- Museum number
Two glass bowls from a set, smoke-coloured glass, spun in a centrifugal machine.
- Production date
Diameter: 16 centimetres ((a) rim)
Diameter: 12.40 centimetres ((b) rim)
Height: 9.50 centimetres ((a))
Height: 7.50 centimetres ((b))
- Curator's comments
- The set comprised seven bowls in all, made with a rotating mould. Palmqvist first considered this new technique in 1934, during a trip to Czechoslovakia and Germany; having observed how cream climbed up the wall of a butter churn as the vessel was rotated, he wondered if the same thing was possible with glass. The first tests were carried out in 1943 using a hand-driven spinning machine. Palmqvist's colleagues at Orrefors remained unenthusiastic, fearing the new invention would put them out of a job. But Palmqvist persevered, obtaining a worldwide patent for centifugal glass in the mid 1940s. Thanks to the introduction of iron moulds in the early 1950s, and the encouragement of Tore Wennberg, manager of the luxury Stockholm department store NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), who undertook to purchase a year's supply, the series went on sale in NK in 1954, under the name 'Fuga', invoking the centrifugal technique. Because the glass is spun centrifugally it is forced up the sides of the mould evenly, resulting in consistent quality and thickness. The range was produced in both transparent and opaque glass.
The series was shown in Sweden at the Helsingborg Exhibition of 1955 and won a Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale in 1957. They were reasonably priced and remained in production until 1973. For further discuussion, see Kerstin Wickman (ed), 'Orrefors. A Century of Swedish Glassmaking', Stockholm 1998, pp. 71-2. See also H. Ricke and U. Gronert (eds), 'Glas in Schweden 1915-1960', Munich 1986, p. 164, no. 251, and N. Benson, 'Glass of the '50s & '60s. A Collector's Guide', London 2002, p. 51. A complete set of seven bowls is in the V&A (C.1 to C7-2012).
For further information see: Erik Zahle (ed.), 'Scandinavian Domestic Design', London 1963, Fig. 231, p. 189.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number