About the collection

About the collection.


Value of the collection

This collection is the larger part of a reference collection built by M. Newhall as the study basis for his book Sklo Union: Art Before Industry. This gave a unique opportunity to photograph every object in detail to provide a permanent reference for collectors and historians.

Studying this collection in such detail, I was left with some very good impressions of the Sklo Union era of pressed glass design and production.

Particularly striking are the powerful optical effects that are present in most of the 'modern' designs. The glass is very heavy and the designers have clearly exploited the freedom to use such a large volume of glass to great advantage and a unique footprint in the world of glass collecting. Considering the wider spectrum of Czech glass history this collection clearly shows that industrialisation was not going to affect the continuance of its quality and reputation in glass making.

Well lit a collection of Sklo Union glass is certain to make a fascinating centrepoint in any room.

As a collectable Sklo Union glass can be best compared with Lalique as both were produced using the same methods and in many cases similar quantities. SU remains an area that has still plenty of scope for further study. Additionally, SU can be seen as a branch of the 'Bohemian' glass collecting and the Hi Sklo, Lo Sklo book gives a good introduction to the whole field in the modern era.

I was asked to appraise and photograph this collection of about 450 items that are mostly from the Sklo Union period of Czech glass history. The collection represents a superb selection of the range of products produced in the latter half of the 20th century. The images are shown as a free web resource under the care of Frank Andrews, glass-study.org. I would be happy for someone else to work on expanding it.

The collection had been in storage for some time and while well packed was very dirty. Due to time limitations only a superficial washing was carried out and some dirt remains on many pieces, this is apparent in some of the photographs.

Not all of the collection was in perfect condition and each piece was carefully examined, both tactile and visual with magnification. Many pieces are noted as having minor fleabites, some of which are hard to see even with a loupe. In a very few cases damage is to severe for collecting but the items are still shown, for their reference value. Where there is some bloom or water staining, this has also been mentioned in the descriptions.

All dimensions are in millimetres and with some shapes it was hard to be precise. I use the following abbreviations to name the dimension:

ø = Diameter
l = length
w = width
h = height

'square' = Might mean squarish too.

All weights are in grams and approximate.

Colours are generally close but most clear pieces have a blue, green or yellow tint that is more apparent in the photographs than to the naked eye. In some cases the camera has had a struggle and given some views a blue and others a green tint! Where a tint is mentioned in a colour description then this was clearly a deliberate colouring. In general the contrast of the images has been heightened to make the design details clearer and this emphasises tints.

Primary References used:


Sklo Union: Art Before Industry, by M. Newhall ISBN 978 0 9560623 0 7

Hi Sklo Lo Sklo: Czech Glass Design From Masterpiece to Mass-Produced, by Mark Hill ISBN 978 0 9552865 3 7

Modern Bohemian Art Glass, 1963. J. Raban.




Secondary research resources


20th-Century-Glass (e-Bay)










With thanks to Mr Philip Richardson for making this site possible.

Frank Andrews April 2011, update February 2015


Additional information