Orrefors glass is high quality crystal glassware manufactured at the Swedish glassmaking plant Orrefors. Wares include crystal stemware, vases, figurals and barware. Orrefors also produce a range of crystal lighting. Background
Founded in 1898 on the site of an ex iron works, until 1913 Orrefors was known for its window glass and bottles. However, from 1913 onwards Orrefors, under the ownership of Consul John Ekman, began to diversify the range of glassware they offered, creating drinking glasses and vases.
Due to their experience at the Kosta glassworks, Eugen and Knut Bergvist were hired, alongside Fritz Blomqvist and Heinrich Wollman. The first art glass lines produced at Orrefors were heavily indebted to French glassworks Galle and Daum.
Orrefors Graal ware was introduced around 1916. At the beginning of the 1930s, designers Vicke Lindstrand and Edvard Haal invented a new Graal method, sometimes known as Slip Graal.
In 1926, Orrefors glassware received high praise at the Paris Exhibition.
In 1936, the technique of trapping air bubbles inside glassware was perfected and named “Ariel” after the roguish sprite in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Art Nouveau stylings were also heavily in evidence during this period.
The interwar period proved a boom time at Orrefors, whose individual crystal items and crystal stemware proved extremely popular.
In 1944, Orrefors’ employee Sven Palmqvist perfected the Kraka technique. The earliest examples of Kraka glass were generally made in a single colour, with white the most common.
More recently, the company’s lighting lines – and in particular its chandeliers – have come to the fore and are much admired.
In 2011, Orrefors collaborated with fashion designer Karl Largerfeld under the neame “Orrefors by Karl Largerfeld”.
Dating Orrefors glass
Orrefors have used many different means of identification, including signatures and dating information, over the decades.
Designer signature letters until 1980 include:
A: Olle Alberius
AS: Asta Strömberg
B: Gunnar Cyrén
D: Ingeborg Lundin
F: Edvin Öhrström
FB: Fritz Blomqvist
G: Simon Gate
H: Edvard Hald
HW: Heinrich Wollmann
J: Jan Johansson
K: Henning Koppel
KB: Knut Bergkvist
KD: Fritz Kurz
L: Vicke Lindstrand
N: Nils Landberg
P: Sven Palmqvist
R: Carl Fagerlund
S: John Selbing
T: Lars Hellsten
V: Eva Englund
Since 1935 a combination of a letter and a number was used to denote the date a piece was produced. It was first used exclusively for cut glass, but later was used in a wider sense.
An Orrefors crystal clock sold for $70 at Copake Auctions in July 2012.
A pair of Orrefors candle holders sold for $30 at Fantasticantiques in January 2007.
An Orrefors glass bowl sold for $125 at Doyle New York in December 2004.
An Orrefors decanter sold for $50 at Chandler’s Auctions in November 2012.
An Orrefors glass dish sold for $10 at Kraft Auction Service in January 2012.
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