Prior to joining Roseberys in 2022, Jo was Head of 20th Century Decorative Arts and Senior Specialist at Bonhams, Knightsbridge. With a vast amount of knowledge that encompasses works from the Aesthetic, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, as well as an interest in Scandinavian design - her particular passion is for 20th-century Art and Studio Pottery.
Why is Scandinavian glass significant?
Sweden, Denmark and Finland have been known as centres for the production of glass for the last 100 years or so, varying from designs in clear glass with etched motifs to all sorts of brightly coloured glass; decorative vases and dishes have been made in a huge range of shapes and sizes. And then there is glass sculpture in the form of birds and animals, for example.
In the 1920s glass designers, especially in Sweden, started a movement to bring high design standards to mass-produced glassware. Then in the period between the 2 World Wars, Scandinavia’s neutrality allowed their glassworks to evolve to produce beautiful designs at a time when the glassworks of Europe were unable to do so.
Is it expensive to collect Scandinavian glass?
What is great about it, is that you can pick up really beautiful pieces at very modest prices at auction. When you buy direct from the factories it can be costly, but at auction, there are plenty of bargains to be had. Of course, the more sought-after designers can command high prices, so there really is something for all budgets.
Some buyers like to collect a particular form, but it is also easy to have just one statement piece – the beauty of Scandinavian glass is that it fits so well into the way we like to live these days and suits all sorts of contemporary interior styling.
Is there anything I should look out for as a buyer?
The answer to buying anything at auction of course should always be to buy what you love. But aside from that, collectors look for signed works. Signatures are usually etched by hand into the underside and can be difficult to spot. Turn upside down, and tilt the glass in different positions until your eye picks up the signature, then you may need a magnifier to read the lettering. Even then, it can be tricky to decipher the name of the artist or company but this gets easier once you know what you are looking for.
Another thing to consider with glass is the condition. If you love it and it’s a good price, maybe you won’t worry too much about a small chip or crack, but for some people perfect condition is paramount.
What is included in the sale at Roseberys?
We have a lovely little blue bird by Oiva Toikka, a Finnish artist who initially worked in ceramic but started working for Nuutajarvi (Finland’s oldest glassworks) in 1963 when Kaj Frank was the artistic leader. Toikka quickly became one of the more prominent designers, and his birds have become well-known symbols of Nordic glass design.
There are two highly decorative bowls by Tobias Mohl from Denmark, others by Simon Gate for Orrefors (Swedish), and two very recognizable bottle vases from Danish company Holmegaard.
I think I may have some Scandinavian glass I’d like to sell. How do I know if it is valuable?
Contact Roseberys with images and details of anything you are considering selling, and we are always happy to provide free valuations and friendly advice.
Find out more about Jo Lloyd, Head of the Design Since 1860 Department here at Roseberys
The auction will take place on Wednesday 14 September, 11 am
Viewing Times at Roseberys showroom:
Friday 9 September: 9.30 am – 5.00 pm
Sunday 11 September: 10.00 am – 2.00 pm
Monday 12 September: 9.30 am – 5.00 pm
Tuesday 13 September: 9.30 am – 5.00 pm