Mid-Century Glassware: Glass Makers and Designers (Apr 2020)

Mid-Century Glassware: This article on Mid-century Glass Makers covers the makers that I have become aware over the last 10 years.

Iittala Finland Festivo Candle Stick

Iittala Finland Festivo Candle Stick

This is my third article for the website.  I am a relatively new admirer of Mid-Century Glass so this article is more of a catalogue of makers I have found items from rather than an analysis of the range of product or the prices.  Also, my knowledge thus far is limited to functional glass rather than art glass.  Again, I only used my own photos for this article. I will try to update this article regularly to include the glass items that I have found.

I often pick up pieces of glass because they have a certain feel, are heavy for their size, have imperfect shapes (a sign of being hand made) or have unusual (or one-way up) patterns or pictures.

This type of glassware does not usually have makers marks so it is often difficult to identify if you are not familiar with the patterns.  Most brands do have stickers and if you are lucky enough to find a piece with a sticker you can then verify it quickly on the internet. If there is no sticker it can take a lot longer to identify the maker and designer but it is usually worth the effort.  I usually find that the longer it takes to identify the provenance of an item, the rarer it turns out to be.

See my MCM Glass items for sale on eBay.

Mid-Century Glassware: Glass Makers and Designers

Iittala Finland

Iittala Finland “dates back to 1881 when a glass factory was established in a village of the same name in southern Finland.”  Iittala is probably the most well-known Scandinavian mid-century glassware maker.

“The breakthrough came in the early years of modernism and functionalism during the 1930s and 40s. At that time it was pioneers like Alvar Aalto, Aino Aalto and Kaj Franck who led the development of the Iittala brand. Their belief was that objects should always be designed with thought and make them available for everyone.”

Mid-Century Glassware

Iittala Kekkerit Glasses

The company is still operating and producing beautiful designs today. They are releasing some of their early designs, but these are not as hand made.  Goto https://www.iittala.com.au/about-us.html.

Many of their patterns including Festivo candle holders and Kekkerit goblets have been copied so you have to watch out for the fakes.

They have always attracted great designers.  Tapio Wirkkala (-2015) worked for Iittala Finland and was responsible for the Mesi (Honey/Nectar) pattern in production from 1966 to 1985, the Ultima and Thule ranges.  Timo Sarpeneva also worked for Iittala Finland and was responsible for the Kekkerit (Party) range of drinkware.  Other designers at Iittala were Kaj Franck (Kartio, Teema), Alvar Alto and Oiva Toikka (birds Kastehelmi, Flora).

Mid-Century Glassware

Iittala Mesi Water Set

Iittala Finland Sticker

Iittala Finland Sticker

Iittala Shot Glasses

Iittala Shot Glasses

Iittala Kimara Whiskey Glasses

Iittala Kimara Whiskey Glasses – see details 

Iittala Finland Kekkerit

Iittala Kekkerit Sweet Dish – see details 

Iittala Festivo Candle Sticks

Iittala Festivo Candle Sticks

Iittala Aslak Shot Glass

Iittala Aslak Shot Glass

Lasisepat Mantsala Finland

Lasisepat Mantsala are one of the lesser known Finnish glass makers and I believe the factory was operating from 1978-2003.  They produced centrifugal cast and blown glass and reportedly a small amount of studio glass.  Their best known designer was Pertti Kallioinen for his Cow Parsley and Metsa (forest) ranges made for in the 1970s.

Very little is available on the internet about this glass works, and what I have found is mostly on discussion pages.  It is often missed from lists of Scandinavian glass makers.

I have not seen any art glass myself but I did have a Cow Parsley sweet dish in pale pink glass.

Lasisepat Finland Sticker

Lasisepat Finland Sticker

Metsa Bowls Finland

Metsa Bowls Lasisepat Finland – SOLD

Mid-Century Glassware

Pertti Kallioinen Metsa – for sale

Trash and Treasure Finds

Cow Parsley Lasisepat Bowl

Mantsala Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley Sweet Set – SOLD – see details

Pukeberg Sweden

Pukeberg was founded in Sweden in 1871 and has produced decorative glass from the 1930s to the present day.

Uno Westerberg designed for Pukeberg Sweden from 1935-1978 and is responsible for the shattered glass range.

Designers Goran Warff and Ann Warff (later Wolff 1937-) joined Pukeberg in 1958 and left in 1964 to go to Kosta Boda.

Go to http://www.glassfromsweden.com/pukeberg.html for more background info.

Pukeberg Sweden

Tree Plate Pukeberg Sweden – for sale

Pukeberg Sweden Sticker

Pukeberg Sweden Sticker

Mid-Century Glassware

Pukeberg Bowl Sweden – SOLD 

Pukerberg Small Fish Dish

Pukerberg Small Fish Dish

The Indiana Glass Company U.S.A

The Indiana Glass Company of Dunkirk can trace its roots in glass back to 1897. By 1908 the company was a powerhouse within the U.S. glass industry and produced a wide variety of domestic and commercial glass through till the 1980s.

Among the items produced early were Carnival glass, Depression-style, Art Deco glassware and other patterns.  Later came coloured glasses in green, pink, crystal and white milk glass.

For more on the company go to http://www.collectorsweekly.com/glassware/indiana

Indiana Glass Co Mugs

Indiana Glass Co Mugs – for sale

Whitefriars England

The glass factory at Whitefriars boasts 300 years of glass making back to 1720. James Powell & Sons took over in 1834 and developed new technologies for glass making.  “Their glass always reflected the fashion of the day.”  In 1923 they built a new factory in London and post WWII their business boomed. For a history of Whitefriars goto http://www.whitefriars.com/about_whitefriars.php.

During the mid-20th-century they kept up with the Scandinavian style that was in fashion.  There most well-known designer was Geoffrey Baxter (-1995) who joined them in 1954 and came up with a completely new approach to glass design that resulted in the Textured Range that came out in 1967 and was produced in many colours.  Other designers included Peter Wheeler for the Studio Ranges.  In 1972 they produced the Glacier Range.

Whitefriars is probably the most well-known English mid-century glassware maker.

They stopped producing studio glass in 1973 and the factory closed in 1980.

Mid-Century Glassware

NOT Whitefriars Glacier Glasses ??

Mid-Century Glassware

Whitefriars Geoffrey Baxter Tangerine Bowl

Whitefriars England Sticker

Whitefriars England Sticker

Humppila Finland

Humppila Finland operated from 1952 till 1979 when it was taken over and later became part of Nuutajarvi Glass Finland.

Glass designers who worked there in the 1970s included Pertti Santalahti and Kai Blomqvist.

I had this below Sunflower plate for a year before I realised it is not an Humppila piece. It is very similar but looking closely at the detail of the edge gave me the truth of it.  So who made it?

For a short history go to http://www.20thcenturyglass.com/glass_encyclopedia/scandinavian_glass/humppila_glass/humppilaglass_home.htm

Humppila Finland Sticker

Humppila Finland Sticker

Muurla Finland

Muurla produced glass in the 1970s and is still producing glass today.

They made a range of handkerchief glass vases and candle holders.  Plates they made included images of a peacock, swans and reindeer.

Glass designers who worked there include Raija Luoto.

Muurla Finland Peacock Plate

Muurla Finland Peacock Plate – for sale 

Muurla Finland Sticker

Muurla Finland Sticker

 

Nuutajarvi Notsjo Finland

Nuutajarvi Notsjo was started in 1793 and merged with Iittala in 1988.

Designers who worked for them in the mid 1900s included Kaj Franck and Oiva Toikka.

Nuutajarvi Notso Fauna Bowls

Nuutajarvi Notsjo Fauna Bowls – SOLD see details 

Nuutajarvi Notsjo Finland Cocktail Pitcher

Nuutajarvi Notsjo Finland Cocktail Pitcher – SOLD

Nuutajarvi Notsjo Sticker

Nuutajarvi Notsjo Sticker

Nuutajarvi Notsjo Sticker

Nuutajarvi Notsjo Sticker

Sklo Union Czechoslavakia

Sklo Union were formed in Czechoslovakia in 1965. They produced pressed glass from several factories. The brutalist plate below is from the Lilochovice factory in the old Czechoslovakia and was designed by Vaclav Zajic.
Sklo Union 'Metsa' Brutalist Dishes

Sklo Union ‘Metsa’ Brutalist Dishes – SOLD

Sklo Union Czech Sticker

Sklo Union Czech Sticker

Sklo Union Brutalist Platters

Sklo Union ‘Metsa’ Brutalist Platters – for sale

Mid-Century Glassware

See my MCM Glass items for sale on eBay.

Happy bargain hunting and collecting

Comments

  1. Adela Belcastro

    Thank you for this information, am trying to research a bowl that I feel is Scandinavian, but no luck so far…although the base leads me to LASISEPAT – maybe ….

  2. Lisa

    Hi,
    I picked up a Crown Glassware 10 inch dimpled fishbowl at a garage sale. It was still in the box. It is pink and transparent. It came from Boans Department Store in Perth. I couldn’t seem to find this exact piece in the catalogue. Do you know how much it would have cost, what it’s age is and how much it would be worth now? There are no pictures of anything similar on the net. Thanks.
    Regards, Lisa

  3. Cheryl

    Hello Lisa. I do know a a bit about Australian glass but your item does not ring a bell. Does your item actually have a fish on it. There is a 9.5″ fish tray in my “Australian Glass” book by Ken Arnold from 1991. I can’t tell the colour though. If you can send me a picture it might help. Cheers Cheryl

  4. Peter

    Hi
    I just wanted to comment on your information about Joe Colombo. I have several of theses pieces and I believed they were Fidenza Vetraria Vita series pieces. I emailed the estate of Joe Colombo and they indicated he did not design these.
    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-fidenza-vetraria-vita-coffee-1793934539.
    See the box here. I haven’t been able to find any exact references to Joe designing these. I enjoy reading you information and thought I would share what I have learnt. If you have more information that Joe designed these I would love to follow up on it.
    Cheers

    • Cheryl

      Hello Peter. Thank you very much for the info. I have never seen a box and cannot remember where I first got the info. I checked on ebay and the internet and lots of people have made the same mistake as me. I will update my website ASAP. If I can get a few references that agree, I will do a quick blog about this as well. regards Cheryl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *