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The Loetz (or Lötz) factory was founded by Johann Baptist Eisner in 1836 in the Bohemian village of Klostermühle. In 1840 the company was taken over by Johann Loetz and several years later, after his death in 1851, the widow Susanne Gerstner-Loetz continued her husband's work. Max Ritter von Spaun, grandson of Johann Loetz, made it one of the greatest glassworks in central Europe at the end of the 19th century. Loetz became the premier Bohemian art glass manufacturer during the Art Nouveau period, roughly from 1890 to 1920.

The company became known for its innovative techniques, organic forms and bold use of color. It held several glass patents, eg a technique to produce a deep blue or gold metallic luster. Another decorative feature typically used in Loetz glass is the oil spot: a little spot of silver that gives the glass some extra shine.

The company showed an award winning range of glass items, named the "Onyx", at the Paris International Exposition in 1889. Several glass artists worked on the designs for the Loetz factory of which Marie Kirschner (principal artist of the firm) is the most famous. Other artists that worked with the factory were: Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffman, Marie Wilfert-Waltl, Franz Hofstätter, O. Prutscher and C. Witzmann.

In 1947 the company was closed. The museum in Passau (German-Austrian border) has thousands of Loetz pieces in its collection.


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