• FA-113467 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
  • FA-113470 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Production Technology
Glass and Ceramics
1800 - 1849
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.

Kothgasser rimmed beaker, Vienna, 1839

‘Kothgasser glasses’ – In his day Anton Kothgasser (1769-1851) was the best known Viennese painter of transparent-enamelled glass. It was he who made these small masterpieces of the Biedermeier period world-famous – and sought-after collector’s items.

The rimmed beakers are tapered drinking vessels with notched beading around the base and a polished star-shaped motif. They were very popular in Vienna in particular as decorative glasses and friendship cups engraved with dedications; they were not intended to be used. As few of these glasses were signed, in time the term ‘Kothgasser glass’ gradually established itself as a generic term.

‘Kothgasser glasses’ owe their fascination to the luminosity of their transparent colours. The idea of creating glasses with translucent colours, i.e. of painting glasses with transparent colours, emerged in the early 19th century. The colours were then lightly fired in a kiln, giving them their luminous quality. They looked as if they had been melted into the vitreous body of the glass itself. This technique of firing colours is one that is also used when painting on porcelain. In fact, Kothgasser himself had worked as gold pattern painter No. 96 at Vienna’s Porcelain Manufactory. He subsequently developed a surface colouring for glass painting which he described as hazy amber, produced using silver gel etching. These surfaces are richly ornamented with bordures and other gilt decorations.

The motifs featured on ‘Kothgasser glasses’ are diverse, ranging from landscapes to townscapes, flowers, playing cards, hunting and animal motifs as well as allegories. The bottom part of the beaker at the Technisches Museum Wien bears the following inscription: Heil König Ferdinand! ruft Ungarns Genius Er bringet Segnend ihm des Reiches Jubelgruss. [Hail King Ferdinand! proclaim Hungary’s genius He brings jubilant greetings and blessings from the Empire] It was made to mark the Hungarian royal coronation of Austrian Emperor Ferdinand I in 1839. The F is displayed as in a monstrance. Image contents of such monumental solemnity are relatively rare in Kothgasser’s work, making the Genius beaker all the more significant.

Manufacturer: Anton Kothgasser Workshops, Vienna
Production date: 1839

Inv.Nr. 11779
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