This is an excellent example of Orrefors' Fish Graal pattern. Circa 1950, this impressive vase designed by Edward Hald is extremely heavy and thick walled. As a result, this piece captures light in the most wonderful manner. The flash pattern depicts a series of fish and sea weeds. The aquarium effect is significantly enhanced by the reflection of the flashed pattern on the inner walls of the glass vase.
Dimensions: Approximately 15.5 cm (6 in) tall.
Condition: Very good. No chips, cracks or repairs. Wear consistent with age; some dirt/deposit to the inside bottom of the vase.
Signature: "Orrefors Graal Nr 137 E.G Edward Hald" script on the base.
Reference: A similar patterned vase is depicted in Mark Frideman's "The Best of Modern Swedish Art Glass: Orrefors and Kosta 1930-1970" page 64 (see photo).
A Note About the Artist:
Edward Hald (1883-1980) trained as an architect and painter. He studied in Dresden, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Paris. His time in Copenhagen included work under Johan Rohde; in Paris he worked under Matisse. In 1917, Hald worked briefly at Rorstrand, and then began his long association with Orrefors.
At the time Edward Hald joined Orrefors in 1917, the early experiments of Simon Gate and the master glassblower, Knudt Bergkvist, for the Graal technique were still evolving. The Graal technique used acid etching or wheel carving to create thin designs in relief on the surface of multilayer, glass blanks. The carved blanks were then heated to a molten state by glassblowers, encased with an additional layer of clear glass to entrap the design, and finally worked with blowing to a finished state. The result was literally, "painting within the glass".
Edward Hald created some of the earliest designs to use the Graal method. He continued to work in Graal throughout his long career, including the heavy "Fish Graal" pieces first shown in 1937. Also "Slip Graal" and "Aqua Graal" were favored techniques. Hald also designed many important engraved pieces such as the "Fireworks" bowl. He retired from Orrefors in 1978.
A Note About the Manufacturer:
Orrefors glassworks was founded in 1898 in a place that had iron works since 1726.
In the beginning, Orrefors was probably called Orrafors. The glassworks were by a lake called Orranäsajön in Sweden. The name of the lake provided the first part of the name. The industry was close to streaming water to benefit from the water power. In Swedish, rapid streaming water is called "fors". Put Orra and Fors together, and you get the name Orrafors, which turned into Orrefors.
The iron foundry of the region was eventually abandoned as it grew less and less lucrative; meanwhile the forestry industry thrived. To use all labour and leftover wood from the region, the glassworks were founded. The successful glassworks eventually attracted talented craftsmen and pioneering artists.
During the 1930's and 40's the desire to experiment was great and many new fascinating techniques were used and further developed by Orrefors.
Since 1987, art glass is only produced according to the designs of contemporary artists. The decision to produce only contemporary designs has lead to a surge in new artistic thinking and increased technical brilliance.
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