Crystal in Prague

Old Apr 6th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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Crystal in Prague

I will be in Prague in May. I have read that Czech Republic specializes in crystal and that it can be purchased relatively cheap. I dont know much about crystal but did buy a few pieces in Waterford a few years back. How does Czech crystal compare and can anyone suggest places to purchase crystal in Prague (I will only be in Prague). Thanks.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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There are hundreds of shops in Prague selling all kinds of crystal from chandeliers to sherry glasses.
It is slightly cheaper than here in UK but we bought some stuff in Prague last year and it was 40%cheaper in Plzen for exactly the same thing, I guess that's large cities for you.
I suggest you spend time looking as there are different grades of crystal from very heavy to very fine. And its a very personal thing to buy.
I will ask Mrs Muck the name of the shop we purchased from and let you know, but really you can buy glass in many shops.

Muck
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 10:27 AM
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Probably not what you want to hear, but, if I were you, I'd only buy a piece if you fell in love with it.

My mother was born in Czechoslovakia and has TONS of crystal from the area (Bohemian crystal). Before the Iron Curtain fell, prices for crystal were much cheaper and it made sense for her to buy it there.

However, in the last 10-15 years, my mom has noticed that you can get Bohemian crystal in the US that costs about the same. According to my mom, crystal in Prague isn't that cheap at all - but to be fair, she may be remembering what it USED to cost before Prague became a major tourist destination.

If I were you, I would check out the prices of Czech crystal at home before leaving. Then when you're in Prague, you can determine whether you're getting a good deal or not. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 10:47 AM
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ira
 
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Hi kc,

Keep in mind that Bohemian crystal does not contain lead. It has a different ring to it.

I think that the best crystal in Prague is at Moser Glass
Na Prikope 12
Old Town, Prague 1
www.moser-glass.com

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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 10:53 AM
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Ira,

Some of the crystal in Prague DOES contain lead although it may not be the usual amount (33%) of lead you find in Waterford and others of that sort.

I would advise that someone try to compare prices before leaving. By the time you have the glass shipped, pay insurance on the shipment, and very lilkely the customs duty it may not be worth it. But that all depends on what may be available to someone in the US locally and the prices.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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I thought Crystalex was a good shop as they have decent prices and a large selection. They have a couple stores in Prague, but one you will probably run across right near Old Town Square. They have a website that probably has exact addresses (www.crystalex.cz).

Moser is high end, Crystalex has a wide variety of things--it really depends what exactly you are looking for. If you just want a relatively cheap souvenir, you can buy something crystal in hundreds of shops.

I think crystal is cheap in Prague compared to US, and I have bought in both places within the last couple of years. In Prague, I got a nice vase and just a set of wine glasses--I think they were around 5 euro each. You can buy regular glass glasses in the US for that price, but not a crystal wineglass. Even in discount seconds stores (like Tuesday Morning), I've seen Czech and Polish crystal selling for about 2-3x what it costs in Prague.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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The only crystal that compares to Waterford that I know of is Moser, IMHO. I have checked the prices in the Moser shop in Karlovy Vary that is closer to the factory than Prague. I thought the prices were as expensive as other well known crystals.

As far as the other crystals, I saw some pieces that I have seen before in USA and I even own couple of them and they were about the same price. Many of the less expensive crystals sold in USA are either made in Czech Republic or Slovakia. It might not be a bad idea to check them in large department stores and discount stores and get an idea what you can get in USA.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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As someone who works for a major American auction house, I can highly recommend Moser crystal, as it has the reputation of being amongst the world's best crystal. The best Moser "showroom" in Prague is on Na Prikope. The store in Old Town Square doesn't have a premium selection.
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 01:23 PM
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these are my notes collected for previous shopping for crystal

The comments are not mine except where noted

Artel: Vinohradska 164. New Town. Closed weekends. www.artelglass.com
elaineís note: selection of blown and etched glassware.

Arzenal, Valentinska 11, Old Town. www.arzenal.cz Large, modern glass pieces. Also, a Thai restaurant. For more info see www.arzenal.cz

Blue, several locations, one is Male Namesti 14, Old Town. Phone 420 224 216 717 elaineís note: large, modern design pieces in bowls and other items, also knick knacks, even tee shirts and souvenirs.

Cristallino Celetna 12 Old Town near Tyn church. elaineís note: Largest collection of crystal, porcelain, jewelry. Traditional and modern designs. www.cristallino.cz

Crystalex, which I agree with Christina, has the best pricing; one location is directly across the street from the Rott, near the Astrological Clock and Old Town Square. They took care of the VAT refund paperwork.
www.crystalcz.com

Egerman, www.egermann.com Maiselova 15 phone 420 222 315 316 ornate, traditional designs, including colored crystal

Erpet: Staromìstské námìstí 27 Old Town Square, www.erpet.cz Open 7 days, and open late. elaineís comment: I didnít think much of the crystal selection.

Galerie Z Male Namesi 11, pasaz Michalska. one of the locations is in corridor along the Michalska passage (Old Town); the other is in Letenska 1.Mala Strana (Lesser Quarter). Glasses, tumblers, containers. Said to be worthy of comparison with the finest in modern styles of Italian glass, also carry some old pieces

Jan Hunek Starozitnosti, Parizska 1, Old Town. 10-6 daily. Expensive antique glass and porcelain, especially red-colored crystal.

Vernissage U Clementina, Karlova 22, Old Town. Open daily to 10pm. elaineís comment: this is in the heart of tourist land. I canít say that their prices are the lowest, but they carried several designs that I didnít see anywhere else. They offered a discount for cash payments, lots of places do. There is an ATM down the street. They donít do VAT refunds.




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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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We were in Prague last fall and I have been to the Czech Republic on other occasions as all my relatives reside there. I have not specifically priced out crystal, but I can tell you that the glass prices in Prague are inflated when compared to other locations in the country. We purchased a number of glass items from the Beranek factory in Skrdlice and we found the same pieces to be 4 or 5 times more expensive in Prague!
Again, we didn't price out crystal but I would expect the same trend to apply to everything - Prague will be more expensive so the relative savings may not be there! Know your prices before you leave.
Here's the website for Beranek - I tend to like more contemporary glass pieces and I love their work. www.beranekglass.com
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 02:13 PM
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Great list (as usual!) elaine, thanks for sharing!
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Old Jul 18th, 2005, 04:51 PM
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I bought a crystal chandalier in Prague but had to do a lot of shopping for it. I found that many of the shops prices were the same as the US. However, after shopping I did find a lower price at Crystal Celetna and they gave me a 10% discount once they knew I was serious about buying. They had select merchandise instead of the full catalog which is why I think they had better prices. Prague was our last stop and we checked it on the price through special handling. We haven't unpacked it but I doubt it would have been packed different if shipped. Shipping would have been $270 which would have eliminated our savings.

We did receive our VAT back but like many others did not remember it until we were at the gate. I had to go through passport control, around baggage and find the desk to go through passport control again to find the refund desk. This wasn't hard but it did take at least 30 minutes. Prague airport has pretty lenient security so that didn't really add to the time factor. Our VAT refund was $130 so it was worth it.

Thus, we saved $400 in handling charges and paid about $100-150 less than what we would have paid in the US. I felt that was a good savings and it is a memory.
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 05:14 PM
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from my April 25, 2005 Prague report


For crystal, there are so many places to choose from, and you tend to see the same designs everywhere, but I bought something from the more unusual stock in Egermann, Maiselova 15, in Josefov, www.egermann.com
This isnít a souvenir shop, it offers more serious items, and lots of choices in colored glass. I feel that for the quality, I got a bargain.

another note: the Vernissage shop I mentioned in an earlier posting above was not there when I was in Prague later in April 2005
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 12:12 PM
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www.artelglass.com

They sell at high end stores in the US, but have headquarters near the Flora mall in Prague. Unique stuff.
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