It’s a Wiener dog from a Wiener workshop! Vienna, Austria, or ‘Wien’ in German, was a major European cultural center. The Weiner Werkstatte may be the most famous Viennese workshop of the 20th century, but it was not the only one.
This dachshund-shaped letter opener sold for $813 at a Rago auction. It was made by Werkstatte Hagenauer, which was founded in Vienna by goldsmith Charles Hagenauer in 1898. Like many studios, it was a family business. Hagenauer’s sons became influential art deco designers. The workshop closed in the 1980s. Now there is a museum and shop on its former premises.
Despite their name, Wiener dogs did not originate in Vienna, but in Germany. Officially called dachshunds, the breed has plenty of nicknames.
* * *
Q: I have a necklace made of clear faceted beads that I was told were crystal. Does this mean they are cut glass or rock crystal?
A: Crystal can be used for both rock crystal and cut glass. Some makers and collectors use the term for any colorless clear glass. To add to the confusion, both rock crystal and glass beads are found in antique and vintage jewelry.
Rock crystal is a clear, colorless quartz stone fashionable in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some 19th-century cut glass was made to resemble rock crystal until about 1860, when colored glass became popular. Paste stones, or glass stones that imitate precious gems, were invented around 1730 and have been used in costume jewelry since then. Glass jewelry was especially popular in the early 1900s. From about 1918 to the 1930s, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia) exported glass beads, faceted glass stones, and finished jewelry all over the world. The necklaces are often marked Czechoslovakia on the clasp.
To tell whether your beads are stone or glass, hold them in your hand. Glass feels about room temperature and will grow warmer as you hold it. Stone is colder to the touch and takes longer to warm up. Natural rock crystal is more valuable than cut glass.