Orrefors Öhrström Motif on Lindstrand Vase, Nude Lady in Waterfall, Rare Hand-Engraved Crystal Vase, 1941, Perfect Gift


This optical, mold-blown glass vase was designed by Vicke (Victor Emanuel) Lindstrand, and the Art Deco inspired motif was designed by Edvin Öhrström at Orrefors Glassworks in Sweden. It is a large vase, 6 inches square at the top, 4 inches square at the bottom, and 9 inches tall. It weighs 6.5 pounds and is in remarkably good condition.

Vicke Lindstrand (1904-1983) was born in Goteborg, Sweden, and started his career with Orrefors in 1928, where he remained until 1940. Between 1943 and 1950 he became creative leader at Uppsala Ekeby, where he designed many different stoneware objects ranging from pots to figural sculptures. In 1950 he joined Kosta Glasbruk as an artistic director. Lindstrand is considered a pioneer of Swedish art. (He is also my favorite Swedish artist, and the one whose work I collect most.)

Karl Edvin Öhrström was born in Burlov, Sweden in 1906. Having a father who worked in the railroad at Halmstad, he had himself worked as a railroad worker for a while. However, he soon decided he wanted to be an art teacher and studied at the Tekniska skolan in Stockholm. Later, he studied sculpture at the Royal University College of Fine Arts under the tutelage of Carl Milles and Nils Sjögren. For the next 25 years, Edvin worked at Orrefors glassworks for a couple of months every year.

The codes etched on the bottom of an Orrefors piece tell us about when it was designed, when it was made, and by whom. In this case, the engraved image of the woman in the waterfall (style #2609) was designed by Edvin Öhrström in 1941, and it appears in Catalog 16. This particular example of that vase was produced in the same year (A7 = 1941), and the engraver was Ragnar Rosenstam (RR). The catalog also tells me that the vase shape is a Lindstrand design of the same time period.

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.

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