Two rare Art Deco period catalogues, newly acquired by the CHM library, include illustrations with accompanying specifications and cost for more than 100 glass lighting fixtures manufactured by Meissner Glasraffinerie of Dresden dating circa 1930. Their factory was located at Coswig on the river Elbe situated between Meissen and Dresden, Germany. Not much is recorded or has indeed survived of their works from this interwar period although like many glass and porcelain makers in this area, their focus was on one type of manufacture expertise. In this case, the firm described themselves as ‘Spezialfabrik fur Beleuchtungslas’ (Specialists in lighting glass).The product range included a great variety of lighting types, principally of Art Deco fittings in molded, mottled, hand-painted, marbleized, etched and engraved patterns some with Japanese influence and some clearly modelled after Bauhaus designs. The production was mainly central lighting fixtures including uplighters and others adapted to the familiar three bulb circuit. Bold oval and rectangular forms of colored glass with floral and geometric patterns can be found throughout this rare German lighting catalog of the Art Deco era.
Stephen Van Dyk, Head Art Department. Smithsonian Libraries.