The story of Spiegelau crystal spans nearly five centuries. The earliest reference to Spiegelau dates back to 1521. Nestled deep within Bavaria’s Black Forest, this small village is known for its picture perfect beauty and for its ability to create stunning crystal products. Over the years, the Spiegelau crystal grew from a small cottage industry to one of Germany’s most prestigious stemware makers. Today, stemware made at Spiegelau has become the leading choice for discerning sommeliers and wine connoisseurs. The historical Spiegelau factories are now subsidiaries of Nachtmann Crystal.
In 1834, Michael Nachtmann opened a glass factory in Herzogau, Germany. Also located in Bavaria’s Black Forest, Nachtmann focused on producing jugs, bottles, and some stemware. Michael Nachtmann proved to be a cunning business man. Under his leadership, Nachtmann Crystal grew steadily. In 1907, Zacharias Frank became the company’s managing director. One of his first acts as the company’s new leader was to purchase the Cristallglasfabrik Riedhutte. This factory was first opened in 1452. At its newly acquired historical site, Nachtmann began producing its first highly polished lead crystal stemware line.
Like many other businesses throughout Germany, Nachtmann faced a variety of challenges throughout the First and Second World Wars. The steady hands of the company’s managing directors helped Nachtmann weather the economic storms of the 1940’s and 1950’s and to rebuild the company’s partially destroyed factories. During the 1960’s, Nachtmann entered a new era of prosperity. The company worked through each of its factories replacing pot furnaces with state of the art gas and oil melters. These new technologies allowed Nachtmann to become an industry leader in controlling pollution.
In 1983, Nachtmann laid the cornerstone for their newest factory in Weiden, Germany. The factory began production in 1984 and is today the most modern glass factory in Europe. In 1990, Nachtmann acquired the historic Spiegelau Glass factories. Today, Nachtmann is known as F.X. Nachtmann GmbH Bleikristallwerke. Replacements continues to carry many patterns that bear the Nachtmann and Spiegelau names.