Czech Genealogy & History – Can you see me now?
“Don’t touch that!” If I heard my Czech grandmother say that once, I heard her say it a thousand times. While every once in a while this admonition was related to the fact I was about to swipe an early koláče (preferably one with poppy seed or apricot filling as opposed to prune) or dig into the serving bowl of knedlíky far too early. However, most often it had to do with a particular small shelf in the corner of her dining room.
As a youngster I was too afraid to even ask what it was about that shelf I was continually ordered to keep my hands off, but as the years rolled on I came to guess it was because the items on it were all glass. There weren’t many pieces, and two were chipped and had been repaired. But let me tell you, were they ever some kind of special to my grandmother. One was a vivid red goblet as I recall and the others were clear as the sky with wonderful cuttings and etchings in them.
It wasn’t until some decades later, as I became more fascinated with my Czech ancestry I realized that shelf had held my grandmother’s collection of ‘Bohemian Glass’. Each pieced having been lovingly passed down from generation to generation. No wonder my grandmother was so in love, and careful about, the contents of that off-limits shelf.
Those pieces made their way from my grandmother’s shelf to my mother’s curio cabinet for many more decades and when Mom went through the inevitable ‘downsizing’ at 92, she passed them on to her children and grandchildren. Of all the items passed down, I really didn’t give those pieces of glass much thought until recently.
If you know me, you know I love Thanksgiving! I don’t just like it, or enjoy it. I adore it! It is my favorite holiday and with it fast approaching I was doing my annual planning and surveying of what I had for our family gathering and what was still needed. I am sure I don’t really need to say when you are feeding between 20 and 30 people planning is crucial.
During this planning I realized we no longer had a set of champagne glasses. We were down to five and only two of those matched each other. So I started looking for some new ones. After all, you have to look smart when you say Na Zdraví at Thanksgiving!
Searching online I came upon a wonderful set of six glasses. Each with a stem of a different color and looking quite elegant. As I looked at their details I saw the sticker “Bohemia Crystal. Made in Czech Republic”. The memories of my grandmother’s shelf came flooding back just reading those first two words.
Join us here tomorrow as we continue our look into Bohemian Crystal.
Onward To Our Past®