Vicke Lindstrand | Seeing the Wood and the Trees

Vicke Lindstrand | Seeing the Wood and the Trees

Join Senior Glass & Decorative Arts Specialist, Alex Froggatt as he explores the life and works of Swedish Glass Designer, Vicke Lindstrand.

8 April 2024

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Vicke Lindstrand is a name synonymous with the Scandinavian glass industry. That unquenchable thirst for progression, careful design, and an astute awareness of commerciality. While the focus of this article revolves around a work produced by the Kosta glass factory, we must first go back to another glass firm based in the Småland province of Southern Sweden.

In 1928, as a 24 year old, Lindstrand joined the firm of Orrefors under the tutelage of Simon Gate and Edward Hald. Orrefors was bought by industrialist Consul Johan Ekman in 1913, originally for the forests the glasshouse occupied, as his other business required the resource. Thankfully, and with good fortune, Albert Ahlin took over the management of the glasshouse and it went from strength to strength. Hald and Gate commanded respect in the designer led glass world of the early 20th century and with their knowledge of the industry they supported Lindstrand’s meteoric rise to success.

During the 1930s Vicke Lindstrand’s creativity began to flourish with works like Pärlfiskare (Pearl Fisher) and Hajdödaren (The Shark Killer), both illustrating new ways of using engraving and optic moulding symbiotically, the latter featuring at the 1937 Paris Exhibition. A watery background is imagined with the use of optic moulding, further embellished by engraved muscular figures caught in motion. Innovative use of glass techniques can be seen throughout Lindstrand’s career. He was the father of the Mykene technique, an image constructed of fine carborundum formed bubbles, as well as being closely linked with the famous Graal technique. After 12 successful years, in 1940, Vicke Lindstrand left the firm of Orrefors.

 

Vicke Lindstrand (Swedish, 1904-1983) a 'Träd i dimma' (Trees in fog) glass vase, designed in 1951 for Kosta, the clear crystal underlaid with opalescent glass and decorated in black with the outline of trees, signed with acid stamp LIND-STRAND KOSTA and engraved LU 2005 34cm high (£1,000-1,500)

Vicke Lindstrand (Swedish, 1904-1983) a 'Träd i dimma' (Trees in fog) glass vase, designed in 1951 for Kosta, the clear crystal underlaid with opalescent glass and decorated in black with the outline of trees, signed with acid stamp LIND-STRAND KOSTA and engraved LU 2005 34cm high (£1,000-1,500)

 

After a stint at the Swedish pottery firm of Upsala Ekeby, Vicke Lindstrand joined the Kosta glassworks in 1950 – where our vase was made. During his time at Kosta, which ended in 1973, Lindstrand produced several ranges which can be followed by the well documented and thorough use of signatures the firm adhered to. Our piece is engraved ‘LU2005’, the ‘LU’ portion references this as a Unica piece designed by Vicke Lindstrand. Titled 'Träd i dimma' (Trees In Fog) it illustrates its title beautifully, rendering trees with abstract coloured inclusions within a slightly opalescent ground suggesting fog or mist. At the time, it culminated over two decades worth of design expertise that are now represented in institutions around the world, for example, see Victoria and Albert Museum accession number C.163-1987.

 

Vicke Lindstrand (Swedish, 1904-1983) a 'Träd i dimma' (Trees in fog) glass vase, designed in 1951 for Kosta, the clear crystal underlaid with opalescent glass and decorated in black with the outline of trees, signed with acid stamp LIND-STRAND KOSTA and engraved LU 2005 34cm high (£1,000-1,500)

 

 

As a Scandinavian glass enthusiast, this is at the top of the tree for works produced by Kosta. An understated yet clever design, encapsulated in a handcrafted glass vase – a true tour de force!

 


 

 

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