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American and European Art glass - Victorian and Art Nouveau to Contemporary

"Harrach Windows"
by Brian Severn

Harrach Windows Basket - Severn Collection

Harrach Windows decorated basket - Cranberry colored glass cased in clear and opaque white with crimped and ruffled rim.  Decorated with beautifully enameled hanging flowers, multicolored leaves and flowers in blue  and other colors outlined with gold as well as a gold band around the base.   It's pinched in the center to create a sweet and unique basket.
Severn Collection

I first saw this wonderful glass advertised in the Glass Collectors Digest by some of the high end art glass dealers.  Attributed to Boston and Sandwich,  I initially thought these were very interesting and pricey, until I saw a piece in person and could really appreciate the craftsmanship that went into the work.

I've seen it called many different names from Window Pane to Polka Dot.  Not knowing the Harrach given name of this design, I believe "Harrach Windows" is the most fitting name of this wonderfully designed, and technically challenging glass to create. 

Since the excellent and scholarly researched Sandwich Glass books by Raymond E. Barlow and Joan E. Kaiser came out, it became apparent that not all of this type of glass is Sandwich Glass.  

The Sandwich Glass pieces are done in what's referred to as "double overlay."  Double overlay was typically done with an inside layer of clear, then an opaque white middle layer, then the outer layer was done in colored glass.    The desired design was cut through the outside layers, to the layer of clear to achieve the pattern at hand.  They also did a variation whereas they switched the clear and colored layers, so the colored layer was on the inside (for colored windows/patterns instead of clear).  The Sandwich Glass books show several pieces with excellent cut back skills (including many with the windows like circular patterns), so keep in mind that on Sandwich glass, the designs were cut into the glass after it had been through the annealing oven.   Looking at the examples shown in the Sandwich Glass book on kerosene lamps, it's understandable how the Harrach work would be confused with the Sandwich Glass pieces.

Sandwich Glass Double Overlay Lamp    Double Overlay Close-up

Boston and Sandwich Double Overlay kerosene lamp.  C. 1860-1870
Compare this with the Harrach basket above and one can see how the Harrach pieces are mistakenly attributed to Sandwich Glass.
Lamp photo's courtesy of www.southamptonantiques.com

Harrach Windows pieces were not cut back, they were hot worked.  Creating the holes while the glass is in a semi molten stage was very technical and tricky work to say the least.  Starting with an inner layer of clear followed by a layer of opaque white glass, the layer of color was then applied and I believe the holes or windows are formed.  The piece was then shaped and cased again with another layer of clear. 

Harrach Windows Vase - Harrach Museum, CZ            
Harrach Windows vase decorated with yellow corelene beads
Harrach Museum, CZ

Harrach Windows Butterscotch Color Vase decorated with pink corelene beads
Severn Collection

Harrach Windows Bowl with Rainbow Decor
Harrach Windows Large Bowl - Rainbow decor (much like rainbow MOP), applied raspberry colored glass rim, and clear crystal thorny feet.
Harrach Museum, CZ

Harrach Windows Bowl - Harrach Museum, CZ
Harrach Windows bowl - Beautiful slightly lemon colored bowl, with a top parameter of raspberry color - possibly heat sensitive glass.
Harrach Museum, CZ