Bohemian Crystal: History and Tradition
In this article you will learn about the history of bohemian crystal, how the term came about, what makes it so special.
The origins of Bohemian crystal
Long before you could buy our elegant handcrafted crystal spheres, glassmakers in Bohemia were focusing on making the Bohemian Crystal of the highest possible quality.
Even though the production of glass in Bohemia began around the 3rd century BC, the major development started between the 8th – 10th century, when glass furnaces began to be used to produce glass costume jewellery. The term Bohemian Crystal was first used in the 16th century, to distinguish locally produced crystal from others. This type of crystal didn’t contain any lead, as it is commonly suspected, and it was possible to cut it in a wheel.
The rise of the Bohemian glass industry
In the 17th century, a gem cutter of the emperor Rudolf II., adapted a gem engraving technique to glass with copper and bronze wheels. During this time, Bohemia became the dominant producer of decorative glassware and the local manufactures of glass earned international reputation in high Baroque style.
During the 19th century, Bohemia became a home of many expert craftsmen who artfully worked with crystal. Bohemian Crystal became famous for its brilliant cut and engraving. The industrial revolution also allowed for the mass production of quality Bohemian Crystal, which was soon exported to the whole world.
The struggle and revival of Bohemian crystal
The mass production of glass production however began in the early 20th century. Even though, the two world wars and the onset of communism interfered with the production, local manufacturers preserved, turning out beautiful hand-cut pieces. Their determination paid off when communism fell in 1989 and the world was re-introduced to the amazing Bohemian Crystal, that had enchanted kings and queens for centuries.
Today, Bohemian Crystal can be found in many places. Very popular are chandeliers in Milan’s La Scala, in Versailles, or in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
Bohemian glassmaking at the core of LaSphera
At LaSphera we aim to keep this unique and beautiful glassmaking tradition, which has been passed down over many generations, alive. We value true artisanship and Bohemian glassmaking is a true embodiment of that. The process behind all LaSphera designs is one of creativity, craftsmanship, hard work, patience, and an eye for detail. We are, therefore, very proud about working with the best Czech glassmakers to deliver unique art pieces that connect to sports and arts lovers all over the world. All our designs are handmade, and we make the LaSphera spheres even more valuable by creating special limited-edition collections, such as the Braxton Berrios collection, that all sports and arts lovers will cherish.