Loetz Crete Rusticana Iridescent Glass Vase c.1900. The vase has a textured glass body and neck with broadly flared rim. Characteristic iridescent surface sheen covering the exterior of the vase. Ground pontil mark to base. The vase measures 11.5 cm in height and 9.5 cm maximum diameter.
Johann Loetz was a glassmaker about whom little is known. It was his widow Susanne who was the start of Loetz after her second husband (Frank Gerstner) bought a glassworks in Southern Bohemian – transferring ownership to her shortly before his death in 1855. Susanne successfully led and expanded the company (known as Johann Loetz Witwe) – passing it to her son-in-law (Maximilian von Spaun) in 1879. He modernised the factory and introduced new patented techniques and processes. Maximilian first saw Tiffany’s Favrile glass exhibited in Bohemia and Vienna in 1897 - convincing him that the Art Nouveau style would be the company's future. The next decade was to be the most artistically significant and profitable period for Loetz. However, despite further artistic collaborations and new designs, sales started to decline in the 1900’s and by 1911 Loetz needed additional funds from the von Spaun family. The departure of Loetz's artistic director in 1913 followed by a major fire and the outbreak of WWI virtually sealed the company's fate. Loetz had a slight but brief revival after the war however the Great Depression in the late 1920s and another major fire in 1930 had a devastating impact and Loetz declared bankruptcy in 1939 following the German invasion of Czechoslovakia. The glassworks manufactured utilitarian glassware for the Third Reich throughout WWII, but ultimately closed down completely in 1947.