Orrefors Sweden Engraved Crystal Vase, Romeo and Juliet, Landberg 1940's Designed


This Charming Swedish art glass was designed by Nils Landberg, one of the great 20th century Orrefors artists. The vase depicts Romeo, below and on the front of the piece, calling out to Juliet on her balcony, above and on the back of the piece. This technique was a favorite of Landberg, adding depth to his highly detailed two dimensional designs. The codes engraved on the bottom of this piece tell it was made in 1980, so it is among the last engraved works to come from Orrefors, although the image of Romeo and Juliet (2813) was designed by Landberg in 1944. It's a medium-sized piece, measuring 5" x 3" x 7.75" (124mm x 76mm x 197mm) and weighing 4 pounds (1.8 kg).

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.

Nils Landberg was born in 1907 and died in 1991. He studied at the Handicraft Society School in Gothenburg, and began his career at Orrefors Glassworks in 1925, initially as an engraver and from 1936 as a designer. He debuted his engraved glass at the Paris Exhibition in 1937, participated in the World Exhibition in New York in 1939, and won the gold medal at the 1957 Milan Triennale. Landberg is best known to the public for his thin wall elegant tableware and art glass. His most famous designs are "Tulip" and "Dusk." He worked at Orrefors until 1972.

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