Posted 6 years ago
I've had this vase by Sarpaneva for nearly twenty five years. I bought it from a thrift shop in Ashfield for ten dollars and at that time it was an unknown to me. When my old mate Alex saw it he said: "Oh, you've got an Orkidea!" in his inimitable Dutch accent. The details were filled in later......
This one is marked with Timo Sarpaneva and the the design number 3568.
It is 15.5 cm (or 6.1 ins) high. It is the small one!
It was in production from 1953 to 1973.
This design won the "Grand Prix" at the 1954 Milan Triennale and was voted the "Most Beautiful Object of the Year" by House Beautiful magazine that year. In the third photo I've added Emanuel Beranek's later vase of 1958 as a comparison.
"Born in 1926 in Helsinki Timo Sarpaneva was one of the great personalities responsible for the world reputation of Finnish design since the 1950s. Sarpaneva was Doctor HC of the Royal College of Art in London and the University of Art and Design in Helsinki and Academician HC of the University of Mexico."
"Sarpaneva was a master of materials as glass, porcelain, cast iron and textile as well as graphic art. Still it was glass that was close to his heart: - "Glass released me from the conventional and the three-dimensional. It opened its deepest reaches to me and took me on a journey to a fourth dimension. I understood the opportunities that clear, transparent glass gives to an artist and designer. "
Home at Iittala Sarpaneva had the complete mastery of both the world of design and that of the liberal arts. During his career, which extended over 50 years, he was honored with innumerable awards and acknowledgements and his work is displayed in the world’s leading museums.
At Iittala Sarpaneva began working in 1950. It is difficult to measure his influence on the process that has made Iittala what it is today. New objects, working methods and ways of thinking were born. This collaboration has also brought about the i-logo, Iittala’s present trademark."