Antique Lauscha Miniatures
Reflected Light: Glass Christmas Tree Decorations.
It’s hard to imagine in this day and age – relentlessly dazzled as we are by powerful bulbs, strip-lighting and all the rest of it – that, only a century and a half ago, light was a highly-prized resource in the winter months. In those days one of the Christmas messages was the ‘advent’ of light – the light that shines in the darkness – symbolized by the brightly lit Christmas fir-tree standing in the dark parlour: a real ‘sensation’ for the eyes of both parents and their children. After 1830 every family wanted glass decorations for their Christmas trees, and German glass-blowers fell over themselves designing models able to catch, refract and reflect the light of Christmas tree candles with maximum effectiveness given the limited materials available (glass, silver paint and wire). With the help of silver, fine-spun glass floss and crushed glass splinters a whole variety of beautiful optical effects could be created. Another technique involved the ‘stamping’ of the surface of a glass ball with a variety of patterns, often of a complex nature, which then reflected the light all round the room.
Christmas Tree Decorations from Lauscha.
Lauscha, a small town in Thuringia, has been associated with glass production for over 400 years. The first workshop was founded there in 1597, laying the foundations for the prosperity of the Thuringian glass industry, which is world-famous today. Specifically made for Christmas trees, all of these Lauscha miniatures are hand-blown. Subsequently, they receive a wafer-thin layer of pure silver on the inside (also by hand), a lacquer layer and a glitter finish. A white decorated tree strikes a chord of “ice and snow and fire” and draws on ancient pagan as well as Christian symbolism of the light ceremonies around the winter solstice. The various balls that come in reflex, crystal clear and ice glass design, as well as the ice glass blackbird from our assortment, belong to this tradition. Red and gold-coloured baubles represent another traditional way of decorating the Christmas tree.
Article Number 80059
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