Hans Geismar Glass Identification Guide + Gallery
Hans Geismar Ltd was a British company owned by a man of the same name, who imported art glass to the United Kingdom from various countries including Sweden, France, Italy, Germany, Poland and Yugoslavia during the 1940's - 1980's. Hans incorporated the company H. Geismar Ltd on the 6th March 1943. Maurice R. Wilkins was a director at the company during the 1960's and possibly earlier / later. The Hans Geismar showroom was located at Kimberley House, 14-17 Holborn Viaduct, London. At some point in the 1970's, they relocated to 91-93, Gray's Inn Road, London, due to Kimberley House being demolished as part of redevelopment in 1976/77. Hans Geismar the man himself, was born in Germany in 1903, and married Liesel Sara Heineberg at Barnet, Herts in 1939. He died at Haringey, London in 1989.
Glassware imported by Hans Geismar can still be found bearing labels with the initials H.G. and the words "Swedish Art Glass", "Venetian Art Glass" etc, depending on the origin of the glassware. These labels were long thought to be for another British importer of art glass, named "George Hardy" or "Geo Hardy". However new information has come to light, thanks to a very helpful fellow named Kenneth Blackmore, who worked for Hans Geismar in 1962 - 1965. Kenneth remembers sticking lots of these labels on to customer samples, showroom exhibits and trade fair displays. He also still has an envelope, addressed to himself, postmarked 1962, and printed on the reverse with the company name, address and logo (pictured below). The logo matches perfectly with the labels, indisputable proof that this glassware was imported by Hans Geismar, and not George Hardy.
Hans Geismar Ltd envelope with company address and logo.
Close up of Hans Geismar address and logo.
Gold foil Hans Geismar "HG Swedish Art Glass" import label. Used on glass from Swedish factories such as Aseda, Elme and Gullaskruf.
Silver foil Hans Geismar "HG Swedish Art Glass" import label. Used on glass from Swedish factories such as Aseda, Elme and Gullaskruf.
Green foil Hans Geismar "HG Swedish Art Glass" import label. Used on glass from Swedish factories such as Aseda, Elme and Gullaskruf.
Blue foil Hans Geismar "HG Italian Art Glass" import label. Used on Italian glass outside of the Venice / Murano area, such as Empoli / Florence.
Red foil Hans Geismar "HG Venetian Art Glass" import label. Used on Italian glass from the Venice / Murano area.
Red foil Hans Geismar "Lido HG Venetian Art Glass" import label. Lido refers to "Lido Di Venezia", a 7 mile long barrier island in the Venetian Lagoon.
Below are some examples of glassware with the Hans Geismar HG Art Glass labels. These inlcude Swedish factories Sea Glasbruk, Aseda Glasbruk, Elme Glasbruk and Gullaskruf. Also shown is Italian glass from Murano, Venice, and the region of Empoli, near Florence.