Petrus Regout was a Maastricht manufacturer of ceramics and owner of the Sphinx glass factory. In 1902 Louis Stella (who owned the Mosa porcelein factory) started the Stella glasswoks, but all four businesses struggled after 1900, so that in 1915 the two glass factories merged to form Kristalunie Maastricht under the director De Neree tot Babberich. Maastricht was the only Dutch competitor for Royal Leerdam and the rivalry between the two factories was to continue until the two businesses were amalgamated in the 1960's. Bomb damage during the war as well as limited resources caused the factory to close during the war but it was rebuilt and returned to production again in 1949.
Although the Limburg factory was always considered 'second fiddle' to Leerdam , Rozendaal's reputation has continued to grow with collectors, and prices have continued to rise.

A complete index of Kristalunie patterns is being constructed on our sister site
Maastricht: Glass at a Glance (1917-1961)
Kristalunie Maastricht: Glass at a Glance (1917-1961)

Index of Rozendaal designs Jan Eisenloeffel
Eisenloeffel, 1928
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Rozendaal - Mira, 1931

Rozendaal - Hero, 1934

After the First World War the Maastricht factory built up a new collection of stemware by known designers and architects, including Jan Eisenloeffel, J.B A. de Meyer, H.G.H. Cuypers, and H. Kannegieter until, in 1928, they decided to place their creative direction fully in the hands of 29 year-old Willem Jacob Rozendaal.

The Kristalunie maintained its strong reputation for cut crystal stemware, but they also produced a range of other glass products: in the 1930's they responded to market demand with popular optic vases (such as Mira) and 'half crystal' drinkware (such as Logos and Omar) . They made kitchenalia and hyacinth vases as well as pressed glass flatware. They also responded quickly to changing fashions by producing two collections each year which were launched incatalogues for the twice yearly National Household Fair ('huishoudsjaarbeurs') in Utrecht.
Despite these growing responsibilities and reputation Rozendaal's designs were only provided with his etch mark for a short period and though his name appeared in the catalogues of 1929 and 1932, therefter his name disappeared from the catalogues.
Following the success of the Jan Eisenloeffel pattern, service designs with a lot of cutting were popular in the 1930's and Kristalunie patterns often incorporate far more detailed cuts than were used at Leerdam. Designs such as Odo, Volutus and Donati often required 100 or more careful cuts in order to reach a perfect result.
W.J. Rozendaal (1899-1971) was a designer of woodcuts, prints and stained-glass even before he was recruited in 1928 to become the main designer of the 'Crystal Union' where he tried to develop designs which would compete with Leerdam's best-selling domestic glassware.
In 1937 he was appointed Professor at The Kunstacademie Den Haag and is well-known for his designs on ceramics, and wood cuts including 'ex-libris' book-plates and illustrations for children's classics.
Rozendaal, like Copier, worked with tin craquele to create his Manuvaria designs which competed with Leerdam's Vitrica and Sonoor ranges for the upper end of the market. The most successful of his designs was the Coquille fruitbowl (available in silver or gold craquele). but there was also a wider range of items produced in smaller numbers including vases with various decorative effects. He also developed a decor named Mont Blanc (an irregular satine effect and made use of a 'resist' layer to produce a unique and distinctive frosted pattern.
During the 1930's he worked for three days each week and produced a huge number of glass designs to provide the Kristalunie with a constantly changing range of products.
A new collection was launched twice a year with optic vases, new stemware patterns and a selection of houselhold glass. Pressed glass flatware was a popular choice for the breakfast table, and Rozendaal's Labyrinth pattern became a bestseller.
In 1934 The Kristalunie launched a range of new crystal designs under the name 'Antic Stff' and a wider range of hard glass designs with distinctive coloured details in purple, green (turquoise) and gold fumi.
In 1938 the Kristalunie made an unexpected nationalistic statement by producing an orange vase to celebrate Queen Beatrix. The simple globular shape was produced in thick crystal which was suitable for a wide variety of standard and experimental cuts and in later years was made from 'hard glass' in various colours.

Rozendaal, Mont Blanc

Rozendaal - Coquille, 1930

Rozendaal - Beatrix/Cut Odo, 1938

Rozendaal - Beatrix, 1938

Rozendaal -Maastricht, 1953

Rozendaal - Bambusa, 1939

Rozendaal - Lisse, 1937

Rozendaal - China, 1948
In the post war period designs for cut crystal stemware were simplified and the basic shapes became increasingly interchangeable.
The US market was very important to the factory in the reconstruction period and seveeral patterns were given new names which were easier for americans to pronounce. Many of these designs used a small range of blank shapes with a wider range of cut designs which could be applied to any of the shapes. Four basic decanters and five waterjugs were produced in blank crystal and then cut to match the stemware as required. This led to a rather complex naming system which had to be revised a few laters to avoid confusion, although even after this revision many of the names had already been used in the past or were also names in use at the Leerdam factory. Services with similar or simple pattenrs are consequently very difficult to identify with certainty.
It has often been suggested that the Maasticht factory was 'copying' Royal Leerdam designs but there is very little evidence for this. Both factories made use of basic techniques, but so did almost all of their foreign competitors, simple cuts such as 'hobnail', flat-rib', 'cross-hatch' and 'pyramid cut' were in almost universal use (factories in Belgium and Germany made use of almost identical cutting styles).
In 1941 the Maastricht factory was wound down ' due to circumstances' (including lack of supplies and bomb damage), and existing stocks were sold off.
Rozendaal was much in demand as a book illustrator and supplier of wood cuts. While Copier had increasingly tried to establish glass-design as a legitimate branch of fine arts, Rozendaal was more pragmatic and his glass designs were led by practicality and a sharp eye for commercial appeal of his products.
Copier established the Leerdam Glass School in 1940 and (with the Leerdam factory protected by its German owners during the occupation) he subsequently spent much of his non-teaching time making Unica (one-off) items.
In contrast, Rozendaal returned to teaching at The Hague Academy of Arts. Until 1939 he continued to design, and supplied drawings to the factory, but most of them were only taken into production in the post war years. As far as we can tell, he did not continue to design glass at all in the post-war period and devoted his non-teaching efforts to print making and graphics.

After the war, the Maastricht factory re-started, and resumed its production of established designs. Pressed glass flatware was popular with Dutch housewives and products were developed to meet this surge in demand as the economy normalised. Kristalunie followed the success of Labyrinth with a new textured series, Bambusa, Lumina , China and Labyrinth as direct competition to Leerdam's Neerlandia and Primula ranges. They also produced some vases etched with floral sprays and simple geometric designs which failed to sell in great numbers.
In 1952 Kristalunie produced a new catalogue with an extensive new collection of pre-war cut-crystal pattens by Rozendaal, often showing a stronger use of straight lines which gave the patterns a more angular and 'space-age' style. However the real stylistic innovations had to wait until the arrival of Max Verboeket in 1956.

Rozendaal - Ségur. 1953

Rozendaal - Splendid, 1953

Max L.H.M. Verboeket (born 1922) took over the mantel of chief designer at the Kristalunie in 1954.
In his late teens, during the german occupation of The Netherlands, he was forced into hiding to avoid deportation to a concentration camp. After the war he studied at the School of Industrial Art (Kunstnijverheidsschool) in Maastricht followed by a graphic arts course at the Jan van Eyck Academy and study trips to Rome and Paris.
As soon as he started his work at the Kristalunie the 34 year old set about the task of simplifying the company's ageing catalogie, removing many of the older style designs and replacing them with much simpler and less-decorated forms, but he also worked with the expert glassblowers of the Kristalunie to create a range of free-form techniques inspired by the latest styles from Murano.
He took up a post as Professor of Applied arts at the Maastricht Academy in 1969 and stopped working for the Kristalunie after the merger with Leerdam in 1972.

Verboeket - Manuvaria, 1959

Verboeket - Carnaval, 1956

Verboeket - Antiqua, 1962

Verboeket - Anthraciet, 1958

Verboeket - Junior, 1961
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Verboeket - Turban, 1967

Verboeket's first major success was the harlequin stemware 'Carnaval (1956) in which he borrowed an old shape from Rozendaal and gave it a colourful makeover. Verboeket tried to find new, modern ideas for vases with Symphonia, Tarentella Antiqua and Antraciet series.
As well as trying to develop best-sellers, Verboeket's mission as a designer was also to find designs which would provide work for the increasingly underused glasblowers in the factory. Items which clearly showed the element of handwork were cheaper as a result and required less skill to produce.
With the arrival of the 60's, Verboeket set about innovating the product range with his KristalUniek ('Crystal Unique'), heavy 'freeform' vases in which the organic forms are stretched and distorted, and the clear glass contains threads of colour. The style was heavily influenced by Murano glass of the same period and popular with customers, but in general has failed to inspire the interest of collectors.
Many of these items are quite large and heavy and, although they work well as a single item on a table or mantlepiece, they do not really suitable for cabinets. Although they are nominally functional as vases and fruitbowls etc. They are rarely used as such. The glass object itself is now the work of art, establishing a trend which has continued through to the present.

In 1960 The Kristalunie became part of United Glassworks
(Vereenigde Glasfabrieken) who already owned the Leerdam factory. Any thoughts of combining the two catalogues were dampened in the early years by the spirit of lively competition between the two brands which continued for a decade. The competition between two great factories ended when Kristalunie was closed in 1970 and the business was subsumed by Royal Leerdam. The catalogues of 1968-1973 incorporated the best-selling items of both factories into a single large collection which was quickly reduced in subsequent years as the number of employees fell dramatically. The similarities between Verboeket's Antiqua series and Meydam's Etruska were therefore being made in the same building by the same glassblowers, and the tensions of the period can often be seen in the poorer quality of the manufacture.
The merger resulted in a rapid deprecation of the Kristalunie name as can be seen from the text in their labels, and by the early 70's the name of the Kristalunie had almost entirely disappeared.
Identifying Kristalunie products
There are two basic ways in which the collector can identify glass from the Maastricht factory Firstly it may be marked with the acid-etch mark of Rozendaal (a capital R inside a five-pointed star) or a pen etched 'signature' (in block capitals or handwriting). The Kristalunie also placed paper labels on many of it's products and these are generally reliable.
Unmarked items need to be identified from the pattern books, catalogues, or documentary resources (such as the ones on this site). In a few cases there may still be uncertainty. Ball-shaped vases, hyacinth glasses, and stemware variants often resist a conclusive identification.
Size which is listed in the Kristalunie catalogue is a good guide, but hand-made wares from may vary (in height) by up to 5%! The Maastricht green (=turquoise) and vert-de-chine colours are usually not difficult to recognise, but other colours and shades are too inconsistent in production to be a good identifier. Fumi (smoke) from Maastricht is often rather brownish, while Leerdam fumi is usually greyish. Even for the same item, purple tints can be quite dark or very light
Maastricht and Leerdam both made products outside the catalogues (new colours and decors on existing models, experimental designs, production models and seconds, etc) and it is unlikely that there will ever be an exhaustive catalogue of them.
In the mid-60's the merged factories were struggling and returned to old designs in the hope of improving their poor sales. Designs such as Lisse were produced in new and unusual colours.

Max Verboeket

Copyright Hogelandshoeve & McLellan-Verhoeven, 2019. All rights reserved and images copyright unless otherwise stated
Copyright (C) Hogelandshoeve & McLellan-Verhoeven, 2019.
All rights reserved and images copyright unless otherwise stated.