Ludwig Moser was born on June 18, 1833 and began his 3-year apprenticeship with glass engraver Andreas Mattoni in Karlovy Vary at the age of 14. Getting a 7-year experience took him to Zwickau, Leipzig and Berlin, where he honed his engraving skills. Upon his return to Karlovy Vary in 1857, he acquired a license to open a glass refinery and offered engraved glass to visitors to the local spa. In 1862 he was exhibiting works internationally and won a medal at the World Exhibition in London in that year.
In 1870 he opened another refinery in Mistrovice, near Kamenický Senov, where there was a wide range of glass cutters and engravers. In 1873, Johann F. Hoffmann (who worked for Moser), recorded several large cups inspired by the figurative paintings of Wilhelm Kaulbach and Friedrich Gauermann. These prints won an honorary diploma for Moser and he also won international recognition for his magnificent engraved tableware, especially the cups of various sizes and shapes.
At the time of the World Exhibition in Paris in 1878, Moser had established a network of warehouses in several cities, including Petersburg, New York, London and Paris. At the Paris exhibition, Moser exhibited the glass with the enameled motifs designed by the school of ceramics in Teplice. This enameled glass was designed for the Orienta market and resembled the works of Arab goldsmiths. For the next 25 years, Moser continued to produce a small amount of glazed glassware that was typical of northern refineries.
After several years of refusal, Moser was finally given permission to build his own glass manufacturing factory in Dvory, near Karlovy Vary. Before this point, Moser was forced to buy his base pieces to decorate several glass houses, most likely Meyr’s, near Vimperk, and Harrach in Nový Svet. Before this point, Moser worked like the other refining and exporting companies. He bought his base pieces from several glass manufacturers and finished them in his own refineries.
With the opening of the glass house in Dvory (in 1893), the company was reorganized as a private corporation and called “Karlsbader Glasindustrie, Ludwig Moser und Söhne”. Moser’s four children from two marriages officially joined the business.
At the World Exhibition, Moser won a silver medal for his engraved and transparent crystal, which went from clear to various colors, green, purple, topaz or yellow. In addition to its shading products, the company also introduced vases and cups decorated with hot-applied flowers and fruits. This type of glassware remained popular throughout the 1920s and marked Moser’s departure from the luxurious engraved glass of the 1870s. Despite its numerous patents, Moser’s glass was emulated by numerous firms.
At the behest of Viennese professor Josef Hoffmann, Leo Moser began experimenting with colors in the early 1920s. Moser worked with Professor Auer at the Glass Research Institute in Berlin to develop new colors, obtained by the inclusion of elements rare to produce the desired color. These colors include: Alexandrite, Amber, Heliolite, Turquoise Beryl, and a dark red Royalite. They also developed at this time their very popular smoke Topaz and lemon yellow.
The new colors demanded a totally new look, and Moser went to the Wiener Werkstätte to get new designs. Munich artist Wolfgang Wersin also offered numerous large-faceted designs, as did Nový Bor artist Alexande Pfohl. These richly colored vases, often with a golden decoration with gold, and also with an acid reduction, provided a large percentage of the Moser glass available to collectors.
In 1922, Moser and the firm Meyr’s Neffe merged and it seemed that the long-term success of the two companies was assured. But despite the high quality of its crystals, or perhaps because of this, the firm lost a lot with the Great Depression, and was forced into bankruptcy in 1933.
In 1922, Moser and the firm Meyr’s Neffe merged and it seemed that the long-term success of the two companies was assured. But despite the high quality of its crystals, or perhaps because of this, the firm lost a lot with the Great Depression, and was forced into bankruptcy in 1933. From 1933 to 1939, they occasionally produced quality glassware for special orders, but above all he survived by simplifying or completely eliminating the refining process. After World War II, Moser’s name worked well again and was one of the first to be revitalized by the Czech government with great sales success. This meant that he quickly regained a strong world position which they continue to maintain today.