandeliers and lamps, the cut and etched table top glass and crystal decorative items, the figurines and plaques they produced for special occasions and recipients.
COPYRIGHT for 2015-19 indicates the information as 'text' on this site is proprietary. If you wish to use any part of this site's information for your own use, please go to the CONTACT page for my email link and ask for permission, if you wish to copy the images, you are able to do so under the Fair Use law, unless the material is copyrighted already as a publication and where I got permission in writing for it's usage.
It's beyond my comprehension that A. Ruckl who ventured in the decorative glass category after WWI, to produce various types of pieces, at their three plants, Nizbor being famous for their cut crystal to this day, is still not properly represented in recent collector's displays and online documentations.
Perhaps the political climate of WWII and it's consequences have something to do with it. Be that as it may, we are beyond judging and ignoring the true role of the more important glass and crystal manufacturers during those chaotic years. Of course, there are current insidious reasons this might be so, where some collectors and researchers feel compelled to pursue the validation of other glass plants for personal reasons, rather than be forthright and present a true picture of the Czech interwar glass export production and the companies involved.
WELCOME TO A CZECH DECORATIVE GLASS PRODUCTION SITE:
Since 2015, the purpose of this site has been to provide the result of my personal study and collection of the Czech glass, mainly with a focus on the Ruckl and Kralik companies decorative glass, while establishing their deserved place with the other better known Czech glass companies, still in operation during the 1920s and 1930s.
I find that much of the export glass by Kralik has remained undocumented and since there is often similarity between some glass products by Ruckl and by Kralik. Both entities are recognized as owners of multiple plants, enabling them to have an important role in the decorative glass exports of this period.
Antonin (Anton or Anthony) Rückl & Sons's Bohemian Glass Company was involved in some form or other of glass production from the mid 19th century till now. This would include industrial glass, utilitarian glass, decorative glass, and the thousands of other uses for which glass was and is necessary.
Their contributions to the Art Nouveau movement or Jugendstil, was with early 1900's decorative glass exports, especially for their ruby colored glass produced by the Svelnika plant. Because the use of labels or signatures was not common in Bohemia, there is knowledge of the glass they made, but we have no specific pieces to show due to the lack of documention and available antique glass pieces on the resale market.
Since this site's goal is to increase awareness of this excellent yet mostly unknown type of Bohemian glass by using a broader spectrum of glass pieces for display and identification, it will focus on the much more prevalent Rückl decorative glass products of the 1919 to 1939 years (the two decades between the World Wars), when the country was first known as Czechoslovakia. Hence the meaningful choice of this site's name : rucklczglass.
This period coincides with the highly influential Art Deco artistic trend in Europe, which in the European glass category saw the early Bohemian Loetz company's Tango line, in 1914. Inspired by the garments worn by troops of traveling Argentinian tango dancers and the ladies boldly colored garments. These glass pieces were made of innovative single color opaque glass in a range of bright tones of orange, red and yellow, accented with opaque black or cobalt blue glass colors in simpler shapes and forms.
A. Rückl had their own unique concept of this new aesthetic. They fabricated glass pieces that were large, heavy, and stunning in their glass color combinations, with clean elegant simple shapes without added frilly glass applications.
A. Rückl glass display from the 3rd of 4 TANGO SKLO museum exhibits in 2011-12, in Czech Republic.