Eskimo Inuit Hunter Fisherman Engraved Glass Vase, 1960s Strömbergshyttan Sweden

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In all of the hundreds of pieces of glass I have purchased, and thousands of pieces of glass I have seen, there has never been another like this one. It is a collector-grade, museum-worthy treasure; it's just not quite my thing.

The form of this magnificent vintage vase was designed by Asta Strömberg, daughter-in-law to Edward, founder of Strömbergshyttan. The decoration was designed by Rune Strand, the prolific Swedish glass artist, during his five-year tenure at Strömbergshyttan in the mid-1960's. In the 1950's Rune Strand invented a pen-style engraving tool, based on the drill used by his neighbor, a dentist. Leif Swahn masterfully engraved this piece using that tool. It is a medium-sized vase, 5" x 5" x 2.75" and quite heavy. It is in excellent condition, clear and sparkling - without even scratches to the base!

The vase depicts an Inuit man, dressed in traditional fishing gear. The people of the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska are known as the Inuit. They used to be called Eskimos, which came from a Native American word for 'eater of raw meat'. Now the Arctic people are officially known as the Inuit, which means 'the people', or singularly, Inuk, which means 'the person'.

Here is the story of Strömbergshyttan. In 1876, a glassworks called Lindfors ("winding falls") opened about 50 km west of Orrefors. In 1933, Edward Strömberg, who was a former head at Orrefors, and his wife Gerda, who was a designer at Eda, leased the company and changed the name to Strömbergshyttan ("Strömberg's hut"). Edward and his son Eric devised a way to produce a glass that had a bluish-silver hue, which became characteristic for Strömbergshyttan. Eric Strömberg and his wife, Asta, bought the company in 1945, and they invested heavily to modernize it. The Strömberg family further upgraded the mill in 1960. For most of the 40+ years that the family controlled the glass mill, Gerda and Asta Strömberg designed the glass. A fire in 1973 left the glassworks in financial difficulties, and it was sold to Orrefors in 1976. Orrefors closed the Strömbergshyttan glassworks just three years later.

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