Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Scandinavian Collectible Glass - Iittala

The bright, intense colours; the clean, simple lines; and the organic shapes all make Scandinavian glass designs timeless in their appeal and design aesthetic.

Iittala is a Finnish glass company that dates back to 1881.  They are a must-have addition to any Scandinavian glass collection.  The company has a vintage collectors page here.  They are known for capturing the textures of nature e.g. icicles, flowers but also for clean lined simple vessels - vases, pitchers.

Mid century Scandinavian glass especially has big appeal to young and old collectors alike.  It is hard to find so when it appears, it is like finding water in an oasis to a picker like me.  The hardest part usually is putting it up for sale on my store but I know it is going to someone who will appreciate it as much as I do and so it softens the attachment.  Ha!

So, then, you'll understand my complete joy when I found these Iittala Oiva Toikka Flora neodymium or alexandrite drinking glasses!  If you are not familiar with alexandrite glass, it changes colour in different lights! These glasses go from a pale blue to a pinky-purple colour.  How cool is that!

I'll try not to get all science-y about this but basically the fact that the glass changes from one colour (pale ice blue (in florescent light) to lavender purple in incandescent light) is known as diachromatic glass. Moser glass in the 30's coined the phrase "Alexandrite" to be used with glass they produced with Neodymium (the element that gives the glass this effect).

Here's a set of 4 Iittala plates that I sold.  This pattern is called "Dew Drop" due to the raised dot pattern.

Here is a set of six Iittala Senaattori amber glasses that I sold. I love the warmth of amber glass.

If you like Scandinavian glass and want to know more about pieces you own or collect, the best books on the subject in my mind are these two classics.  They have wonderful images and are beautiful coffee table books.  I find I refer to them often when trying to identify glass. Click on the images below for more information about these books.

Thank you to my customer and Scandinavian design enthusiast for giving me the idea for this post.  Here is a link to their blog 20 Rue Edward about decorating their home in mid century Scandinavian design.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I received the iittala glasses today ....LOVE THEM!

    I really like your blog :)