Harrach Art Nouveau Persian Sprinkler – This piece has alluded me for a long time – Finally!

17th century Persian rose water sprinkler vases were once again in vogue as Loetz and Tiffany created modern Art Nouveau versions of this timeless classic form.   When I first visited both the Passau Museum, and the Harrach Museum in 2001, it was at this time that I learned Harrach also made an Art Nouveau Persian sprinkler vase, along with several other similar designs in different shapes.

It would be a piece I would seek out for over ten years.  During that time I saw but one pair come up for sale, years ago, on the German eBay site.  This pair even retained the original factory paper labels, I was prepared to be the high bidder on these vases.  As fate would have it, my vision was cut short when the auction was ended early by the seller!  Apparently he’d received an offer he couldn’t refuse, it was a major disappointment.  Fast forward to the present when another Harrach Persian sprinkler vase surfaces.  As luck would have it, this one is now in my collection.

In 2007 & 2008 I spent six weeks photographing the Harrach design books.  Out of the 30,000+ pages of drawings, I was able to locate the original design drawings for the line of glass Harrach produced which included the Persian sprinkler. The design features hot glass pulled opal loops over a light ruby colored base glass.  The glass has a light application of iridescence, and the base has a large polished pontil.

As you can see this design book is in poor condition – with water stained, torn, repaired, and moldy pages. It’s only a matter of time until many of these books deteriorate into nothing more then paper fragments, as sadly some have already.

Harrach Persian Sprinkler circa 1900.

Harrach Persian Sprinkler shown in DB197.

Harrach Persian Sprinkler shown in DB197.



Harrach Art Nouveau Persian Sprinkler – This piece has alluded me for a long time – Finally! — 4 Comments

  1. Great article, Brian – Congratulations on the acquisition, and also, I noticed that the shells shown in the design book pages resemble very closely the Loetz shells in the Musterschnitte (Serie I, Prod Nrs. 6999 and 7000)

  2. Thank you Warren. There are tons of these kind of shells shown in the Harrach design books. Apparently it was a popular motif during the time, but interestingly, with as many examples shown in the Harrach design books (some are shown in color in the Silber & Fleming catalog) where are they? They rarely seem to come up for sale.

  3. The vase shown above, bottom left, is also pictured in Das Glas des Jugendstils (I can’t remember whether it was the Neuwirth or the Hilschenz… I have both), but it’s in black & white. Nice to see it in color!

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