More Malachite from Czech RepublicBy Mark Chervenka
More Malachite from Czech Republic - Art Deco Styled Perfumes and Vases
More and more original glass molds and glass formulas are being placed in production in the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia).
Most of the items now being produced are from original Art Deco period molds first used in the 1920s and early 1930s. Now, as then, many of the most popular items are perfume bottles and boudoir accessories in a green opaque glass called malachite (pronounced mal-a-KITE) named after the green gemstone, malachite. This glass is also called "jade green" or simply "opaque green".
The most recent batch of original molds used to make malachite glass items are those of Hoffman & Son. Heinrich Hoffman, son of the founder, lead a team of professional artists which created some of the best designed glass of the early 20th century. Designs were developed in Paris for production in the company's factories in Bohemia. The best known and most popular Hoffman designs were in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.
Hoffman was one of the few Czech firms in the 1920s to use a permanently molded mark, a butterfly with wings spread. Although this mark does not appear on any of the pieces in this article, we has seen other new shapes in various types of glass with the molded Hoffman butterfly mark. One was a floral vase, the other a dresser tray with a figural seated nude. Obviously, you can not base your opinion of age on the presence of this mark. If the mark was in the old mold, it will be in the reproduction as well.
There is no easy way to tell old from new pieces of malachite or other colors in new Czech glass. Generally, mold seams, bases and rims on older pieces have more and better hand polishing. But this can be taken as only a guide. With only few exceptions, every new piece shown in this article was well finished. Every base was at least as well polished as 1920-30s originals. Only the complete absence of normal wear suggested the bases were modern.
Molds seams on the new stoppers were also close to the old standards. The large heart shaped stopper in Fig. 6 was especially well done. Seams in most of the bottles were good with only the bottle seams in Fig. 1 noticeably average. New color is indistinguishable from old original colors.
New wholesale prices are cheap.$10 to $98 were paid for perfumes; $34 to $89 for vases. Comparable old originals sell for $100 to $450 and more. Individual prices are listed with each piece under the photograph.
These recent reproductions are the second wave of copies to be made from the same original 1920-30 molds. The same molds were used in the late 1950s. Two catalog pages from that era are shown above. Copies from the 1950s are generally well polished and good looking. They now have almost 40 years of wear. If you're paying original prices, be sure and get a receipt that clearly states the year of production.