At Elme Glassworks, Swedish artist Emil Weidlich, 1895-1986, engraved this stunning handblown crystal vase with a nude woman, arms outstretched, reaching for a pair of birds. It is a medium-sized piece, 5.75" x 3.75" x 4", and it weighs about a pound. It is in truly remarkable condition for its age.
Weidlich was educated as a glass "carver" at the Steinschönau Glass School (Kamenický Šenov), founded in the 16th century in the current Czech Republic. He was recruited by the pioneering Swedish designer, Simon Gate, in 1922, to work at the Orrefors glass mill. There he worked closely with Gate for almost a decade. In 1931 he joined Elme Glasbruk as a leader of an engraving workshop and remained there until 1942. He executed his own engravings on his own models, but also engravings of former designers, such as Edvin Ollers. In 1942, he started his own company, Värends Konstglas, at which he worked until the age of 85. The business was located in Älmhult, Sweden (home to the first IKEA store!).
The Elme glassworks began in 1917 as a subsidiary of the Färe glassworks in Sibbhult. It was founded by the Swedish Nobel Laureate Gustuf Dahlen, the inventor of the gas powered lighthouse. It went bankrupt in 1920, reinventing itself as a manufacturer of glass homewares in 1923, and yet again as Elme Glasbruk in 1931. This happened a few more times in 1936, in 1940, and 1960, until it closed its doors for good in 1970. Over that time many important glass designers worked there, creating some great Art Deco designs. (Thanks to Nils Bergqvist)
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