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Nøstetangen Glasværk



In 1741, a glass cabin was built on Nøstetangen near Haug church in Eker parish. It was in direct violation of all legally made decisions and royal decrees. It was the burning of charcoal and tar that was actually to take place on the site, and for several years this was also the most important activity. 

Nevertheless, the glass cabin was allowed to survive, although for a long time it played a rather modest role. 

Only when new owners and a new management took over ten years later, was there a real focus on glass production at Nøstetangen. Glassblowers, grinders and other skilled workers were brought from different countries - primarily from England and Germany - and brought with them knowledge, techniques and ideas to Eiker. 

The rest is history - art history. For a period of about 20 years, this glass cabin was manufactured on the outskirts

of the civilized world glass products that could match the best of Bohemia, Saxony and England. 

Solid chandeliers, elegant wine glasses, beautiful carafes and magnificent trophies with engraved motifs saw the light of day. Precisely the fact that the skilled workers came from many different places, meant that a new and original style was created. This "Nøstetangen style" has both contemporary and posterity been known to appreciate, and nowadays the glass from Nøstetangen is considered one of Norway's greatest cultural-historical treasures from the Rococo period.

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Nøstetangen glasværk 1741-1777 Introduksjon - SD 480p

Nøstetangen glasværk 1741-1777 Introduksjon - SD 480p

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Nøstetangen Hviidglas- and Chrystal Fabrique - Bent Ek

In 1741, a glass cabin was built on Nøstetangen near Haug church in Eker parish. It was in direct violation of all legally made decisions and royal decrees. It was the burning of charcoal and tar that was actually to take place on the site, and for several years this was also the most important activity. 

Nevertheless, the glass cabin was allowed to survive, although for a long time it played a rather modest role. 

Only when new owners and a new management took over ten years later, was there a real focus on glass production at Nøstetangen. Glassblowers, grinders and other skilled workers were brought from different countries - primarily from England and Germany - and brought with them knowledge, techniques and ideas to Eiker. 

The rest is history - art history. period of about 20 years, this glass hut on the edge of the civilized world produced glass products that could compete with the best of Bohemia, Saxony and England. 

Solid chandeliers, elegant wine glasses, beautiful carafes and magnificent trophies with engraved motifs saw the light of day. Precisely the fact that the skilled workers came from many different places, meant that a new and original style was created. This "Nøstetangen style" has both contemporary and posterity been known to appreciate, and nowadays the glass from Nøstetangen is considered one of Norway's greatest cultural-historical treasures from the Rococo period.


The von Langen brothers and «The Nordic Company»

The story of Nøstetangen actually starts in the small town of Oberstadt in Lower Saxony. 

It was the hometown of Franz Phillip (1709-51) and  Johann Georg von Langen   (1699-1776), two brothers who belonged to a lowly family. known as skilled foresters in the Count of Stolberg-Werningerode's service. 

Now it so happened that the count's cousin, King Christian VI of Denmark-Norway, was interested in bringing about a firmer organization of the Norwegian forest service. 

Sawmilling and mining had made significant inroads into the forest, and the king and his family were also busy with plans for new industrial enterprises that would also require large amounts of firewood. Concerns about predation in the forest increased, and to study this issue further, the von Langen brothers entered the king's service in 1737. 

The result of this work was that a "General Tribe" was established which was to have oversight of the Norwegian Forest Service. In addition, the brothers recommended that industrial activities be started that could take advantage of windfalls, rotten trees, deciduous forests and other "forest waste" ._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

As examples of such activities, they mentioned charcoal distilleries, tar and wood oil factories, pitch cabins, pottery and glass cabins. 

Such thoughts were completely in line with what the king and the bureaucrats in Copenhagen wanted. The country was in a difficult phase of reconstruction after the Great Nordic War, which had raged for more than 20 years, and the state was willing to help factories and other businesses through monopolies, customs protection and other privileges._cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

This is how the von Langen brothers themselves played a central role in the formation of a new company. which was named Det nordske Compagnie. The Chamber of Commerce in Copenhagen issued a letter of privilege - an octroy - which the king signed on 21 May 1739. 

This letter lists a large number of conditions for the company to be able to run various industrial businesses. Only one of them includes glass production, and it said the following: "That we most graciously would allow the Company in the most remote forests, from which the timber can otherwise in no way be carried or made in money, some glass hut must be set up and in it all kinds of Glass drawers fabricate. »

A possible glassworks had to be built in areas where there was no sawmill operation or mining activity. 

Only two years later, however, the Company chose to build a glass cabin in a place that was located approximately halfway between Kongsberg and Drammen - the country's largest mine and the country's largest export port for lumber. 


Charcoal, tar, port ash and experiments with glass

During the years 1739-4I, the Company built up a number of different facilities: a saltworks at Vallø, charcoal and tar kiln at Hjuksebø, Hillestad, vitriol plant in Sandsvær, tar distillery in Kviteseid, iron mine in Hitterdal and pottery quarry at Minnesund._cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Most of these plants were engaged in a number of by-products in connection with the main business. This was also the case on the property Nøstetangen near Hokksund, which was rented by Haug vicarage from the year 1740, for an annual rent of 25 riksdaler. Here, too, charcoal and tar were the most important products, but in addition, an oil mill, pit hut, potash hut, resin cookery and a plant for the production of carbon black were built, as well as a brickworks that could produce bricks and roof tiles for the other buildings._cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

It was thus a diverse "business park" that was started on Nøstetangen, but the business that was to make the place famous, almost came about by chance. 

It was von Langen's previous client, the Count of Stoltenberg-Werningerode, who sent a glass cabin master from Thuringia up to Norway to look at the possibilities for glass production. 

Instead of putting this "in the farthest forests", however, it was decided to start a trial production on Nøstetangen. It was a decision that  Johann Georg von Langen   took after consulting with the Norwegian directors, but without presenting the matter to the general meeting of the company or København. 

Besides, it was completely illegal. Not only was it in conflict with the Company's own patent, but it also led to a conflict with a certain Jørgen Quall, who a few years earlier had been given the exclusive right to build a glassworks in Akershus diocese. Nevertheless, the central administration in Copenhagen sided with the Company. Quall lost his privilege because he had not yet started production, despite the fact that it had been five years since it was given. Thus, the business in the glass cabin at Nøstetangen could go its own way. 

Initially, the trial production lasted only a couple of years, and the scope was quite modest. The crew probably consisted of only two glassblowers, two catchers and some auxiliary workers, and both construction and operating costs were modest. Everything from cheap green glass and window glass to finer beer and wine glasses was made, and even some large trophies, which were delivered to the court. 

The unknown glassblowers from Thuringia had proved that it was possible to produce quality glass in Norway! When glass production was stopped again in the winter of 1944, it was probably because the Company had ended up in a serious economic disability. 

There was a shortage of capital, money had been borrowed, and the income barely covered the production costs of the various plants. In 1745 von Langen resigned and returned to Germany, while Berghauptmand  Michael Heltzen took over the management of the Company. 

The new management managed to both raise new capital and create new optimism. and glass production at Nøstetangen resumed in 1746, with Peter Holm as manager. 

A new smelting furnace, temple furnace and cooling furnace were built, and new professionals were brought in from Germany. In the period that followed, well-known names such as Martin Möller,   Elias Gerner  og_cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b5 W8. The latter was eventually promoted to cabin master at the plant. 

In the beginning, both green and white glass were produced at the plant, but soon one came to the conclusion that it would be better to distribute this between two smaller plants. 

In 1748, therefore, Aa's green glass cabin was built on Volden in Sandsvær, while Nøstetangen concentrated on white glass of all kinds. Now it was no longer a question of a modest attempt, but of rational operation that would be financially profitable. The latter, however, proved to be problematic. The deposit failed and the glassware was left in the magazine at Bragernes. 

Although some of the trophies delivered to the court show that the quality of the Nøstetangen glass was not so bad at all, it could not match what was produced by the great works in Germany, England and France._cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

In addition, the imported glassware was cheaper, and thus the public preferred to buy it. It did not help that the court in Copenhagen ordered some large trophies, in an attempt to support the operation. 

From an economic point of view, the operation was a failure. At the same time, many of the other factory facilities in the Company struggled with similar problems, and the debt to Den Københavnske Laanebank increased steadily. 

By 1750 it had come so far that the owners tried to sell all of the Company's facilities and privileges at auction, but no one was interested in buying! _Cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Nevertheless, there were some who had faith in Nøstetangen. One of them was the new parish priest at Eiker,   Christian Grave.



A parish priest, a count and a major

On the left hand side from there the glassblower lies 
So often miserable for daily Nutrition begging 
It is blown Glass of Lime, Saltpeter, Poison and Sand 
Every honest Patriot said it in better Stand 


This is a stanza of the tribute poem that  parish priest Grave   wrote on the occasion that King Frederik V visited Eiker in 1749. He also dared to speak. in visit, and according to Grave himself, His Majesty became very interested in the glassworks and its operation. Thus, the ball began to roll. The idea won the attention of some of the king's foremost advisers, namely  Count Adam Gottlob Moltke _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b -136bad5cf58d_og_cc781905-5cde-3194-b5_b5_b5_b_d. bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

With Count Moltke as architect, a new partnership was formed, where the king and the Norwegian trading house Ancher & Wærn were the largest shareholders. 

On May 27, 1751, this company took over the deed of the Nordic Company's properties and privileges. The new company was named "The Royal Most Gracious Patriotic Nordic Company", but it was also commonly called "The Nordic Company", for simplicity. 

1750-51, the operation at Nøstetangen had been partially stopped, and the manufacture of charcoal, tar and wood oil was completely shut down. In return, there was a stronger focus than before on glass production. 

The two new directors, Grave and merchant Priebst, sent manager Holm to Germany to recruit more white glass and crystal workers. As a result, skilled people such as Christian Haintz and  Michel Mendel were obtained, as well as a couple of «bottle makers» and the oven builder Jacob Meerbach._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf8

Central to the plans was the construction of a new smelting furnace. The only problem was that the quality of the local sandstone was so poor that both Meerbach and the new operations manager,   Andreas Schieraad , thought it unreasonable to put it into operation. Thus, operations were stopped again, and the directors resigned from the management. 

At the general meeting in 1753, the administrative responsibility was handed over to major  Caspar Hermann von Storm . He has remained in history as the real founder of the Norwegian glass industry. 

The new director was a very ambitious and determined man. His stated goal was that the Company would be able to cover all of Denmark-Norway's needs for glassware of all kinds. 

To achieve this, it would firstly be necessary to invest in new factory facilities, secondly, more foreign skilled workers would have to be obtained, and thirdly, the products would have to be protected from foreign imports._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_

Only in that way did von Storm think it was possible to build a new glass industry. 

In practice, this strategy meant that new glassworks were built in Hurdal, and later at Biri and at Hadeland, at the same time as the factories at Nøstetangen and Aas were expanded. 

Now, first-class English sandstone was imported and a solid melting furnace with four crucibles was built, at the same time as the plant was expanded with a warehouse building, grinding plant and a new pottery. 

A couple of years earlier, a new pottery house, crushing plant and stamping plant had been built, so that it was almost a completely new factory that was taken into use on August 7, 1753. It was here that countless masterpieces were to see the light of day, but a prerequisite for it was that one gained access to new technology and production secrets. It should turn out to be a rather dramatic chapter in the company's history. 


The industrial spy who ended up in Newgate Prison

Peter Holm had all resided in Germany for a couple of years when von Storm took over as director. and he was told to stay down there and continue to lure skilled workers to Nøstetangen by offering salaries that were above what they received in their home country. In addition, Morten Wærn , a younger member of the Ancher & Wærn trading house, was sent to the British Isles to obtain as much information as possible about the famous English crystal glass cabins.

Initially he was to obtain information about everything that might be of interest, but it was especially the recipes for the various "mixes" one was interested in. 

Each glass quality had its own special composition of quartz, silicon, millet, saltpetre, arsenic, magnesium, soda, borax, etc. 

These were well-guarded production secrets at the English glassworks, and only by acquiring this knowledge could Nøstetangen hope to produce truly quality glass. 

Morten Wærn showed great zeal in the service. He traveled in shuttle traffic between the glassworks in Hull, Bristol, Liverpool, London, Yarmouth and Leith, where he used his eyes and ears well and also large sums to bribe the skilled workers to obtain prescriptions and mass samples._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_

Via a company in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, he smuggled out bulk samples for crown glass and crystal, as well as samples of the various raw materials used in production. 

At the same time, he made drawings of the smelters, examined wages, fuel costs and other costs, and he persuaded professionals to leave his hometown and move to Eiker.

For a while, the Company's envoy ran this large-scale espionage business before he was exposed when he tried to recruit two workers from the crystal plant in Liverpool. He fled to London, but was arrested there and put in the infamous Newgate prison. 

The central administration in Copenhagen, led by Count Moltke, was set in motion to get the young Norwegian out of prison, and he was released after quite a few days on bail of 80 guineas. 

To drop the indictment, the English authorities demanded a considerably larger amount, but while the negotiations were going on, Morten Wærn escaped to Calais just as well, and he even managed to get all the records he had made! _Cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Thus, he began to study the French glass industry, but he was strictly instructed from home not to try to recruit any skilled workers or do anything else that could give him inconvenience to the authorities! _Cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

It was not until 1756 that he returned home, and he was later appointed director of the Company. 


Glassblowers, engravers and helpers

Morten Wærn's dramatic journey was of great importance for the development of the Norwegian glassworks. Most importantly, one learned to make high-quality white window glass - so-called "crown glass" - and the production of this was taken up at Hurdal. 

But Nøstetangen also benefited from the results. On the basis of the samples and information that Wærn had sent home, composer Martin Möller developed a new set composition. which was named «Möller's crystal composition», and which was later used at Nøstetangen. 

Also came the two crystal glassworkers from Liverpool,   James Keith   ( -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ William Brown , to Norway and left his mark on production at Nøstetangen for a number of years. 

Around the same time, Peter Holm recruited new glassblowers from Germany, with  Sigfred Ledel  og Gustav Holm at the helm, from Copenhagen grain the famous glass liner Heinrich and Kompne the glass grinder Heinrich Christian Fillion, a respected professional with experience from the French and Swedish glass industry. 

By the middle of the 1750s, the skilled workers thus formed a skilled environment with high competence and impulses from different corners of the world. But how did the production at Nøstetangen actually take place? _Cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

In fact, Kôhler himself portrayed this by using the glass cabin as a motif on a large trophy that was handed over to Count Moltke in 1751. On the basis of this detailed engraving, the Danish art historian Jan Kock has given a vivid description of the work in the glass cabin: _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Work in the cabin in full swing. The person in charge of the heating is about to put in the stove, and additional fuel is ready at his feet. Flames rise from the inlet opening, and smoke and fire rise from the opening at the top of the furnace dome. Just below each work opening there is a wide shelf, where a floor-mounted jack is built in on the right side, where the glassmaker's pipes can rest while they are being heated.

The glassmakers work on a platform about half a meter high. At the edge of the platform, a trough at table height is arranged at each workplace, and here a significant part of the glassmaker's work takes place. At the edge of the trough there is a fork-shaped holder, a pole, where the glassmaker can support the barrel during the work, while keeping the barrel in constant rotation. 

The trough is filled with water, and this makes it possible for the glassmaker to keep the work tools wet. On the edge of the trough are various tools, and on the ledge under the trough hang scissors, the glassmaker's most important tool. 

The glassmaker on the right is blowing up a post. In the middle, the glassmaker works by the trough and supports the chimney on the pole. He seems to be in the process of making a dish and is in the process of cutting off the hot glass to get exactly the desired size of the item after inflating and laying. 

To the left, the last glassmaker is catching glass on the chimney of a new item. The purpose of the raised platform in front of the stove is to provide sufficient height during inflation of large items. 

The final inflation always takes place vertically, so that the glass is not skewed. By inflating beyond the edge of the platform, the required height is achieved. Workshops like this, where one stands and works, are called a Silesian workshop. 

On the second reproduction of the work, the glassmakers sit and work at glassmakers' chairs. which is placed on the platform. 

Such a workplace is called el Rheinländer workshop so you have obviously known and used both types of workshops. At the far left, a person inserts a finished glass into the dome-shaped boiler oven using a long iron fork. The boiler closes and cools until the next day. 

To the right, below the platform, stands a saber-carrying and chalk-smoking person admiring a decoy trophy, which he holds hop raised in his right hand. 

On the shelf above the work openings are a number of examples of what has been produced in the cabin. When production was at its best, they worked 12 hours a day five days a week, in the last two only glass of the raw materials were melted. "_ Cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Another good source of knowledge about the daily work at the glassworks is the work regulations as «by one each at the NøsteTangiske Christal Fabrique udi det Allernaadigst Ociroyerede Nordske Compagniets Tieneste staaende Betientere og Arbeidere hørsomst skal compliere» ._ cc781905-5cde-3194-b94 136bad5cf58d_

These regulations were prepared in 1753 and determined, among other things, the work area and authority of the various positions. 

The bookkeeper was to be von Storm's right hand, and thus the cabin master's superior - however, he could come up with suggestions for improvements if «The master male imagines such a thing in a decent way, first alone and then in the presence of the 2nd Svænnes» ._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_

Such a passage tells us that conflicts could arise, and probably indicates that the dialogue between master and accountant did not always take place in a "decent way" ._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Incidentally, it was said that "Every worker should politely and lovingly bypass his comrades.

The penalty for committing a crime against him was a fine of 24 shillings, which went to the work's poor fund. There were also strict control procedures to avoid theft and embezzlement. 

New tools were only handed out in exchange for old and worn tools, and it was strictly forbidden to let strangers into the factory. Furthermore, there were provisions for fines, shifts and late attendance. 

It is especially the subordinates, the boys and the cutters, who are exposed to this control, and in parentheses it is noted that one expects the skilled workers to stay too good for that kind. However, this was not the case. 

Excellent professionals like  Sigfred Ledel _cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_og b555bb_55 fight between the glassblowers Holm and Wenzel ended with the latter being arrested by the sheriff!  

In addition, the workers were punished for carelessness and poorly done work. If glass was broken or failed in other ways, the glassblowers were deducted from salary. 

The workers' private consumption of money was also subject to control. The royal letter of privilege allowed the workers to travel to Bragernes and shop for consumer goods there. 

It was not a matter of course in the middle of the eighteenth century, and to prevent this from degenerating completely, the regulations stated that "when they reprimand the City, in order to procure something, provide themselves with the Accountant's Certificate, in which what and how much they intend to enter to procure; But the freedom of this purchase must not be abused at all: therefore no certificate should be given for more goods than so many any presumptive can use for their attitude »._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

This was to prevent the workers from earning a penny on the resale of goods to the common people on Eiker. The rhythm of the work is also stated in the regulations. The exchange master was ordered to put a new amount in the smelting furnace every Wednesday and Saturday, so that only one "melting day" passed away in addition to Sunday. 

Thus it was possible to work at least five days a week, but the working hours could be irregular: Day or Night, Being Beginned and Continued »._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

The cutters, on the other hand, had regular shift work, with 12-hour shifts. Sunday was of course a day off for everyone, and Saturday night at 4 pm the weekly salary was paid at the accountant's office. But it was specified that first the tool should be hung in place, shards of glass sorted and the floor in the cabin swept. 

We have now got a glimpse of daily life at Nøstetangen - in a work process where it was necessary with well-qualified people in all stages. 

The most fascinating skilled workers are probably still the grinders and decorators. 

Above all, these were the artists at the work, and at the head of them was the legendary grinding master Köhler. 


The enigmatic Köhler and his disciples

Sharpening of motifs was one of the new areas the glassworks at Nøstetangen entered around the middle of the 1750s. To lead this work von Storm brought himself  Heinrich Gottlieb Köhler , court engraver in Copenhagen. 

He had arrived in the Danish-Norwegian capital in 1746 and made his debut by engraving a trophy on the occasion of King Frederik's birthday. It was an excellent piece of work, and it leaves no doubt that Köhler at that time was a very skilled engraver with experience from other glassworks. But where? Nobody has been able to answer. 

He himself consistently avoids giving any information about his past, and this has led some to speculate that he had run away from debt or other difficulties in his home country - possibly under a new name. 

Experts believe that his style may point to a background from Silesia, but he has also borrowed features from Brandenburg and other German territories, so he may have been a well-traveled man. 

For now, it can only be stated that his background is a mystery. but in the ten years he worked in Copenhagen. Köhler engraved at least a number of trophies and wine glasses, both as a court engraver and in the service of the "Saxon Glass Company". who imported glassware from Germany. 

In 1756 he came to Nøstetangen, where he worked for 14 years. The move took place at a time when engraved trophies had begun to go out of fashion at court, and eventually Kôhler left the pompous Rococo style for which he had become famous in the Copenhagen era. 

Instead, he began to create works for wealthy Norwegian citizens, with a choice of motifs that have few parallels in European glass history. 

The merchants wanted realistic and detailed depictions of their ships and houses, sawmills and factories, or of a merry team around the punch bowl or at the game table. 

Thus, the engravings from Nøstetangen have become one of the most important sources of illustrations of Norwegian daily life around the middle of the 18th century - first and foremost within the bourgeoisie, but to a certain extent also among working people.

Køhler was a loner in his field, but there were also other skilled glass-grinders at the plant. 

Special mention should be made of  Vilas Winther , who was Köhler's student and who continued his style. When they did not sign their work, it can be difficult even for an expert to determine which of them is behind a motive. 

A third sharpener, Johann Gottlob Meer, was associated with the work in 1760, and a few years later he was succeeded by the skilled  Johann Albrecht Becker

When admiring Köhler's and Winther's engravings, one must also keep in mind what kind of aids they had available. The implement was a rotating disc, which was driven around by the grinder itself stepping on a pedal. 

This tiring treading thus took place at the same time as a precision work was performed where every millimeter was important. 

In addition, it should be borne in mind that the work was often carried out in poor lighting, especially in the winter months. In light of this, it was an impressive work that was done by the engravers at Nøstetangen, and they have probably been fully aware of their own significance for the work. It just so happened that work was not finished on time, and both were constantly in a brawl with their superiors. 

It is said, for example, that Vilas Winther left the work "in anger and drunkenness" after an argument with  cabin master Fillion , and the two glass-grinders were known for their recklessness in dealing with both money and alcohol. They were all bohemian types who could put gray hairs on the minds of sane directors and accountants. 

Now it seems that these things improved over time. Köhler in particular clearly calmed down after the family had moved up from Copenhagen, but Vilas Winther was in conflict with accountant Schieraad as late as 1767. He simply refused to work if he did not receive a higher salary - and the demand was met._cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Another interesting feature of the workforce at Nøstetangen is that there were elements of female skilled workers there. The Italian Madame Vacano and the German Cathrine Vattern were both engaged around 1760 as gilders. 

In order to compete with the imported glassware, it was necessary to be able to supply glass with gold decoration.

And with Vacano and Vattern, the work had artists who represented the Italian and Bohemian traditions, respectively. 

After a couple of years of experimentation and not always equally satisfactory results, Storm was pleased to find that the gilding work from Nøstetangen was fully on a par with its English and btShmic competitors. At the same time Madame Vacano was paid a bounty on the staggering sum of 150 riksdaler - it corresponded to almost three normal annual salaries. 

Many of the skilled workers at Nøstetangen were thus of foreign origin, but local young boys who were trained in the trade were also taken in. 

We have already mentioned  Vilas Winther , who probably belonged to the Eiker family Winther. 

In addition, Ole Støa,   Tosten Michelsen , Christian Michelsen and Bertel Schiøtt were trained as glassblowers, with an apprenticeship of six years. 

Experienced masters such as  Ledel  og Keith were in charge of the training, and they were paid bounties of 25 riksdaler . 


Masterpiece from Nøstetangen

The first ten years Nøstetangen was in operation, one knows relatively little about what was produced at the plant, but the repertoire must have been quite limited. Simple utensils dominated, but a number of beautiful trophies were also delivered to the court, where they were decorated by the court's own engravers. The same was true of the two solid trophies which were delivered to Count Moltke. 

In 1753, an overview was prepared of finer glassware that was "piece work", ie the workers received payment per. object. 

This «cabin hundred» includes 26 models and thus shows the product range at this time. 

In addition to Ordinaire Bier Glaser, Bier Stutsers and Brantweins Stutzers, there were bottles and jugs and finer wine glasses, such as Nakkede Jungfern, Römer mit Perlen, Müllers Trutsches and not least Königliches Mund Glas mit Perlen und Schlangen, which were the «luxury model» when it valid for wine glass. 

In addition, they had a small selection of trophy types: Perl Kelchen, Sveriner Kelchen and Graf Moltke's No.1 and No.2.

In the decade that followed, however, the repertoire was greatly expanded, both in terms of everyday glass and finer glass. 

At the beginning of the 1760s, one can safely say that the "Nøstetangen style" had blossomed, and in the years 1762-63, all models of the work were recorded in LP Glufsen Weyse's large model book._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_

It shows a total of approx. 500 different models that were all in use at Nøstetangen at that time. In addition, many of them were delivered in two editions - either in ordinary glass or in crystal. 

Most models were pure copies of foreign role models and bear names such as Spaniol and Danzigerkelchen. 

Others were named after the work's own workers, but these works were not particularly original either. The glassblowers built on the traditions of their homeland, and carried them on without following the renewal that eventually took place out in Europe.

While new styles gained ground elsewhere, Nøstetangen was left hanging in the Rococo, but with impulses from many different countries and professional environments. 

In many ways this was exactly characteristic of the work, both when it came to the models themselves, and not least when it came to the decor. 

Typical rococo elements such as rifles, "leaves" and "waffle patterns" were made with different techniques. The coquettish rifles were formed by blowing the glass into a mold, while the more striking leaf and waffle patterns were made using pliers and other tools. In the same way one could decorate the glass with lilies and other motifs, while air drops, threads and spirals were made in a very special way. 

By inserting a wet wooden stick into the glowing glass blank, an air bubble was formed, which was then closed in by a new layer of glass. Several such blisters could be drawn into wires, which became spirals when one rotated the glass blank. 

All these decorative elements were the work of the glassblowers, and these were important elements on trophies, decanters, wine glasses, etc. 

The highlight of the glassblowing art at Nøstetangen was nevertheless  the large chandeliers . The oldest known crown from the work can be dated to 1756 and was delivered to Tjølling church. It is full of beautiful and imaginative details and in many ways bears the mark of being a product of the collaboration between James Keith and his German colleagues Wentzel and Ledel. 

However, the whole of the composition was not as successful, and when Kôhler came to the work the same year, he was given the responsibility of drawing models for chandeliers and other special orders. 

In the years that followed, Nøstetangen delivered several chandeliers, both to Norwegian and Danish customers. Among those who approached the work regarding this was the Oberbergamtet at Kongsberg. The city's newly built church was to be equipped with chandeliers that surpassed everything one had previously seen in this country, and it should not cost money - up to 600 riksdaler Sølvverket could imagine paying. 

The work with  The Kongsberg crowns started in 1759 , and two years later a trial suspension was made in Haug church, but the customer was not happy with the result._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf5d

Only five years later was a crown completed which the Oberbergamtet accepted, and then four new years followed with discussions about the price. It was not until 1771 that the three crowns were hung up in Kongsberg church. 

However, the result was magnificent. The three meter high main crown consists of around 300 different parts, while each of the side crowns is in 175 parts. Even more impressive than the number, however, is the infinite diversity in the decoration, while one has managed to keep the many details together in a successful composition. 

The Nøstetangen crowns on Kongsberg are definitely one of the great highlights in Norwegian Rococo art. 

Closely related to the chandeliers were the large table settings - pyramids, as it was called in the technical language. Such layouts were popular on the upper-class party-covered tables, where they primarily had a decorative function, but they were also used as confectionery bowls, and many of them had loose dessert bowls, which could be removed when the dessert was served._cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Like the chandeliers, they were composed of a number of individual parts, and often the exact same parts were used for both pyramids and chandeliers. 

Next to the chandeliers. the engraved trophies are the foremost representatives of the Nøstetangen style. While the trophies themselves adhered to the 5-6 models depicted in Weyse's book, the engraving was commissioned, and here the buyer could get exactly the motif he wanted. 

Ever since the beginning, the Nøstetangen trophies had been provided with such motifs, preferably by the court engravers in Copenhagen, but it was not until 1756 that the work itself began to deliver such engraved trophies. 

The oldest example known is the so-called «Collett trophy», which was delivered to  landowner Peter Collett   at Buskerud farm in Modlerup farm in Bryll him and  Miss Maren Holmboe

The main motif is a procession led by the wine god Bacchus, but this classic scene is set in a local context: In the background we see the main buildings at Buskerud, Mælum and Bogstad, as well as outbuildings and Norwegian ski farms. 

Later, it is precisely such depictions of their own properties that characterize the Nøstetangen engravings. Berghauptmand Bentzon wanted a description of Kongsberg. while the couple Arbo got to describe their own farm, Solum, with a view of the Drammensfjord. 

Verkseier Iver Neumann  bestilte en pokal med afbildning av Odals Verk til sitt bryllup, og  trelasthandler Jens Hofgaard_55bb5b5d5b5d5 with a wooden ship for anchor, hectic activity on the quay and of course his own stately apartment building. 

The "Meyer trophy" also shows glimpses of daily life, with its representation of the "seasons" - here we meet farmers in the skurd-onna, a forest worker and a skier. 

Another interesting scene we have on the trophy which  Jørgen von Cappelen _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_på Fossesholm gave as a wedding gift to his nephew_cc781905-5bd_55_b5_855_55b5-55_5. 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

In two different table scenes, we see the aristocracy and the peasantry in festive layers - a fun depiction of differences and similarities between the estates in the Norwegian 18th century society. 


From Nøstetangen to Hurdal

Today, the term "Nøstetangen glass" is synonymous with collector's objects of the highest quality, but one should be aware that this only constituted a rather limited part of the production, and it was not at all the company's financial backbone._cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

On the contrary, the bookkeeper Schieraad emphasized that one usually lost money on the large and expensive commissioned works. 

It made money, was the sale of cheap jam jars and other jars for household use, pharmacy goods, cheaper carafes and wine glasses, and not least beer and liquor jars for the bars. 

For example, a Copenhagen company could order 1,400 at a time. Ordinary Bouncers and 1000 pcs. 1/2-pæls Herzknopf ', in addition to a number of other glassware. 

Nevertheless, the Company's glass production was not a financial success, despite the management's persistent efforts to build an efficient sales force and a solid customer base. 

In the large central warehouses in Copenhagen, Kristiania and at Bragernes, there were large warehouses that could supply the commissioners in the various cities around the country. 

The company had agents in Kristiania, Bragernes, Moss, Fredrikstad, Frederikshald, Holmestrand, Tønsberg, Larvik, Porsgrunn, Arendal, Kristiansand, Kongsberg, Stavanger, Bergen, Kristiansund and Trondheim, as well as in Copenhagen, Helsingør, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg, Fredericia, Nakskov, Flensburg and Horsens. 

Despite a large and well-organized sales force, there was no success, and the reason was simple enough - the imported goods were cheaper. 

Increased import duties thus became one of Director Storm's most important fads, and among other things through the influence of Count Moltke and Deputy Governor Benzon, it was possible to introduce a 40% duty on imported glassware to Norway and Zealand with Copenhagen, while the import of bottles was banned. Sør-Norge. 

The most important argument against even stricter restrictions was that Nøstetangen and the other Norwegian glassworks did not have the capacity to supply the whole of Denmark-Norway with glass. As production picked up, Storm therefore began to work eagerly for a total ban on the import of glassware into the realm. 

In 1760 he received support for this idea in the General Customs Chamber, and on March 25 this year, all imports of glass were banned by a royal resolution. 

At that time, however, the Company had accumulated a debt of 10,000 riksdaler, and new share capital had to be raised. 

It was largely designed by the old stakeholders, but Count Moltke and parish priest Grave withdrew. Deputy Governor  Jacob Benzon  was now the largest shareholder in the Company._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3f-136bad

Another problem was that the Norwegian glassworks did not manage to supply the kingdom with all kinds of glass at all, as Storm had predicted the authorities. 

In Copenhagen, both window glass and green glass had become in short supply, and there were also complaints about the quality, especially on the bottles from Hadeland. 

Throughout the 1760s, more and more dispensations were granted to merchants who wanted to import glassware, despite the Company's protests. In 1767 Jacob Benzon himself took over as managing director of the company, and by the King he was ordered to clean up the situation. 

This meant first and foremost that the new glassworks in Hurdal, Hadeland and Biri had to be more productive, but paradoxically it led to the glass cabin at Nøstetangen being closed down, despite the fact that it was the crystal and white glass production there that had caused the least problems._cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

The explanation for this was the difficult fuel situation in the lower part of the Drammensvassdraget. 

The sawmill and mining activities in this area meant that the competition for the wood was great, and shortly after joining, Benzon concluded that it was only a matter of time before one had to stop operations at Nøstetangen. 

The other glassworks could then be strengthened with the skilled workers from there. Production at Nøstetangen continued until 1770, when the majority of the workers were laid off. 

For a transitional period, there was still operation in the plant for periods, while one was in the process of building up the white glass production in Hurdal. 

It was not until 1776 that the very last glass was produced at Nøstetangen. 

This whole period is characterized by the decay of the professional community and the disappearance of the central workers. 

Kôhler left Nøstetangen in 1770 and set up a private workshop there, before returning to Copenhagen a few years later. 

Becker established a workshop at Bragernes, while Winther led a fairly wandering life as a freelance glass grinder for almost 30 years. 

Bokholder  Schieraad   became a pensioner at the expense of the plant, while cabin master Wenzel was sent on a study trip to Germany and then got the position as cabin master. Many of the other experienced workers also ended up there. 

Thus, the professional environment at Nøstetangen was not destroyed, but continued to flourish in Hurdal, and from there the tradition continues to the modern glassworks. 

Thus, the small glass cabin at Eiker has a central position in the history of the Norwegian art industry and glassmaking art. 

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