Moser a.s. – 27.02.2004
Moser Glassworks situated in the heart of Europe in the Czech Republic have made a bold entry in the history of glassmaking.
The Moser manufactory has become a symbol of quality in traditional glassmaking craft. It is considered the jewel of Bohemian glassmaking, and represents top craftwork of glassmakers. The high workmanship of glassmakers, cutters and engravers brought fame to the Moser brand both at home and abroad.
For more than 145 years, craftsmen-glassmakers have been creating glass beauty for customers all over the world. Every product is handmade by experienced craftsmen-glassmakers to the best quality. Ecological lead-free soda–potassium glass achieves inimitable brilliancy without the addition of lead. The method of glass refining using traditional glassmaking techniques, such as mouth blowing, facet cutting, artistic engraving, decoration with gold and platinum, distinguishes Moser products from similar products on the market. The variety and richness of the range, together with the unique color spectrum of glass and original design of products, offers a remarkable competitive advantage.
Moser in Karlovy Vary (established in 1857) was named after Ludwig Moser, one of the most talented and most famous personalities of the glassmaking history in Bohemia. The company continues in the rich tradition of handmade glass production in Bohemia, and has been developing this tradition up to the present. In the second half of the 19th century, Ludwig Moser began to promote his products at world exhibitions. His effort was crowned with being awarded the Medal for Merit at the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873. In the same year, he was awarded the title of court purveyor of the Vienna Imperial Court, and thus became one of the most prestigious glass manufacturers in the Austro – Hungarian Empire. A new phase in Moser's business started with the building of his own glassworks in 1893. By erecting the glassworks, the scope and structure of production changed. A silver medal from the “Exhibition of the Century” in Paris (1900) pointed clearly at Moser's interest in the position of a prominent manufacturer of luxurious decorative glass. Imperial and royal courts, as well as prominent political persons and many others, were interested in exclusive deliveries of glass. In addition, Moser was granted the title of court purveyor to King Edward VII of England. Moser's four sons carried on the heritage of the glassworks founder, of whom namely Leo Moser meant much in the history of the glassworks. In 1910, a line of glass with etched and gilded (oroplastic) decor was created, considered a classic today, and color cut glass. Progressive expansion of the glassworks was interrupted by the First World War, and the death of Ludwig Moser, the company founder (1916).
After the father’s death, Gustav, Leo and Richard Moser became owners of the glassworks. Thanks to Leo Moser, the technical and artistic director of the company, the operation of the glassworks was restored. With the participation of the Bohemian Union Bank, a joint stock company called “Karlovy Vary Glassmaking Company Ludvík Moser & Sons“ was established in 1921. When the glassworks ”Meyer's Nephew” in Adolfov was bought, the Moser glassworks got rid of eventual competition, and gained extensive contacts, such as orders for Wiener Werkstätte and Deutsche Werkstätte in Berlin. In the 1920's, after some constructional and technical adaptations, the glassworks, which employed almost 1,000 workers, became the largest and one of the most modern glassmaking enterprises in Czechoslovakia. In the 1920's, Leo and Rudolf Moser focused on increasing the trade success of Moser glass. Apart from business representations in a number of European countries and also in North and South America, Moser glass was offered in the chain of company stores in the spa towns of Karlovy Vary, Marianske Lazne and Frantiskovy Lazne and, from 1925, also in Prague. In 1932 Leo Moser ended his activities in the Moser glassworks. In 1934, the first representative shop was opened in Prague, in the Black Rose Palace, Na Prikope Street, where you can buy Moser products till today. Even Pope Pius XI was presented with the exceptional Moser sets, as well as the Czechoslovak President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk. Economic problems, brought by the worldwide crisis, did not avoid the Moser glassworks.
In the strengthening German nationalistic movement in Sudetenland in 1938, even Gustav Moser-Millot resigned from his position. His departure put an end to the operations of the Moser family in the glassworks. In 1941, the nationalized glassworks were, under the name of “Staatliche Glasmanufaktur Karlsbad AG“ classified among the most prominent German plants to the level of Staatliche Porzellanmanufaktur Berlin. The common management of both companies and strong links to porcelain designers (Trude Petri, Siegmund Schütz) gave new opportunities to the artistic development of the glassworks. The complicated fate of the company after World War II reflected the fate of other Bohemian glassworks in the borderland: a drop in qualified German workers and nationalization by the Czechoslovak state.
At the beginning of 1946, the national enterprise “České sklo” – “Czech Glass” was founded, later called “Karlovarské sklo” – “The Glass of Karlovy Vary“. The main task of the new management was to stabilize the labour force, recover production and restore trade contacts. Moser glass again returned to the tables of statesmen and diplomats all over the world. In 1947 President Edvard Beneš of Czechoslovakia presented Princess Elisabeth of England with a wedding gift, the drinking set Splendid, which counted 178 pieces. The promising expansion was stopped by the communist take-over in February 1948. A company called “Skloexport” – “Glassexport” was set up to do business with foreign countries, and this company mediated the export of all Czechoslovakian glassworks products.
Moser returned to the tradition of direct contacts with customers after the year 1993. This difficult period was gradually overcome, and Moser glass again showed its capability to adapt to new conditions and maintain its position. At the beginning of the 1950’s, the glassworks began to co-operate with a number of prominent artists (Vera Liskova, Oldrich Lipa), which culminated in awards at world exhibitions: XI. Trienaly in Milan (1957), Expo 58 in Brussels (1958), The International Glass Exhibition in Corning, USA (1959), exhibition in Sao Paulo, and Moscow (1959) and Montreal (1967). In the year 1991, within the framework of privatisation, the Moser joint stock company was set up, and is now owned and controlled by Czech managers. Moser sees its future in strengthening its existing capacities, in expansion of its range and recovery of traditional glassmaking techniques. The only way to succeed in today's demanding market is to convince customers of the high quality, workmanship, originality, inimitability of shapes and decors of Moser products.
Moser applies the strategy of being different. By developing the value of its products and strengthening its services for customers, Moser will confirm its prominent position in the world market of branded tableware and decorative items for interiors. In individual market segments, Moser will combine this procedure with the strategy of concentrated attention directed towards a specific group of customers, production line or geographical area.