Imported from Sweden, Orrefors is the epitome of elegance in hand-blown glassware. From champagne flutes to coloured glass bowls, the entire Orrefors range exudes style and class.
Having been produced in Sweden for more than two and a half centuries, the story of Orrefors begins with Iron and the forest. As early as 1726, Lars Johan Silversparre received permission to build a furnace and a smithy at “the beautiful river that flows into Lake Orrenas”. The iron works was given the name Orrefors, which means “the Orre waterfall”.
In the early years, output comprised both simple types of glassware, such as jars, table glass, lampshades and perfume vials, and large pieces. Expertise in more complex technology was acquired by recruiting workers from other glassworks, such as Kosta, and from the Continent. A group of skilled craftsmen rapidly collected around Orrefors, and in a short time the glassworks acquired the expertise that paved the way for its future success.
At the end of the 1919s, Orrefors glass was displayed at various exhibitions. The products shown included functional, mass-produced household glass that appealed to a wider public, as well as art glass in the form of engraved and polished pieces. The engraved glass demanded a very high level of craftsmanship and was an outstanding example of the achievements of the small Swedish glassworks. It also made the Orrefors name renowned outside Sweden. Click here for more information about the art of glassmaking.
Orrefors’ international breakthrough came at the Paris Exhibition of 1925. From the Hotel de Ville, the Town Hall of Paris, the Swedish pavilion borrowed a magnificent glass goblet designed by Simon Gate that had been presented as a gift to the City of Paris from the City of Stockholm in 1922. The goblet became a sensation, and the prestigious Grand Prix award was given to Orrefors and its designers. The glassblowers and engravers received gold medals.
Throughout the 20th Century, Swedish art glass has been admired and treasured by a broad public, both in Sweden and internationally. For more than 260 years, Orrefors has won thousands of design and glassmaking awards, and have been collected by individuals and museums and showcased in exhibits and public installations the world over.