Orrefors Palmqvist Pair of Petite Bud Vases with Engraved Women 1940s

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This petite pair of lead crystal vases was designed by Sven Palmqvist for Orrefors Glassworks in Sweden. Each vase is signed just Orrefors, with no identifying letters or numbers. Looking through the Orrefors catalogs, I found that the undecorated vase has a production code PA2676, which means that it's a Palmqvist design from 1942. The catalogs show this vase with many motifs, but I haven't found this one. Each vase is about 4.5 inches tall, hand blown, and copper-wheel engraved. It is rare to find a pair of vintage vases like these, and since this pair has come a long way together, I'm listing them together.

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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