Novosad & Syn: Great Artisans from Bohemia

Mary Elizabeth Collins

The Bohemian crystal manufacturer is located in a small Czech town.

The company follows the same techniques used for hundreds of years. 

Bohemian crystal is considered one of the best in the world for its extraordinary quality. And the products made in the in the small town of Harrachov—in the north of the Czech Republic—are especially noteworthy.

Glass has been manufactured in the region since the 14th century, but the first production company was created in 1712 when Elias Müller founded Harrachov, a firm that preceded the current Novosad & Syn. Their exquisite pieces, handmade by master craftsmen, were immediately coveted by members of the haute bourgeoisie and the most famous European monarchies.

The factory recently celebrated its 300th anniversary.

The factory recently celebrated its 300th anniversary becoming the world’s oldest still in operation. Its beautiful creations stand out for their designs, colors, and an extraordinary level of craftsmanship, and have turned the town of Harrachov into the epicenter of handmade crystal.

On three different occasions—during the years 1827, 1862 and 1946—the factory burned down, a relatively common occurrence in this business due to a significant amount of chemicals and flammable products stored for the manufacture of glass. However, it always managed to rebuild and continued to operate.

With the advent of Communism in the former Czechoslovakia in the middle of the 20th century, the company was nationalized and became the property of the state until July 1, 1993, when it was acquired by Czech entrepreneur František Novosad, who named it Novosad Harrachov and later Novosad & Syn (Novosad and Sons).

Novosad & Syn crystal displays

The firm participated in all the world exhibitions held in the second half of the 19th century, including Paris (1856), London (1862), Philadelphia (1876), Sydney (1879), Antwerp (1885) Barcelona (1888), and Chicago (1893), which earned them significant international recognition and a growing number of loyal customers.

The current success of the company lies primarily in the fact that it managed to safeguard and sustain the same craftsmanship used for hundreds of years. The crystal chandeliers and decorated glass, for example, are made in only two ovens, so their production is quite limited.

The traditional way is also followed to create vases, glasses, plates, highly appreciated champagne goblets, and wine glasses in colors ranging from blue to yellow, red and green, black or violet.

The best artisans in the Czech Republic are in charge of the company’s limited production.

Also, Novosad & Syn boasts a museum where it displays a broad spectrum of pieces produced since the 18th century to the present. These are made in various artistic styles, from baroque to modern. The museum and the factory are the most visited monuments in the area.

Today, when the automated production of glass has been brought almost to perfection, and we can find tons of cheap glass in the markets, the Novosad & Syn crystal factory remains one of the traditional luxury glassware manufacturers, offering pieces entirely handmade in the Czech Republic.


© | 2019