Monday, April 18, 2011


Back to the History of Jewelery !!

Art Deco circa 1927 molded or pressed glass Czech necklace

History of Czech or Bohemian Molded Glass Jewelery

Once again there is not much information on the internet about Czech molded glass.
There are some absolutely stunning wearable pieces of art around....and I have to admit.... a lot of it is owned by me !

A cottage industry began in the Bohemian cities of Jablonec, Stanovsko and Bedrichov in the 1500s. These glassmakers made beads for larger jewelry factories.
To expand the market for beads, Bohemian "sample men" canvassed Europe and returned with new design ideas. By the 1860s, the Czech bead industry had surpassed its rival, Venice. About the same time, manufacturers developed special molds and machines to produce pressed-glass.

Pressed or molded beads are associated with lower labour costs. These are made in the Czech republic. Thick rods are heated to molten and fed into a complex apparatus that stamps the glass, including a needle that pierces a hole. The beads again are rolled in hot sand to remove flashing and soften seam lines. By making canes (the glass rods fed into the machine) striped or otherwise patterned, the resulting beads can be more elaborately colored than seed beads. One `feed' of a hot rod might result in 10–20 beads, and a single operator can make thousands in a day.
The Bohemian glass industry was known for its ability to copy more expensive beads, and produced molded glass "lion's teeth", "coral", and "shells", which were popular in the 19th and early 20th century Africa trade.
Czech bead-making suffered setbacks because of two world wars, the Great Depression and Communist rule. Today, the industry has been revived, and Czech bead makers are again among the world leaders in bead manufacturing and exports.

Czech molded glass pieces of jewelery came to the fore around 1900
Travel had become very popular to those with money, a tour of Europe was not uncommon at all... for the rich.
People traveled often by boat [think Titanic] and night after night it was De Rigueur to wear different outfits and jewelery, and so started costume jewelery, a lot was made in Czechoslovakia....but often Czech beads were imported and made into jewelery in London, Paris, New York.
Art Nouveau or Arts and Craft's style was very popular and fancy pressed glass suited the style well.
The above photo is a set of mine in faux Jade molded glass, I said a few posts back that even though I own real jade, I am just as happy or even happier to own fake jade.
The pieces above vary in era some have been made or at least been modified by me, but they are around the 1915 circa.
These earrings I wear with the above set [flash makes the color look different] are fake or a copy. New made in Paris and most likely Czech molded glass made to look Art Deco....not many people years ago had pieced ears [except for some European country's] and earrings were usually screw back.
Once again Czech molded glass this time in mostly mottled pinks...I made the earrings from vintage stone...but the necklaces are circa 1935
Then came the machine age or Art Deco...the typical "Flapper" girl loved to wear jewelery shapes were becoming more square less rounded and flowing my first photo... the blue molded glass necklace circa 1927 shows this style to perfection.
Of course the long flapper length necklace or lariat was extremely popular too and many of the beads used were molded or pressed glass.

A transitional necklace half Deco and half Nouveau circa 1920 in Sterling signed

The above two photos should have been all together but I forgot one ! and I am missing one earring too.
All these necklaces [yes I wear the lot together] are Czech molded glass,and are original... so are the earrings although I modified them for my pieced ears they are transitional half Deco half Nouveau circa 1920.
Made in brass but silver plated you can see some wear but I think it adds to the beauty.
You will find that a lot of Czech pieces were not signed, and if you do have a piece signed usually Bohemia or Slovakia or Czechoslovakia, it will be worth a lot more.

Czech molded glass set circa 1930

Czech Molded glass set circa 1935
The above two sets that I own, are similar in color but there are subtle differences.
Green was a very popular color in molded glass, but another popular color was coral a particular favorite of mine......but then again.... I love molded glass so much I don't really care what color they are...all the colors were very vibrant...I think that's one of the reasons they are so beautiful.

So here is part of my coral set.
The necklace on the right with the marcasite is Czech original circa 1930 to 35 the other necklace I made [because I needed something to go with it]... out of vintage old stock Japanese pressed glass !.... so it is very similar in style.
The drop earrings I also made myself from molded glass beads most likely Czech...I tried to make them to match or blend with both necklaces.
Of course molded or pressed glass was used for all types of jewelery, rings, earrings, necklaces and brooches and pins [I took no photos of brooches today will do a future post on them]

Molded glass ring set, both rings made by New York manufacturer "Nemco"  circa 1935 brass silver plate signed... the glass would be Czech
Czech carnelian molded glass circa 1927
Above are two interesting necklace....both are pressed glass done to look like the stone carnelian...the long one done in the Chinese style that was popular in the 1920's [think opium dens] the shorter one made by me from a brooch, is done in the "Egyptian Revival" style also in vogue in the 20's because of finding King Tuts tomb...but both are Czech.

 To the left hand side of this page are more examples of pressed glass...this set of cobalt blue is the first necklace I ever made from ground up I have just included it with the original Czech molded glass choker to show you that complimentary jewelry can be made.
 Earrings are all original Czech pressed glass but I have removed the screw backs ....but kept them in case I need to turn them back
The top two are circa 1930.
The bottom two are Art Nouveau circa 1010
This pale green dainty molded glass Czech pendant necklace is in rolled gold [I rarely wear gold so should sell it] quite rare and signed ......circa 1910 Art Nouveau.
 Two rings in cobalt blue, left one is another "Nemco" USA made but likely Czech glass, and the right hand side one is Czech signed very rare in a ring...Art Nouveau maybe turn of the Centurty 1900 and the first Nouveau thing I ever a dear favorite
Set of Czech glass rings all green some made to look like Jade most are Sterling signed age range is 1900 to 1950 ...the one on the very right is the oldest and the light green ring center with marcasite surrounds is Art Deco.

Another pair of Czech molded glass earrings...far more pale pink than photo shows, due to having to use flash [it was a very dull day]
This pair are most likely from the 1950's
So you can see that once the Czechs found a winning formula they stuck to a basic style very typically their own.

So The Czechs continued to make pressed glass during the late 1940's after recovering from the revenges of World War 2.
Items made during the 1950's and 1960's were good... but the early era' of 1900 to the late 1930's were never surpassed it was the heyday of vintage Czech molded glass.
Molded glass is still made to this day, and imported all over the world for jewelery makers...a lot of "old stock" is also floating around along with vintage findings from the it is not so hard to make your very own molded glass heirloom,
I buy as much as I can.... and stash it away, for that time in my life when I will have enough energy to make things again.
What is the value of vintage Czech glass pieces ? It really is hard to has taken me years of buying and study to even know when a piece is Czech let alone the era, the fact that a lot of it is not signed, some things were made for the tourist market other's not...but the price for a good quality piece is right up there....a really good necklace in great condition could fetch a $700.00 more or less.
Below is an example of a necklace that I sold... the Women who bought it is paying it sold for $500.00 which is a bit cheap really as it includes earrings [I could not find them for the pic]
It is transitional circa 1920 signed Slovakia on the clasp and made partly with molded Uranite glass !! or vasaline glass so it should have been more.... she got a deal.

As I said there is not a great deal of info about Czech molded glass...but I hope you have leaned a bit...maybe you will recognize something in Grandmothers box of treasures.
I am sorry if all the photos are annoying... but I have had to a bit... let my pic's of my collection do the talking at least to a certain extent.
All photos are my own unless stated other wise.
I would like to thank Wikipedia for parts of this post
And I would like to especially thank Jane Haley Clark owner of *Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelery* Here for use of the next lot of photos so you can see some beautiful examples of Vintage Czech molded glass remember to see is to learn !!
Til next time enjoy


  1. Wow again. What a remarkable collection you have. I love the carved rings - particularly in coral - so now! We are so lucky to have an amazing historical jewellery gallery here at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. You would love it. As a student I used to spend hours in there.
    Erica x

  2. Thanks girls...
    Erica I gotta get to London one day, I think seeing the crown jewels when I was a kid started my obsession.
    I may have to start my own Museum one day.
    I worry that my writing is not good enough though...I presume I will get better at that one of these days.

  3. I think your writing is pretty good! :) It's interesting to learn about the history of jewelry the way you've presented it.

  4. You harmonize well with these pieces, I'm thinking maybe, just maybe you were a precious jewel in another life.

  5. Amazing collection! I love the vintage things, but the decent things are quite often out of my price range. Maybe i will save up for at least one decent necklace :)

    Thank you for the makeup link. It does look good, but I really cannot afford such a price. I found the UK website and it was £80. One day I shall be rich, I have decided lol.

    Thanks for following me, I shall do the same

    From Liverpool,

  6. Torty, as soon as stell donates one of these pieces to my blog you will only need a few LB$.

  7. very preciour and nice jewerly!!

  8. Oh my! This was the most interesting post ever! Those are some gorgeous pieces! The pinks are just stunning! I am a huge bead lover and I'm not super talented, but I make a few things. I loved reading about them here. That's so cool! I am a new follower. :) Your blog is full of beauty!

    Warm wishes and I can't wait to read more!

  9. hi! wonderful collection. i'm glad i have found your blog. i was searching for some info regarding my Czech mother of pearl necklace. it is marked on the back of clasp, and i couldnt find any info regarding this piece of jewelry. thanks for some insight though :)

  10. Stella, I tried to send you a photo of a necklace I believe to be molded Czech glass, but the email bounced. How can I reach you? I opened a Google Account to post here, but for some reason, it isn't working, so must post as Anonymous. Bonnie

  11. Hi Stella I have really enjoyed your blog and learned a lot about Czech glass from you I too have a passion for this wonderful craft.I have a little shop in Liverpool England selling Antiques Vintage & vintage Costume jewellery,here are a few of my pieces (all sold now)
    It kills me to part with some pieces but unfortunately needs must hahahah! I'm so glad I have stumbled across you on this world wide web and will enjoy reading a lot more of your interesting Blog. I'm hoping to find time to do some blogging myself but at the moment there are not enough hours in the day!!!
    Sue Gannon-Kendrick xxxxxx

  12. have a piece of what I think to be Czech molded Glass, it is marked Czech. Is there anyway I could send you a picture and you could tell me if I am right?

  13. I have a brooch just like the one above in the photo of Czech carnelian glass Chinese and Egyptian revival necklaces (1927), but my molded glass is lapis blue. What can you tell me about this brooch?

    R. Bailey

  14. Hi. I've enjoyed looking at your collection. Thank you dor sharing it. I have a Nemco ring, and I would like 2 know more about it. I've had it for a while and it has tarnished some; but I'm interested to know if u knw about it. My
    email is...
    Thank u so much.

  15. I have a green glass nemco ring i can not find anywhere. It looks like the pink one with flowers you have. I am interested in the value and where i could find a buyer. Email me if you can help. I have pics also.