Boy with Flowers Hand-Engraved Strömbergshyttan Pale Blue Round Swedish Crystal Vase

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This is a lovely example of 1970's art glass from Strömbergshyttan. Its design is likely an earlier one from Asta Strömberg that was adapted for a new technique. In the late 1940's, a skilled glass artist and craftsman named Rune Strand, inspired by his neighbor the dentist, invented a pen-style engraver. The engraving technique using this new tool is sometimes called dental drill engraving, and this piece was made with that method. A fellow glass group member told me that his uncle, Ragnar Bergqvist, who was both a copper-wheel and dental drill engraver, sometimes corrected or continued Asta's sketches to make them possible to engrave with the new technique. This vase may be one of Ragnar's design updates. That's pretty cool.

It is a small vase, 3" in diameter and 5" tall, but heavy, weighing 1.75 pounds. It is in excellent condition, clear and sparkling, with no nicks or chips. The numbers on its base tell us about the date of the vase design and the motif design. The vase, B1158, and the motif, C952, were both designed in the late 60's or early 70's.

Here is a little of 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.* In the 50s and 60s, the talented ceramic artist, Gunnar Nylund, also designed for Strömbergshyttan, which is when this vase was made. 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.

*Let's hear it for women leading the design work!

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