The Bohemian art of glassmaking first introduced itself to us on private trips we took at the time to Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic or Slovakia). We visited some really impressive places, such as Prague, Marianske Lazne and Karlovy Vary and got to know personally many manufactories in the near and far surroundings, as well as the most different goods made of lead crystal. From simple drinking glasses, to magnificent chandeliers, stylish vases or masterful figurines, we experienced the complete variety and saw everything that was possible with lead crystal in the following years.
The lead crystal from the Czech Republic, was produced particularly fine and strikingly valuable. It seemed to be a unique art that only the best glassmakers knew how to master in painstaking handwork. Immediately we were fascinated by it all and became enthusiastic about this world, which seemed so exciting and diverse as we had never thought possible. All these objects made of lead crystal were not just any objects or an ordinary kind of merchandise for us, but rather they represented masterpieces of their kind, which were so very rare to behold.
This quickly sparked a great passion in us, which raised further questions. Soon we learned what the so-called overlay technique for lead crystal is all about. This is a technique in which glass is coated with liquid glass of a different color during production and then shaped. A very complicated and costly method, which is nowadays gladly avoided and therefore replaced by simpler and cheaper methods, such as the simple painting of glass. The painting of glass, however, quickly loses its intensity, crumbles and is anything but high quality or durable. In comparison, the complicated overlay technique, which still characterizes the best lead crystal today, is a measure of particularly high quality and glass art. Here, it is not about fast or cheap work, but about the highest quality refinement, with a lot of manual work and in complicated processes that have been perfected over decades. Lead crystal therefore always means quality to buy and a piece of history of course, after all, not all have long mastered the ability to produce lead crystal in such high quality at all.
It is also this craftsmanship that inspires us to this day. It is what led us to become professionally involved with lead crystal. Lead crystal products are not only mouth-blown unique pieces, but also products that are lovingly handcrafted. Whether vases, bowls, plates, glasses or even Bohemian crystal chandeliers with brass or glass arms, they are all handcrafted in a way that is hardly possible today. Craftsmanship in perfection is what makes Bohemian crystal so valuable, pretty and noble for us. In the end, all this is probably also the reason for our very own fascination with this subject.
All these experiences and impressions happened long before we started thinking about entering the market of Bohemian crystal glass professionally. But the continuing enthusiasm for lead crystal goods, which even decades later had not subsided, finally led us to decide to use our knowledge to sell lead crystal ourselves. The only question was how and where. In our own store? With a fancy salesroom and a large inventory? In small quantities, with exquisite quality? Only particularly expensive individual pieces or also inexpensive goods? In the end, we decided to set up our own online store and to draw on all our experience, contacts and, of course, the knowledge we had accumulated over the past decades. We decided to sell in an online store mainly because we could reach as many people as possible and because we wanted to use all the knowledge and our good contacts to build a reputation and name that went beyond the borders.
As the plan to open our own online store became more concrete with each passing day, a few important questions arose in this regard. In the meantime, we had gotten to know many manufacturers and thus knew exactly which ones were just good and which ones were simply brilliant. But we didn't want to work with too many different manufacturers and present a smorgasbord of different qualities. Rather, our goal was to ensure that our customers in Switzerland and beyond could purchase from us a quality that was as consistent as possible and of the best craftsmanship. A quality of lead crystal that did not show the typical fluctuations or inaccuracies that are often found on the market. After many journeys, across Bohemia, the Czech Republic and close contacts with the individual manufacturers, we decided that we had to choose two of them in order to meet the demand and meet the high quality standards we had set for ourselves. Fortunately, we succeeded in this from the very beginning and thus we secured some loyal regular customers right from the start.
Thus our online store was born, which until today does not rely on mass, but on customer proximity and high quality. We maintain contacts with the best manufacturers of lead crystal, just as we perceive the personal wishes of our customers and try to fulfill them. This has distinguished us for many years and we are very proud of it. We have turned a decades-long passion into a profession for which we live and which we love. Because we do this, we always find very special pieces for our customers, which we, as lovers of high-quality glassmaking art, can also particularly appreciate ourselves. We buy and sell only what meets our own standards and our customers know that they benefit from our passion.
We would be happy to welcome you as a new customer of Bohemian Crystal and look forward to hearing from you soon.
M. and S. Alig (Managers)