Orrefors Palmqvist Engraved Vase Woman with Flowers Huge Swedish Art Glass

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

This is a large vase, 6 inches by 9 inches across and 13 inches tall, and it's really heavy, weighing nearly 13 pounds! The design code 2808 tells me it was designed in 1943, and the date code C7 means that this particular piece was made in 1959. The initial D stands for the engraver, Arthur Diessner, who worked at Orrefors from 1920 to 1963. (He's my favorite engraver - he does the most beautiful faces!) There are a few small scratches near the base; they are 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 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 also for his innovative techniques in glass production.

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