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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Glass, Room 131


1978 (made)
Place of origin

Bowl, Sweden, designed by Olle Alberius, for Orrefors Glassworks, 1978

Object details

Object type
TitleGraal (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Graal technique glass
Brief description
Bowl, Sweden, designed by Olle Alberius, for Orrefors Glassworks, 1978
  • Maximum width: 16.0cm
Marks and inscriptions
Incised 'ORREFORS GRAAL A 733-78 OLLE ALBERIUS' (Makers's mark)
Gallery label
This vase is made in the celebrated 'Graal' technique (named after the Holy Grail), invented and developed at Orrefors, and for many years an exclusive speciality. Examples in the technique were made as early as 1916. The technique is complex and expensive. First, a thick-walled bubble of clear glass is formed, which is then 'cased' with a thin layer of molten, coloured glass. This bubble is then cooled slowly to room temperature in an annealing kiln. The design is created by cutting away the unwanted part of the solid colour layer, leaving the design surrounded by the now exposed underlaying clear glass. This cutting away can be done by directly engraving, or else painting the design in a masking material, such as asphalt, which is left untouched by sand-blasting or acid-cutting. When the design is complete, the piece is again slowly heated up. Exposure to fire smooths over what would otherwise be the frosted surface. The bubble is then cased with an outer layer of clear glass and is finally blown out to full size and the desired shape. This vase was purchased with seven other pieces from the 'Exhibition of Swedish Industrial Art', held in London in 1931.
Bibliographic reference
Opie, J: 'Scandinavia: Ceramics and Glass of the 20th Century', V&A Museum (1987), cat. 516
Other number
0185 - Glass gallery number
Accession number

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Record createdDecember 13, 1997
Record URL
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