Sven Palmqvist designed this image of a nude woman, holding a bow and arrow. A sparkling clear, lead crystal vase, it is handblown, planed to form its flat sides, and copper-wheel engraved by hand. Its style shows the influence of the Art Deco movement, with its strong lines and clean, angular human form.
This is a small vase, 3.5" x 4" x 5", but heavy, weighing almost 2 pounds. There are a few scratches on the piece that are not unusual for its age. I think a vase is like a picture frame; its flaws don't diminish the image they hold. The design code 2973 tells us it was designed in 1945, and the date code B6 means that this particular piece was made in 1949. The initials KR refer to the engraver, Karl Rössler.
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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