It was on a wrong turn, during a mission to find the astronomical clock in Prague’s Old Town Square, that my daughter and I happened upon Material (fourth picture) – a beautiful gallery specialising in Bohemian glass that’s located near to Ungelt Courtyard, a former medieval marketplace.
Material is a showcase for Prague’s rich cultural history of glassmaking, gem-cutting and decorative painting. The 200sq m space, complete with a vaulted ceiling and theatrical lighting, is owned by designer Tomáš Kysela, and on entering we were immediately taken with the shop’s hand-blown pieces, including exuberant, multitiered Sirius chandeliers in various opalescent hues, from turquoise to violet (from €760; first picture), as well as by simple Snowflake votives (€140) – a few of which I took home.
We also loved the large-scale, hexagonal lead crystal vases (€2,280) and faceted Fado varieties (€2,040; second picture), but I was most tempted by a set of pitchers (the Light & Shadow design, €164, features rippling patterns; third picture) and the exquisite Rhythm whisky glasses (€40 each).
The store also produces colourful glass beads for jewellery making (my daughter and I purchased several of the glittering orbs for necklaces and earrings), while Kysela’s intricate crystals are sought after by the likes of Prada and Christian Dior for use in their couture collections.
This museum of glass was perhaps our best Prague find (the honey-roasted duck at the Café Savoy notwithstanding), and certainly worth the wrong turn.