This set of Atlas Prager Beer GILLCO™ porcelain fired-on-glass globes are the second product launch of many intriguing forms of signs that will be exclusively offered in small batches to advertising collectors and aficionados.
For this historic 80th Anniversary Edition of the beautifully crafted products made by Gill Glass Company in the 1930’s, we have chosen a beautiful and evocative image to honor the past by bringing back to life these legendary advertising signs so that they can be admired and appreciated by future generations.
Handcrafted in extremely limited worldwide production, these exclusive Atlas Prager porcelain fired-on-glass lenses will be a cherished addition to your breweriana or advertising collection. Offered exclusively to a select few, a total of only Twenty-Five (25) of these reverse on glass (ROG) lenses were made. After this limited-edition set is sold out the artwork will be retired and never offered again, enhancing its rarity and long-term collectability.
Porcelain fired on graphics create a scintillating effect in a luminosity and brilliance of rich, warm colors that is unequaled by any other reverse on glass advertising form. GILLCO™ signs are the result of over eight separate and distinct steps to produce the beauty and permanence
All GILLCO™ reverse-on-glass (ROG) globes are sold in a set of two (2) lenses. To assure rarity, these extraordinary signs are being restricted to an extremely low production run of only Twelve (12) sets.
Limited Edition Atlas Prager Beer Reverse-on-Glass GILLCO™ globes, $350 for set of two lenses. Shipping, including insurance, will be a fixed price of $45 for one set. [Globe bodies or lamp holder not included and sold separately].
Order your set now before they sell out. After all of lenses are sold out this advertising sign will never be offered again. To purchase your Atlas Prager Beer GILLCO lenses please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE INSPIRATION FOR THIS ARTWORK
Although Atlas may have not been one of the largest breweries in Chicago, Illinois, or even its most famous, it was one of the most unique breweries that operated in the windy city. The breweries distinctive architecture, featuring a tall tower, made it a visual landmark on the comparatively bland South Side skyline where it was built.
The Romanesque-Revival styled building would be a fixture in advertising the breweries flagship brand, Prager (pronounced ‘Prah-GER’). The advertising was embellished to exert an emotional influence of the breweries dominance to make it appear much larger than it actually was. Based off of the Charles Bridge in Prague, the capitol city of the Czech Republic, the exaggerated tower and fortress-like castle features multiple levels of an imposing Gotham-like spiked roof peaks created a stunning point-of-sale advertising of the brand.
Working off of this 1930’s motif, all of the artwork was drawn by hand inspired by a similar Atlas Prager illuminated sign that resides in my collection. In 2012 I was fortunate enough to acquire two oval, illuminated reverse-on-glass (ROG) signs, one of which is a GILLCO, from Adolf Grenke’s incomparable collection that are both the crown jewels of my collection.
The first sign is this large round oval sign. Breathtaking when backlit it is a mastery of 1930's reverse on glass advertising. The silvered outlines were "face down" acid embossed and then the panels silvered. The painted outlines were then screen printed and then lastly a transparent white was added in over the open areas within the center of each letter. It is a striking balance between being darkly elegant and also ominous in its darkly clad colors. It all makes for a very impressive point of sale illuminated sign of which served as my inspiration.
The second sign, much smaller but equally as impressive has an interesting background. According to the late Mr. Grenke’s account the discovery of a GILLCO sign that was made for a Chicago brewer was a major surprise to breweriana collectors. As he tells the story, at the time when he acquired the sign (shown here below) no one knew that Gill Glass had made a Chicago brewery sign. According to Mr. Grenke to Morphy Auctions before the auction of his breweriana collection the Atlas Prager illuminated GILLCO sign show here is one of only two known in existence:
With this modern creation now there are two GILLCO-made brewery signs honoring Chicago’s rich brewery tradition. And both of them the iconic Atlas Prager brand.
ABOUT THE GILLCO™ ILLUMINATED SIGNS
The process by which these lenses were made faithfully follow many of the same processes that were made under the GILLCO™ line of reverse-on-glass products offered by the Gill Glass Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1930’s. With their brilliantly-lit colors, wonderfully composed graphics, and intricate designs, GILLCO™ illuminated glass advertising signs were unequaled by less expensive, generic-looking and generally less talented competitors, and is the reason why my company has revived this much admired brand in offering unique never before available illuminated glass advertising.
The creation of each GILLCO™ sign begins with hand-drawn artwork. The art is then transferred onto the rear surface of glass through a hand-pulled screen printing process, where finely ground porcelain crystals (called frit), colored with metallic oxide, is applied directly onto the surface of the glass.
After the artwork is applied the flat piece of glass is then placed into a kiln, which is basically an oven that operates at extremely high temperatures. The heat from the kiln causes the porcelain to melt, fusing it permanently onto the glass. After the glass has sufficiently cooled it is necessary to repeat this step for every additional color applied to the sign face. This Atlas Prager Beer sign features four separate colors of art, requiring your signs to be fired in a kiln four separate times, a very laborious task indeed. Because porcelain is a combination of glass and metal, not inks or paint, it renders an enduring sign that is far more permanent than any other form of other illuminated glass advertising.
After the graphics are appropriately fired, the curved shell shape and form of the globe body is crafted by placing the flat glass on to the top of a spherical mold that was made to fit inside the ovens. After being placed within the kiln, heat slowly softens the glass just enough for gravity to work at slumping it over the convex mold to form its wonderfully curved shape. The GILLCO™ brand name is permanently fired onto the face in the six o'clock position (as shown here) on every lens.