Retro & Vintage Hunting in Berlin

I’m writing this a little later than planned, but of course I couldn’t visit Berlin (or anywhere, indeed) without having a quick hunt for some new treasures. As time was a little tight on last weekend’s visit, I only had time to visit the excellent flea market at Strasse des 17 Juni, near the S-bahn station at Tiergarten. I arrived nice and early, just as stallholders were finishing laying their goods out.
As usual, a quick recce told me I could have spent hundreds of pounds on the many bargains there, but the fact I don’t have hundreds of pounds, and only had limited luggage space left, meant that I couldn’t. So I limited myself to two pieces, the first shown here. It was designed by Petr Hora for Skrdlovice, and the spidery, root-like design is executed in pinky-violet and white glass that contrasts strongly against the amber.
Skrdlovice pattern numbers are useful, as they identify the year when the design was produced. A quick hunt through my reference books revealed this to be pattern number 8317. The first two numbers are the year of design, so 1983, and the second two numbers tell us that it was the 17th design produced in 1983. My new friend Robert tells me that Petr Hora (b.1949), was Design Director at Skrdlovice for a few years, so can be counted as an important designer for the company, who also produced designs by greats Vladimir Jelinek and Frantisek Vizner. This design was also available an orangey pink, a blue cased in yellow – and the pattern appears on many other shapes.
For me, it’s a little like art in glass – a cross between a Damien Hirst spin painting, a bolt of electricity, and a spider’s web. It’s not so easy to produce either, and I haven’t actually seen on in the flesh before! So I feel that my 45 euro investment in the piece is safe. I feel it’s the same for the second piece, a Harrachov ‘Harrtil’ vase designed by Milan Metelak and Milos Pulpitel. With it’s internal mesh of white webbing, it’s often mistaken for Murano ‘Merletto’ glass, and priced accordingly high. Bowls and ashtrays are much more common than vases, so I was delighted to find a vase (sadly in a very ‘traditional’ shape) for the princely sum of 20 euros. It’s only the third Harrtil vase I’ve ever handled! You can read more about where to buy retro and vintage pieces in Berlin by clicking here.

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