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Czech Glass - Renaissance

In the 16th century, during the Renaissance period, the most valuable glass was made in Venice, because Venetian glassmakers used the best raw materials from Spain and Orient. Bohemian glassmakers were unable to obtain these high quality raw materials. There were about 34 glassworks in Bohemia in that time, which produced luxurious glass as well as window glass and glass pearls. In response to the Venice competition, Czech glassblowers improved oven construction, used potash instead of soda and developed glass resistible to heating and chemical influences.

Alchemists, of whom there were many in Prague during the reign of Emperor Rudolph II, needed such glass for their experiments. The glassmakers were able to produce chalk glass and later on crystal glass, which was first used at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries by jewellery cutters in place of rare mountain crystal. Rather rare was blue glass coloured by cobalt, purple glass with mixture of manganese, glass coloured by bone ash and glass of the colour of seal wax. Glass painting became very commercially successful, and later on engraving.

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