Designed by Edvin Öhrström, this vase is heavy fine crystal measuring 9" tall, 6" wide and 4" across, and weighing 7 pounds. The piece is in fairly good condition for its age, with no chips or cloudiness, but quite a few scratches, especially on its base. The codes etched on the bottom tell us about when it was designed, when it was made, and by whom. In this case, the engraved image of the woman with the fruit basket on her head (style #3110) was designed by Edvin Öhrström in 1948, and it appears in Catalog 24A. This particular example of the vase was made some years later (B8 = 1950).
Karl Edvin Öhrström was born in Burlov, Sweden in 1906. Having a father who worked in the railroad at Halmstad, he had himself worked as a railroad worker for a while. However, he soon decided he wanted to be an art teacher and studied at the Tekniska skolan in Stockholm. Later, he studied sculpture at the Royal University College of Fine Arts under the tutelage of Carl Milles and Nils Sjögren. For the next 25 years, Edvin worked at Orrefors glassworks for a couple of months every year.
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.
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