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Vase with engraved fish and algae, Gunnar Nylund/Asta Strömberg? (Strömbergshyttan, 1960)

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    Posted 12 years ago

    (584 items)

    I got this vase very cheaply and that's something I couldn't believe at the time as a simmilar one was offered to my for a considerable price just a few days before I found this.

    It's a design by either Gunnar Nylund or Asta Strömberg from 1960 and the engraving is is simply amazing as part of it seems to be made by literally breaking the glass (actually, as rebessin has pointed out, this technique is a cutting technique with metal tools).

    It is signed Strömberg B936 R968 at the bottom and according to what I was told, the last part tells us the engraver is Rune Strand.

    I do love Strömbergshyttan glass and got around 20 pieces from this factory in my collection, but this one is by far the best of them, as well as one of the best pieces in the whole collection.

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    1. rebessin rebessin, 11 years ago
      I think this is an Asta Strömberg vase. But can not be sure (as always for Strömbergshyttan if there is not a drawing with signature of the designer, or other secure data available). B936 has a similar style as B 895 (Sputnik vases, for sure an Asta design). The depth of the inner bottom seems to have the same proportion in this vase, only a little bit wider, otherwise the same form. Produced in various heights and also with colored underlayer. The engraving is probably a Rune Strand motive, in the catalogs it says "C968, två små scalarer" (two small scalar fishes), and more engravings designed by Rune Strand is around this number in the catalogues. But here it has an R instead of the usual C. This stands probably for Rune Strand. He likely wanted to distinguish his engravings from others in signing. S or RS would not be appropriate when S was already the name of tableware. Therefore R, which was not used as another term for Strömbergshyttan (except punch carafes which in that time had been removed from the product range).
    2. rebessin rebessin, 11 years ago
      It could also be so simple that R stands for the technique. You called it "literally breaking the glass" and it is cutting technique with metal tools, not a usual engraving method with copper pulley or dental drill (Rune Strand invented by the way the method to engrave with a dental drill during his time at Kosta when he collaborated with Vicke Lindstrand, I think(?) he also invented this method during his time in Strömbergshyttan to cut in the glass with metal tools).
    3. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 11 years ago
      Yes, probably the way I explained is a bit unfortunate, but after all thats the impression it gives.

      I have a smaller vase but simmilar to this one in shape and with a dark green underlay... I wonder if it's one of the Sputnik vases you talk about. I must take a lot of pictures of the new items in my collection, and it's amongst them, so I'll let you know as soon as I upload it.

      Thanks so much for the information. I wonder, could you please check my other Strömbergshytan stuff? I'd like to know if it's rightly attributed or not... Thanks!!!
    4. rebessin rebessin, 11 years ago
      The Sputnik vases are completaely round in shape (seen from top or bottom), these are oval seen from the same angel. But seen from forward they both are similar in form, this a little bit wider.

      Regarding the mystery of the engraving and signature, I have consulted with my brother, who worked as an engraver at Strömbergshyttan between 1969-ca75. He will remember that during his time they always signed with C before the number of the engraving, regardless standard engraving or cutting and also for Rune Strand engraving patterns. He says that R was never used in his period there. For larger engraving work would, however, in addition to C and numbers also sign with the initials or name of the person doing the practical work, such as RS or Rune Strand, LS or Leif Swahn, LJ or Lasse Jansson, LvW or Laila von Wendel, ÅB or Åke Bergqvist, KN or Kerstin Nilsson, JJ or Jim Jonsson, AS or Anders Solfors. Before 1969, during the Rune Strand's time, he will not comment on. Then it may be that R was used on his engraving patterns, says my brother. Or can C possibly been carelessly engraved, so it has been interpreted as an R? That was the answer I got.

      I like to help as much as possible with attriburring of your glass from Strömbergshyttan. But many times, it is uncertain and it is just speculation based on different facts. However, I have some drawings signed Gunnar Nylund and some attributions to Gerda Strömberg, Asta Strömberg an Gunnar Nylund in directories that my father had written down. I have also learned that more drawings is saved by the children the head foreman of glass grinding workshop at Strömbergshyttan, I will try to get copies even on them.
    5. epson233 epson233, 11 years ago
      nice -- thanks for posting -- a lot of appreciated information from the members
    6. vetraio50 vetraio50, 11 years ago
      A wealth of information here! Thanks Nils and austro too!
    7. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 11 years ago
      Thanks again rebessin!!! I was reading what you wrote and I was thinking: "woooow, it's so good all this information will remain here for everybody to read it"! As I told you, there's so much unknown about Strömbergshyttan, and it's such a pity because they had such an amazing design and high quality!
    8. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 11 years ago
      I went home yesterday morning and checked out this vase and a simmilar one I've got (same size, same engraving... unfortunately that one has a strong scratch on one side) and I was shocked to see that the signature is different in both of them: this one is signed "Strömberg B936 R968" (yes, R, there's not mistake about it) and the one with the scratch is signed "Strömberg B936 C968 ", with a C, just like rebessin says it should have been signed... My guess is that someone made a mistake when engraving it (could this be one of the first vases made with this engraving and they were not sure of what signature they should bear? who knows...)

      I didn't have my camera with me (this is the biggest problem when you live between two houses... the things you need are never in the same house at the same time) but I promise I'll take pictures of the two signatures and post them here.
    9. AmberRose AmberRose, 11 years ago
      Hello Lovely! I received your wonderful present in the mail, love him! Will be shooting his cover as soon as we get some sun. Thank you!
    10. rebessin rebessin, 11 years ago
      Hi again astrohungaro! The engraving patterns between C964 to C 970 are with fishes, C965 a similar types to this. They are in a number range with typical patterns of Rune Strand (C879 and forwards). I'm quite sure this is a Rune Strand pattern, and probably under his time under the 1960's at Strombergshyttan they signed his engraving patterns with R instead of C? Or they did only a few with R and then as usual with C? Perhaps are the first vase with R968 made under the 60's and the one with C968 a work from the 70's?
    11. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 11 years ago
      I have just added a detail of the engraving work showing one of the details... you can now appreciate the amazing work it is
    12. vetraio50 vetraio50, 11 years ago
      The engraving is really special.
      'två små scalarer' as rebessin said.
      Those scales are really beautifully rendered - "scalarer"!

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