NON-LOETZ (aka LOOK-ALIKE) DÉCORS

By Deb Petersen Fitzsimmons

I love mushrooms and have even been known to hunt for wild mushrooms. I have books on mushrooms and know that there are several varieties of edible wild mushrooms. But as much as I like mushrooms and have studied mushrooms, there are only four varieties of wild mushrooms that I will actually hunt for. Why? Because I am absolutely certain that these four varieties are not poisonous!

My method of mushroom hunting is similar to my art glass collecting. There are not too many pieces of art glass that I do not like. I am constantly on the hunt for pieces that I would like to add to my collection. But there are only a few makers that I am absolutely certain about. I have invested in many resource books and spent years studying and learning about the examples produced by my favorite glass houses. I now can usually identify an example of Loetz a mile away.

But it is not easy learning how to identify the various makers of Bohemian art glass let alone the Italian, German and American examples that can look very similar to Loetz productions. It has taken years of in-depth study and research to be able to distinguish one example from another. With time, patience, a willingness to make mistakes and, above all, an interest in studying the glass, the rewards can be many. Luckily, misidentifying a piece of art glass is not as disastrous as picking the wrong mushroom! It might be a costly mistake but not necessarily and usually only in terms of pride and money. At least you will live to tell about it!

The purpose of this article is not to provide an in-depth study on the subject of non-Loetz examples that look like Loetz but to simply make the reader aware that many Loetz décors look similar to examples produced by other glass houses. Once armed with this information, it should be harder to be fooled and, hopefully, encourage the reader to ask questions and continue to learn, study and compare. There are also many great websites and resource books that can assist in this process. The Loetz Advisory Group also remains available to help answer any questions concerning a piece that you own.

NON-LOETZ (aka LOOK-ALIKE) DÉCORS

Below, is a list of a few of the more common Loetz décors that can look similar to examples produced by other glass houses. This list of décors is not complete and, of course, contemporary copies of Loetz décors also exist but these will be addressed at another time. The photo examples below each Loetz décor name represent only a few of the examples of the various décors produced by (Bohemian, Italian, American, etc.) glass houses that look similar to known Loetz décors. It should be noted that the “décor” names used here are names that Loetz assigned to their productions and are not the names of the decors shown in the photos. To view examples of the authentic Loetz décor mentioned, just click the décor name at the top of the photo and you will be directed to actual Loetz examples of that décor shown on Loetz.com. Remember when looking at the photos shown here, think “Not Loetz”.

Argentan

Not Loetz "Argentan"Not Loetz "Argentan"

Ausf 134

Not Loetz "Ausf 134" Not Loetz "Ausf 134"

Ausf 136

Not Loetz "Ausf 136"Not Loetz "Ausf 136"

Ausf 140

Not Loetz "Ausf 140"Not Loetz "Ausf 140"

Chiné

Not Loetz "Chiné"Not Loetz "Chiné"

Craquelé

Not Loetz "Craquelé"Not Loetz "Craquelé"

Diaspora

Not Loetz "Diaspora"Not Loetz "Diaspora"

Etched Silberiris

Not Loetz "Etched Silberiris DEK"Not Loetz "Etched Silberiris DEK"

Etching Ink DEK

Not Loetz "Etching Ink DEK"Not Loetz "Etching Ink DEK"

Gloria

Not Loetz "Gloria" Not Loetz "Gloria"

Martelé

Not Loetz "Martele" Not Loetz "Martele"

Mimosa

Not Loetz "Mimosa"Not Loetz "Mimosa"

Nautilus

Not Loetz "Nautilus"Not Loetz "Nautilus"

Norma

Not Loetz "Norma"Not Loetz "Norma"

Orchis

Not "Loetz"OrchisNot "Loetz"Orchis

Pampas

Not Loetz "Pampas"Not Loetz "Pampas"

Papillon

Not Loetz "Papillon"Not Loetz "Papillon"

Silberiris

Not Loetz "Silberiris"Not Loetz "Silberiris"

Spiraloptisch

Not Loetz "Spiraloptich" Not Loetz "Spiraloptich"

Streifen und Flecken

Not loetz "Streifen und Flecken"Not loetz "Streifen und Flecken"

PG 6893

Not Loetz "PG 6893"Not Loetz "PG 6893"

PG 7624

Not loetz "PG 7624"Not loetz "PG 7624"

LOOK-ALIKE SHAPES

While shape is an important factor in identifying art glass produced by various makers, there are many shapes that also “look-alike”. In the photo collage below, six different décors are presented in what “appears” to be the same shape. All of the examples are of Bohemian glass produced during the Loetz era. The examples shown are also all approximately 14” tall. Only two, possibly three, of these examples are Loetz. Can you identify which ones are Loetz and which ones are from other Bohemian glass houses? Send us an email if you’ve figured it out! We look forward to hearing from you.

Look-alike ShapesLook-alike Shapes

Hopefully, you also caught the mention of a “possible” third Loetz décor in the above collage. It is quite possible that one of the examples shown is an unidentified Loetz décor and an opportunity to be recognized for a new décor discovery on Loetz.com.

Finally, a comment on value

This article is not intended to infer that “non-Loetz” examples are less valuable than authentic Loetz productions. For example, Heckert Marmopal looks similar to and is often mistaken for Loetz Papillon. I have seen many examples of Heckert Marmopal sell for hundreds of dollars more than similar sized vessels of Loetz Papillon. 

While labeling a piece “Loetz” can certainly raise interest as well as bring higher prices, those that collect it usually are not fooled by labels or spurious signatures. It should also not be assumed that sellers are trying to deceive by advertising a piece of non-Loetz as “Loetz”.

“Value” is often subjective. Recently (late 2017), an example of Kralik Pampas was offered for sale as “Loetz cobalt Pampas”. While this type of misattribution is not unusual, what is unusual is that the piece sold for at least two times more than the average Loetz Pampas has sold for in the past 10 years. In this case, the seller was a long-time, highly respected seller who I believe sincerely identified the piece as accurately as they could. At the same time that the “cobalt Pampas” was offered for sale, the seller advertised two other Kralik pieces as well as a WMF Myra as “Loetz”. The seller also mentioned that the other pieces of art glass in this sale had recently come from a large estate. All of the pieces were started at very low reserves and garnered many bids. One of the Kralik “Loetz” vases received 9 bids and sold for $331; the Myra “Silberiris” vase received 26 bids and sold for $430. Are you sitting down??? The “Cobalt Pampas” received 37 bids and sold for $2,550! My guess is that both the seller and buyer are ecstatic about this piece. This is also a good example of why our policy at Loetz.com is not to get involved in individual buying decisions or comment on seller offerings. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Finally, I would like to offer a personal story about “value”. Several years ago I decided to bid on a large piece of Kralik that is shown in most of the books so it is a well-known Kralik execution and was advertised as such at auction. Based on my research, the approximate “value” of this piece should have been around $2500. It turned out that several other bidders also wanted it so I had to drop out of the bidding. Because I was bidding on the phone, I was able to hear the huge crowd applause as this piece finally hammered for $13,500 which meant that after paying the buyer’s premium it cost $15,525 to bring it home! Even though the hammer price for this piece was easily $11,000 over my limit, it does illustrate that when there is heavy bidding and lots of excitement, the concept that there is a specific “value” range for a piece, can go right out the window. Eventually, I was able to acquire a similar Kralik example closer to “my” estimate of value. Hopefully, if I ever decide to sell this piece, it will bring at least half as much as the one that got away!