Though not signed, we have every reason to believe that Sven Palmqvist, a leading artist at Orrefors, designed this image of a horse rearing, or standing up on its hind legs with its forelegs off the ground. This is a great size vase for display, 5.5" x 2.5" x 9.5", and it's in great condition. The monogram makes the piece more personal; this was not just a mass-produced vase, it was made especially for "BL." We had and donated a piece in the same shape, engraved with a gymnast, that was probably made as an award.
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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