Backwards Glances

Collection of German Glass Vases with Gold Finish (LEO Design)

In the aftermath of World War II, Germany laid in ruins.  Many of her great cities had been leveled and masses of workers—no longer employed by the Military Industrial Complex—needed to get back to work, fast.  The combination of high unemployment, low labor costs, and high technical proficiency made Germany ripe for development as the world’s new, high-quality, low-cost manufacturer.

As the country hit its stride (as factory to the world) in the 1960’s and 1970’s, West Germany took Modernist ceramics (in particular) to a new level—producing both quality and quantity of inventive new shapes and complex, interesting glazes, all at prices a middle class family could afford. The stock of mid-century art pottery at LEO Design is a testimony to West Germany’s Modernist, post-war productivity.

But before the 1960’s and 1970’s, as Germany scrambled to get-up-and-running, they made some beautiful glassware like the pieces above.  Interestingly, these 1950’s designs do not lean forward, aesthetically-speaking; they look backwards—to the German Jugendstil, Austrian Secessionist, and late Nineteenth Century design movements. Rather than tread new ground, these German glassmakers covered known territory (and did it very nicely).  Post-war consumers, some of them living in England or the United States, could afford to buy these little luxuries—even if they might not have been able to afford the original Wiener Werkstätte pieces when they were made fifty years earlier.

Please come into the shop to see our new shipment which includes these three pieces of 1950’s German Amberglass, shown above ($165 – $245).