Quezal an American glassware company

Quezel Glassware

‘Favrile’ glassware

Quezal was a Brooklyn, New York-based glassware manufacturer. Martin Bach, Sr. was the president, proprietor, and guiding force behind this successful company. Quezal artisans created an extensive range of decorative and useful items, including vases, compotes, bowls, open salts, candle holders, and shades. In October 1902, the trademark “Quezal” was successfully registered. The founders of Quezal named the company after one of the world’s most beautiful birds, the quetzal.

Martin Bach and Thomas Johnson, Tiffany’s former glass mixer and foreman, started Quezel Art Glass and Decorating in Brooklyn in 1901. Many pieces of lustrous and ‘favrile’ glassware were manufactured by Bach and Johnson.

Characteristics

One of the most prized characteristics of Quezal art glass is the shimmering and dazzling brilliance reflected in the iridescent surfaces. Vases, compotes, and drinking vessels were often fashioned to resemble flowers such as crocuses, tulips, calla lilies, and Casablanca lilies. Quezal art glass shades were available in an infinite variety of shapes, sizes, colours, and decorations. Quezal shades retailed between $7.50 and $22.50 per shade. Hock glasses, a stemmed glass used primarily for drinking German white wine, were sold by the dozen.

“Glass That Looks Like Pottery” was introduced by Quezal in 1917. The overall effect is otherworldly and sometimes reminiscent of a tropical sunset. The shape and colouring are strikingly similar to ceramics; in others, the decoration is bold and distinctive. The company was experiencing financial difficulties at the time of Bach’s death. Dr John Ferguson, a close friend of the Bach family, was brought in as an investor.

Final Years

In 1923, Quezal Art Glass and Decorating Company was sold to Edward Conlan, a personal friend of Dr Ferguson. By early 1924, most of the artisans had left the factory, which closed soon thereafter. Amazingly, his rather sizeable collection has remained largely intact after all these many years. The Quezal Art Glass and Decorating Company was an important contributor to American Art Nouveau glass. Dr Ferguson’s collection comprises more than sixty individual pieces. Items are numerous vases with coiled, heart and vine, spider, and Egyptian-inspired decoration.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles | The Social Platform for Antiquers, Collectors, and Enthusiasts. (2003, April 11). The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles; journalofantiques.com. https://journalofantiques.com/features/quezal-art-glass/

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