ANTONIN RÜCKL & SONS 1919-1939
Including WILHELM KRALIK & SONS Czech Glass
This comparison between a slim
baluster vase shape produced in
different sizes, some bearing a Kralik
decor, and some bearing a Welz decor
with a FWK label is quite challenging.
The red spatter vase on the left with
green aventurine base spatter is mine.
This is the motivator for this study,
and trying to reach some conclusions.
I think several should be considered.
Kralik on left and Welz at right.
I see a difference between some vases in the two groupings but not all, part of the reason is the upper rim and where it was cut off on the vase. The other issue is the size, I am aware of a few sizes for these pieces, mine is 9.25 inches high, some are 7 inches high, which may affect their shape and proportions overall. The usual problem with camera angles and distortions is another issue when dealing with this linear shape.
1. The simplest explanation is that they were all made by Welz. Not quite reasonable as some decors are not being found on Welz shapes but on Kralik shapes.
2. Kralik and Welz produced both of them, might have used the same mold shapes, with separate production for their own decors.
3. A sub-contractor was hired to help with the huge number of glass exports being sold, and they used the same mold, with different decors for different companies. This possibility is hardly ever mentioned with Czech glass export production, but it is one that other country's decorative ware exporters used to supplement their output when required. As we hear often, there was supposedly hundreds of glass plants in Czechoslovakia, so, I don't see the problem of going this route, except it makes a confusing situation for identification even more difficult.
4. They were all made by Kralik over a period of time, in a business agreement with Welz. Keeping decors separate under each brand. This makes some sense as far as output and the higher number of plants Kralik had at their disposal, a matter of logistics, which is still a pertinent subject and question: how did Welz supposedly make all this glass, with the high numbers of the total glass called Welz by some, from the Czech period available on the resale market at the moment, I don't see how it is remotely possible with one glass plant in remote Klostergrab, no matter how efficient the production was, when efficiency was paramount to all.
5. Why not a Ruckl attribution for my vase? Because I have not found any Ruckl shape or decor with this combination of deep red mixed with an intense orange glass spatter with a single colored base spatter in a dark green glass aventurine. There are a bright red and green aventurine spatter Ruckl glass decor, but the top is green and base is a spatter green and red glass decor. See three images at left of this text for examples.
Finally, how do I separate the two types of Czech glass here, between Kralik and Welz. The Welz pieces have either a label with the FWK initials which stand for 'Franx Welz Klosterbrag', a location close to the Western border of Czechoslovkia with Germany, which was also a coal mining region in the mountain range of this area, Franz Welz was involved in both industries by the year 1900. The other factor for determination, is several decorative pieces which have been identified as Welz, so in my grouping on the right I could point to the top four as Welz.
For Kralik, the 'quadrille' decor, one which I have attributed with a large number of Kralik shapes and marks here on my MoreCzechIII site page and seen here again with their various types of applications, and color combinations. It is the most indicative of a Kralik attribution and product here. The other vases are quite similar in shape if I use a combo of four images showing both maker's attributed pieces together as follows, Kralik top two, and Welz bottom two.
KRALIK VS WELZ:ONE OF THE CONFUSING VASE SHAPES PRODUCED BY BOTH
ALL THESE TANGO DECOR GLASS VASES ARE MADE BY SEVERAL CZECH HOUSES
An image of a trumpet tango decor glass vase grouping, which at first glance appear the same, but if you examine the foot rest bases, the height and width of the pieces, compare the proportions of the crimped six point shallow rims with the body mass, it varies, and some seem smaller than others. There are too many differences to comfortably claim these were all made by the same company. This simple form as has been said often about other Czech glass shapes, was a popular one for the 1920-40 period. It would be logical to conclude it was used by several companies.
You will also note that some of these vases are the same glass color on the interior surface and the exterior one, and some have an extra exterior glass decor application on top of it. The Truitt's published image with Tango vase shape examples in yellow with applied winding, is seen with both a white interior and a yellow interior in Volume II.
The consensus among most Czech glass collectors is a cautious one regarding the Tango decors. Because it combines simple colors and simple shapes. Unless you have the benefit of documentation as Loetz does, or a recognized mark as Kralik does, the glass piece remains a 'MAYBE'.