Designed by Sven Palmqvist in 1941, this heavy, oblong vase is hand blown and copper-wheel engraved. It is a classic jardiniere shape, but I would not want to grow plants in it. Instead, I think it would be an awesome letter holder! The vase is about 10.5 inches by 4.5 inches at the rim and 5.5 inches tall, and it weighs 6 pounds. This particular piece was made in 1944, and master craftsman, Thure Löfgren (1922-1958 at Orrefors), was the engraver. It has a fair number of small scratches - a testament to a life well-lived.
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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