At Kärntner Straße 26 stands one of 19th century Vienna’s most elegant and famous shops, Lobmeyr crystal, which received a license as purveyors to the imperial court in the early 1820’s. (http://www.lobmeyr.at/content/kontakt.) Still all decked out for Christmas in January:
Oh, well, they were fun to visit. (They were antiques, valued at over 500 Euros a stem!) Once in the shop, though, I was greeted very hospitably and offered to see the crystal museum housed upstairs. The museum is fascinating, especially for some of the fin-de-siècle designs, and also some molds used to produce the glassware – some of the simplest designs which are so thin and delicate they almost bend, and some intricately hand-etched with delicate designs!
The Lobmeyrs’ friendships around the turn of the 20th century with the Wiener Werkstatte group (artists who were working to incorporate Jungendstil principles into applied arts) prompted a generation of new glass artists to create elegant glassware for Lobmeyr in the early 20th century. Many of these artists were Jewish, and a part of the larger fin-de-siècle explosion of Jewish creativity and innovation in the arts and culture – for example, this glass box and sketches by Ena Rottenberg: