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Josef und Aloisia Lobmeyr
Josef and Aloisia Lobmeyr
In 1823, Josef Lobmeyr Sr. founded the company on Weihburggasse in Vienna. His shop, which he ran together with his wife Aloisia, featured a broad array of typical Biedermeier-era glassware and, after 1840, also chandeliers. Josef increasingly began to manufacture his own designs, and soon began supplying the imperial House of Habsburg.
In 1823, journeyman glazier Josef Lobmeyr (1792–1855) used 300 saved and 300 borrowed guilders to open a small shop on Weihburggasse. Only a year later, he moved into a larger location across the street, on the corner of Weihburggasse and Kärntner Straße (today No. 13). The glass trader became a master craftsman in 1824. He married Aloisia, who actively supported him, in 1827. The couple had five children: Josef, Ludwig, Franz, Louise, and Mathilde (who later married August Rath).
The young company began supplying the House of Habsburg in 1835. Josef Lobmeyr called upon only the best Bohemian glassworks to supply him with raw glass and finished goods. From 1837 to 1857, he leased glass factories in Marienthal and Zwechewo (Slavonia) for production. Josef began producing more and more of his own designs, exerting a growing personal influence on the shapes of his glassware.
In addition to 52 drinking sets, early Lobmeyr products also included lidded dishes, plates, dessert bowls, serving tiers, vases, and mirrors, mostly in the Biedermeier style. Chandeliers and candelabra were also permanently included in the product range. The company took its first official order for a chandelier in the 1840s; the piece was destined for the ballroom of the Austrian Embassy in Saint Petersburg. By that time, Lobmeyr already had an international reputation: For example, an 1848 competition for the lighting of the Viceroy of Egypt’s palace was won against the competing English company.