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Mid-Century Modern1921 of 2084TUNDRA VASE MICHAEL BANG HOLMEGAARDSpalding Ware
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Posted 4 years ago


(629 items)

This was a Sunday morning market purchase at Kings Cross about ten years ago. It was the first of my purchases of modern Bohemian glass. It reminded me of a barred spiral galaxy. To me it reflects that new awareness of space and the new frontiers confronting those in the East and the West at that time; the Space Race and the Cold War. It was signed on the bottom Exbor. It is a double sommerso with silver chloride inclusions. It has six sides and has bevelled edges that reflect Bohemian glass cutting skills. To me it is very northern Bohemian quite different to the glass of the south-east.
Height: 13 cm / 5.1"
Width: 17 cm / 6.7"
Depth: 7cm /2.75"
At the bottom marked Exbor Czechoslovakia.

Over a period of time I was finally able to work out some more information about the firm Exbor. All of the information was in Czech. The name comes from 'export' and 'Bor'. 'Bor' is short for the city of Novy Bor which in German was known as Haida; a town with a long glass history.

I finally came across the name Pavel Hlava and some of the other famous names of Bohemian glass:René Roubicek, Jiri Harcuba and Karel Wunsch. Pavel Hlava (1924 – 2003) was one of the pioneers of contemporary glass sculpture in the Czech Republic. "Hlava is well-known for demonstrating the full potential of glass art using both cold-working and free-blowing techniques. Throughout his career, Hlava exhibited mainly in the United States and Japan."

Nationalisation of the Czech glass industry started in 1948. In northern Bohemia they founded a group known as Borske Sklo in 1953. It's head office was located in Novy Bor (Haida). A lot of small workshops were brought under the umbrella of this nationalized corporation, but also a few large and renowned companies like the Zahn works, Egermann-Exbor and later also Moser.

Borské Sklo played a major role in the showpiece exhibitions of Czech glass held in the 1950s and 1960s. Designs were simple, refined, practical and often quite colorful.

There's another similar vase on ebay that adds this information:
"An Exbor blue, yellow and colourless cased vase with silver and chemical inclusions. These vases can be found in a wide variety of cut shapes, colours and sizes, and also with different styles of random, internal abstract patterning. Created using silver chloride, similar chemicals, or metal filaments, the technique was developed in conjunction with Dr Jaromír Spacek, head of the glassmaking school at Nový Bor. The design won a Gold Medal at the Leipzig Trade Fair in 1967, and was nominated as being amongst the best products of the same year.
The vase is hand sanded and polished to a high gloss. This style internal decor with a combination of stylized blue evening sky with stars in the sky.
Designed by Pavel Hlava - Exbor Czechoslovakia in 1964"

There are reproductions being produced today by Egermann. I think that they do not have the Exbor mark. The bottom of the pieces is never shown. The inclusions are quite different and the variety of shapes and colours has developed as well.


  1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks Amy!
    Damned difficult to photograph, tho'!
  2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    It's a light thing. It prefers fluorescent.
  3. wolcott1 wolcott1, 4 years ago
    How wonderful that you were able to find this. One of the most unusual vases I've seen, and beautiful!
  4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks scandinavian_pieces, AmberRose and wolcott1 too!

    The first photo is under fluoro and the other three are under the LED down lights in the lounge room.
  5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks Obscurities!
  6. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 4 years ago
    Impressive piece, but i also love how much information you give us about it! Thanks so much, vet!
  7. bohemianglassandmore bohemianglassandmore, 4 years ago
    Nice article - thanks!
  8. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks BELLIN68,austrohungaro, bohemianglassandmore and PhilDavidAlexanderMorris as well.
    Thanks to you all!
  9. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks peteeone & Samovar88 too!
  10. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks BeauxPurdy!
  11. artislove artislove, 4 years ago
    cheers to new discoverys beautifull galaxy endless explorations always tempting and satisfying what an inspiration many thanx!
  12. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks artisLove!
  13. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks mustangtony!
  14. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
    Many thanks Jericho!
  15. AmberRose AmberRose, 3 years ago
    Still just love this.
  16. SEAN68 SEAN68, 3 years ago
    so do i:)
  17. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
    Thanks both of you. They are reproducing them again these days in different colours and shapes. I'm wary of any that don't have the Exbor mark. A tribute to Hlava?
  18. SEAN68 SEAN68, 3 years ago
    your very welcome Kevin:) why are they reproducing these?
  19. AmberRose AmberRose, 3 years ago
    Haven't seen any yet. Will be wary
  20. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
    Google images 'Hlava Exbor' and you'll see the new and old ones. If they don't have a pic of the Exbor mark, I'm suspicious. Reproducing old designs is just a way of making money and aximising profits on designs that might be older. There's lots of it going on in Europe at the moment. It is not just the Chinese who are reproducing popular modernist designs.
  21. SEAN68 SEAN68, 3 years ago
    very interesting Kevin:) ill have to check that out:)
  22. AmberRose AmberRose, 3 years ago
    Every time it ones up, I have to love it!
  23. AmberRose AmberRose, 3 years ago
    It comes back in rotation...
  24. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
    Many thanks NICOLEJERELEN, AMBER and MSL on this rotation! LOL
  25. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
    Many thanks MANIKIN!
  26. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
    Many thanks BRATJDD!
  27. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Many thanks VINTAGEFRAN!
  28. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Many thanks AGHCOLLECT!
  29. AmberRose AmberRose, 2 years ago
    Here I am loving this again as she comes around. Still fab
  30. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Thanks AMBER. I need to get some good shots of it.
  31. AmberRose AmberRose, 2 years ago
    How are you V? Finally thawing out here but still gives us cool days. Lots of rain. I just am so ready for full warm already. Also getting ready for the de-hoard flea market next week, which I'm both excited about and sad to be off loading.
  32. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    We're well, mate! I'm expecting a piece of Flygsfors from the US of A tomorrow and a Gouda girl from down south too. I overspent this month. I will soon have to get rid of everything. The Gov't has a horror budget for all of us oldies .... I did NNOT VOTE FOR THEM!
    NADIA mentions that there are fires down her way. Big ones!
  33. AmberRose AmberRose, 2 years ago
    Oh no! Will email her. Hadn't heard. Flooding here. Brother now has a swimming pool for a basement. Really bad. They saved the wine though
  34. antiquerose antiquerose, 5 months ago
    Stunning piece in Blue Cobalt with the Galaxy !!!!
  35. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 months ago
    Many thanks ANTIQUEROSE, AURA & HO2CULTCHA too !!!!!!
  36. Nicefice Nicefice, 5 months ago
    Nice piece and great write-up! Love it!!
  37. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 months ago
  38. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 months ago
    Many thanks HO2CULTCHA !!!!
  39. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 months ago
    Many thanks SEAN & HO2CULTCHA !!!!!

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