Brockwitz - the revelation
to Dieter Neumann for his help with this astonishing revelation about Brockwitz and for permission to show extracts
from the Brockwitz 1915 Musterbuch (catalogue). Thanks too, to Silke Thistlewood for translating the covering
letter from 1915.
Brockwitz is a
now a well known Carnival Glass manufacturer - their glass being greatly sought after today, on account of
its magnificent iridescence and artistry of design. The company was located in Germany, in the Elbe valley,
not far from Dresden - it was a major factory that began glass production in 1904 and at its height, employed
over 1200 workers. Carnival Glass was made there in the mid 1920s, after the USA Classic production. Right?
Wrong! Stop right there. That's what we always thought was the case - that Brockwitz (and probably the other
European makers) copied the USA Classic Carnival production and took up when the USA producers tailed off
their output in the mid 1920s. Well, thanks to German glass researcher, Dieter Neumann, we now know that
things were actually very different.
Hold on to your
hats and read on..................
Here is the
date page for a Brockwitz catalogue. The illustration shows the Brockwitz factory - and the
date is July 1915.
pattern book are illustations of the suites we know as Rose Garden and Curved Star (Brockwitz
called them Rosen and Zurich). And the astonishing notation under the Curved Star Rose Garden vases
is "Goldiris". Marigold Carnival. Another notation in the same book alongside two unknown designs
is "m. eingebranntem Lüsterdekor" which roughly translates to "fired on iridescence".
Brockwitz were making Carnival Glass in or even
before 1915. Directly comparable in date terms to the Classic USA producers.
Above left is the catalogue image
of Rose Garden (Rosen) "Blumenvase" (of flower vase) in the two shapes - oval and cylinder, and on
the right, the actual oval and 2 sizes of cylinder vase - all in Goldiris, or
This is a major revelation,
which overturns conventional thinking on the time line of production. In fact if Brockwitz were
producting marigold carnival in 1915 (at the height of the First World War) it is highly probable
that they did not actually introduce it at that time, but some years earlier, possibly just prior
to the War. The covering letter that accompanies the Pattern Book is to all customers of the
company, advising them that delivery times will be longer than usual due to the ongoing war and
that all glass ware will be getting more expensive again because of the political situation. Hardly
the time for them to be experimenting with new techniques - much more likely that they were using
So, Brockwitz began to make Carnival Glass much earlier than was originally thought. Indeed, they
were directly comparable, in real time, to the Classic USA makers. And they used a fired on
iridescence too (eingebranntem Lüsterdekor). It's possible that this was blue or marigold, and the
Goldiris descriprion referred to just marigold.
On the far left you can a picture of Brockwitz's Curved Star (Zurich) cylinder vase alongside
the 1915 Pattern Book illustration of the same item .
Sincere thanks to Dieter Neumann for his help with this astonishing revelation and for permission
to show extracts from the Brockwitz 1915 Musterbuch.
Visit the Brockwitz Gallery to see more pictures from this amazing
Carnival Glass maker.