By James Zeller
Quality cut crystal from Europe can be a treasure trove for the discerning buyer. Exquisite hand blown glass and cut crystal manufactured by master craftsmen in the Slovak and the Czech Republic is now becoming more available to the western market. Today, cut crystal of anniversary gift and heirloom quality is just one of the many glass products to choose from.
Although the Czechs and Slovaks are not the only skilled glass producers in Central Europe, few rival them in artistic range and expertise. Hardly a street in Prague is without a shop window that displays luxury cut crystal or fine hand blown glass. Visitors and tourists find breath-taking works of art exemplified in hand cut crystal and mouth blown glass.
In Bohemia, the craft and art of glassmaking goes back over 600 years. Often a family tradition, the craftsmanship of glass is highly specialized from artwork to glassworks production. Today, Czech glass is still one of the European heirloom treasures to look for and select that “perfect unique gift.”
After the collapse of the Communist Socialist system in 1989, state ran
glass factories in Czechoslovakia started down the path of privatization. More and more, they became free to make their own business decisions on which kind of glass they wished to produce and offer to market. Importers from the West also have more choices on goods and glass manufacturers as they are no longer required to go through state specified channels. The result has made world-class custom glass products from Bohemia, readily available to the world economy.
Collecting glass is an obsession to some. Locating and acquiring antique glass collectibles can be as exciting as finding new heirloom cut crystal from the shops of master craftsmen. From crystal chandeliers to colored decorative glass, Czech and Slovak pieces have become more sought after as centuries pass.
Heirloom crystal pieces can be cut to look like a faceted diamond in appearance. Leaded crystal is not the only top grade cut glass, some of the most elegant and expensive cut glass, in the world, contains no lead in it at all. Quality is reliant on the manufacturer and skill of the craftsmen rather than the type of glass produced.
Glass gifts are part of the civilized culture. Royalty often designated custom decorative glass pieces be made for occasions. Today, cut crystal has not lost its allure. Anniversary glass gifts can be cut crystal pieces or hand blown items. Cut crystal is selected for any anniversary year, but very often the 25th Anniversary gift and again for the 50th Anniversary present. Culinary and kitchen items have become popular for glass gifts of distinction. Gourmet kitchens often show off imported olive oil and aged vinegar, in hand blown decanters and cruets. Recently in vogue are glass-within-glass decanters of oil and vinegar. Their unique quality lends them to be an exceptional gift of European style and design.
About the Author: James Zeller writes for gift shopping blogs sites. Here is a selection of elegant cut crystal that he found and a unique & creative collection hand blown glass.
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