Friday, February 1, 2008

Daryle Lambert: Early Art Glass - Quezal Glass

Yesterday I mentioned Quezal Glass in my Blog, and Cindy said, "Daryle, you needed to write about Quezal Glass before you write about Durand!" So -- today, I'm following up on that with one of America's most beautiful glass -- Quezal Glass.

As a young man, Martin Bach, Sr., born in 1865, worked for the St. Louis Glass Works before coming to the United States. He was determined to become a master in glass, so in 1884, when Tiffany and Nash started their company, he became their first mixer. Studying under these men, he learned all the formulation skills he needed to duplicate the glass that he was helping produce. Finally, after having a quarrel with Mr. Nash, Bach resigned to start his own company.

Not having the experience in glass blowing, he heard that Thomas Johnson, a gaffer at the Corona Glass Works was looking for employment, so together they formed the Quezal Art Glass company in 1901. Most of their employees came from the Tiffany plants. Quezal's early pieces were mostly unsigned, and they were identical to Tiffany, so later many of these were signed "Tiffany."

This so infuriated Tiffany that he had his designer produce new designs that were different than the ones being produced by Quezal. This must have been quite a tiff, because at one time, Tiffany even considered stopping the production of all iridescent glass at his factories but then reconsidered.

In some peoples eyes, Quezal pieces were more desirable than Tiffany. They say that the Quezal pieces are more colorful and have more definition than Tiffany.

After 1905, Quezal was having some financial difficulties, and this began their downward slide. Eventually, most of their great employees began to leave for other jobs. Then, in 1924, Martin Bach, Sr. died. His son, Martin Bach, Jr. took over the company, but it was never the same. Finally, Martin Bach, Jr. went to work for the Vineland Flint Glass Works --the Durand Glass I wrote about yesterday. I guess I can see why Cindy wanted me to write about Quezal first. It keeps things in chronological order.

Quezal Glass and Durand Glass hold about the same value. Tiffany's value is higher, and there is more of this glass than, Quezal or Durand.

All through the early years in this country, the true artists in the fields of Pottery and Glass got their training with many companies before starting their own. It wasn't rare to see a person leave a company, yet years later be working for that same company.

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