Orrefors Palmqvist 1949, Nude Woman, Swedish Lead Crystal Vase, Copper-Wheel Engraved


Sven Palmqvist designed this stunning crystal vase for Orrefors Glassworks in Sweden. It is handblown, hand-faceted, and copper-wheel engraved. The heavy glass of the base anchors both the vase and the woman.

This is a large vase, 4.5" by 6" across and 9.5" tall, and it's heavy, weighing nearly six pounds. The design code 2834 tells me it was designed in 1943, and the date code B6 means that this particular piece was made in 1949. The initials TS stand for the engraver, Thure Schultzberg – 1926-1956 at Orrefors. There is one shallow chip on the back edge of the base which has been filed lightly (not by me). It is hardly noticeable and hard to catch in a photo.

The Orrefors story began in 1726, when an ironworks and smith was built near “the beautiful river that flows into Lake Orranäs” in the Swedish countryside. It was given the name Orrefors, which means “the Orre waterfall.” ("Orre" is the Swedish name for the black grouse, which is the bird seen on their iconic labels.) The foundry was converted to a glassworks in 1898, as the demand for iron decreased. By the mid-1920s, Orrefors was celebrated for the quality and beauty of its glass.

Orrefors employed master artists and craftsmen, some of whom worked their whole careers of 40, 50, or more years with the company. Sven Palmqvist (1906-1984) was born in the glass district of southern Sweden and started his career with Orrefors in 1928, where he remained until 1972. In those years, he designed hundreds of engraved glass motifs. According to his daughter, to whom I am connected through an online glass group, he had a particular fondness for portraying people and animals. Palmqvist is known not only for his graceful and functional designs, but he is also known for his innovative techniques in glass production.

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