A 1950s Per Lütken for Holmegaard ‘Orchid’ Vase

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Factory: Holmegaard, Denmark
Designer: Per Lütken
Date of design: 1956
Produced: 1957

A great example of an Orchid vase from Lütken’s ‘Flamingo’ series, designed in 1956. The asymmetric, bud-like form of this design is typical of 1950s glass design, particularly in Scandinavia, in taking its inspiration from nature. Here, Lütken has been inspired by the form of a rare orchid, which he translates into a practical, yet decorative and sculptural, form. The elegantly pulled rim accentuates and reflects the curves of the body and the well, which was formed by inserting a wet stick into the hot, molten glass. The heat of the glass caused the water to evaporate instantly, with the steam forcing a well and hole to open as it escaped. Although similar, the size and shape is unique to every piece. The technique was pioneered by Timo Sarpaneva with his Orchid vase design of 1952. Lütken pushed this much further, creating a extravagant form with a fascinating optical effect created by the use of green glass cased in colourless glass. This piece is signed HOLMEGAARD 19 PL 57, with Lütken’s swirly monogram in between the date, making it a very early piece produced the year after the design was released.

6in (15cm) high.

About The Designer
Per Lütken (1916-98) was one of the most important and influential Scandinavian glass designers during the 1950s & 60s, reflecting and, to some extent, leading fashion. His austerely coloured, organic and curving style of the 1950s was replaced by a brightly coloured, almost geometrical style in the 1960s. He trained at the Copenhagen School of Arts & Crafts and worked as artistic director at Holmegaard from 1942-98. As well as producing decorative glass, he produced tableware and even the company’s literature. Lütken had a firm understanding of the lines of a piece – internal and external – and it is perhaps this that made his designs as successful as they are.