Collectors Facts - Sublime Deco, Libochovice, Czechoslovakia
Candlestick, single & double
Clear and Frosted
This iridised single stem Deco candlestick (above) is Libochovice catalogue number 1224. We purchased it at the Vienna Naschmarkt in March, 2004. It is fully iridised on both frosted and un-frosted surfaces, giving an ethereal almost magical shimmer to the glass. On the base of our single stem candlestick is the moulded word TCHECOSLOVAQUIE, which dates the production to the 1930s (pre WW2).
We contacted Libochovice in 2004 (sadly they are no longer active now) and showed them our candlestick. They confirmed that this candlestick (#1224) was indeed their production from the 1930s and that this particular model had not been in production for many years. Libochovice described our candlestick as a "really very old design". Libochovice also explained that they were not currently using iridescence and had not done so for a considerable time. The Czech researcher, Marcus Newhall, feels that these iridised candlesticks were likely made pre-privatisation (i.e. before 1939) which ties in with the other evidence).
In 2018, after years of searching, we were able to acquire the sought-after double stem version of the Sublime Deco candlestick, which is shown below. It is Libochovice catalogue number 1686 as shown on the right.
Libochovice's double stem version of the Sublime Deco candlestick.
We are aware of only three further iridised examples of the double candlestick; two are in private collections, and the other is in a loan collection at Broadfield House (Himley Hall) where it has been for some considerable time.
More research, and we have a theory
There is yet another layer of research that provides an added dimension to this fascinating candlestick. We have discovered the original 1937 patent for this exact candlestick - it was registered by New Yorker, David Traum, and is shown here, on the right.
So how might this “marriage” between Traum in the USA and Libochovice in Czechoslovakia have come about?
David Traum (one half of Dritz-Traum Co., Fifth Avenue, New York) appears to have been something of an “inventor”. Although many of the patents Traum registered were related to garment manufacture and associated gadgets (as well as oddities such as a door stop and an ornamental book covering) he and his partner Dritz were both involved in the design, manufacture and distribution of beaded bags.
In 1922, Traum had patented a rather clever design for the beaded bag, which allowed them to be produced very quickly. A book was produced by Dritz-Traum in 1924 that is still something of a classic: “The Hiawatha Book—How to Make the New Beaded Bags and Chains”.
The beads used very probably would have been made in Czechoslovakia, and it’s highly probable that connections were made in the 1920s between the New York firm and representatives of the Czech glass industry, thus leading on to a business venture whereby Libochovice produced the candlestick designed by David Traum.
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