Harrach Fairy Lamp
Fairy Lamp Club Newsletter, Issue XXVII, May 2003
With the help of many others, I was able to identify the Harrach trademark on a fairy lamp and reported it in a previous issue of this newsletter. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first example available showing the Harrach trademark. I am very happy to report that I have another example to show you.
If you recall, the earlier example had a poorly defined trademark and, to some, it was debatable if it was in fact the Harrach "propeller" trademark. This example is much better and is clear evidence that Harrach was a contributor to fairy lamp production in Bohemia.
The trademark, incorrectly attributed to Thomas Webb, is a circular design with three "arms" that give it a "propeller" appearance. The "arms" are actually "feather plumes" derived from the Harrachov family crest.
As you can see, the marks are crudely formed and are applied by hand with an ink stamp, accounting for their crude and unpredictable appearance. My newly discovered Harrach mark is no exception.
This mark is a reddish brown ink and includes the hand-written annotations "2316" and "P.63g" or "P.639." Unfortunately, I do no know the meaning of the annotations. They could be design numbers, artist signatures, plant locations, or even a date code. If anyone has any information of what these annotations mean, we all would like to hear from you.
Now, what you really want to know. What type of fairy lamp is it? Unfortunately, I can only show you the fairy lamp base. The shade is still waiting to be discovered. But, as you may know I am a very patient individual.
The base is very similar in design to the one that I previously reported. This one, however, is DQMOP satin glass with enameled flower and leaf decoration. This decoration is also trimmed in gold as before. The color is an aqua-marine blue and is thinly cased in white. It has an upturned ruffled edge with remnants of gold trim. It is approximately 6.75" in diameter and will accommodate a fairy-size lamp cup. Of course, it is unknown if Harrach was commissioned by Samuel Clarke to make these fairy lamps, but the Clarke lamp cup fits perfectly.
The overall quality of the glass is "fair" in that the crimping and central collar are not uniformly shaped. To me, an indication that it was destined for the "common market" and not the quality workmanship found in better satin glass examples.
Now that we have identified two signed Harrach products it is possible to extend what we know to other unmarked fairy lamps. If so, are R-568 and R-572 good candidates for consideration?
This fairy lamp (minus the lamp cup) appears be another example of the Harrach line of fairy lamps. It was up for auction on eBay in October 2000. Unfortunately, I do not recall who bought it and cannot inquire if it had the Harrach trademark. If you are the fortunate owner, please let me know if it has the Harrach trademark.
Now, a challenge for you. The winner, of course, will receive a very handsome reward. Help me find the matching dome to my new Harrach base!
As luck would have it, a member of the Art Glass Discussion Group, Brian S. just returned from visiting the Harrach Museum. Following are a few excerpts of his trip report:
I just returned from visiting Harrach Museum and glass factory located in Prague, Czech Republic. I hired an interrupter to take me there and it was well worth the visit. I doubt many glass collectors visit it as it is about a three hour drive north of Prague and only minutes away from Poland.
The museum (two stories) has so much glass that you would never attribute to Harrach it is amazing. Unfortunately, they have never published a catalog of their museum glass or have any other type of documentation. So, unless you go there, you are left to draw your own conclusions.
It is also interesting to note that they do have all of the original catalogs in their basement. The current owner of the glass works, however, does not want to let anyone see them until they get them organized. This could be a long time in coming.
The company is still alive and well as far as making glass and have a very nice glass factory. It is interesting to note that they still use the same cutting room that has been in operation for over a hundred years that is powered by a small creek.
I was also able to photograph/video tape a lot of Harrach glass in the Passau Museum in Germany. This is a fantastic museum for anyone interested in Bohemian glass!
A special thanks to Brian for sharing his trip with us. Dollars to donuts the catalogs in the basement contain many examples of fairy lamps. Oh, my!
Collectable Bohemian Glass, 1880-1940, Robert & Deborah
British Glass,1800-1914, Charles J. Hajdamach
Fairy Lamp Club Home Page
Fairy Lamp Forum