In 1899 Loetz was gearing up to make it’s mark at the 1900 Paris Exhibition. Under the guidance of owner Max Ritter von Spaun, director Eduard Prochaska, and designer Franz Hofstätter, Loetz set out to make a name for itself in the international glass arena, going head to head with Tiffany.
Eduard Prochaska was a master of glass manufacturing techniques. Designer Franz Hofstätter trained at the School of applied arts in Vienna, as well as in painting and sculpture at the Academy of fine arts in Munich. Hofstätter, having not previously worked in the medium of glass, was uninhibited in his designs. This unique combination of innovation introduced much of the world to the fantastic artistic capabilities of Loetz, as they claimed a Grand Prix, firmly placing them on par with Tiffany.
Two vases deviating from the production of 1899, are production no. 8098, and production no. 8100, which show an unmistakable affinity with pieces from the series for the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900.
The form of this glass was completely new in 1899. It’s based not on one of the traditional designs of the glassworks, but on the ideas of young Bavarian artist Franz Hofstätter. This design clearly shows the firm’s orientation towards the stylistic elements of Central European Art Nouveau. The design was initially carried out in small quantity in four different types of iridescent decoration. (Cantz 2003).
Mold-blown and shaped, its new design incorporated geometric lines form the stylistic elements of the Vienna Secession. Introduced in 1899 in four phenomenon decors, in 1908 design no. 8098 was reintroduced as design no. 5261 in braun Metallin optisch (brown Metallin optical).
Loetz factory director Eduard Prochaska pushed to explore new possibilities for products intended to accommodate the trends in the contemporary decorative arts and the taste of the customers. Painted garlands of small gold and white flowers and dots reflect the decorative tendencies of Neo-Classicism and Neo-Biedermier after 1905. Prochaska was probably also inspired by the similarly decorated glassware of Marie Wilfert-Wald. One series of glass with painted decoration designed by Prochaska is illustrated in Pudor 1908, p. 32 (see below). For further examples of this type using Metallin or Mulusin glass as the ground, see Passau 1995, vol. 4, numbers 185, 187, and 188. (Cantz 2003).
Glassware designed by Eduard Prochaska. Reprinted from Pudor 1908, page 33. Note the enameled designs on shelves two and four. Between 1907 and 1912 Hofstätter worked closely with Prochaska.
This 1908 braun Metallin optisch example with decor no. 949, was clearly decorated by Eduard Prochaska. Mold blown and shaped, internally optically ribbed with twelve vertical lines.