Welcome to the new Crystal House official Orrefors online store! Crystal House is the leading U. S retailer of Orrefors.
Hand-blown glass has been produced in a small village of Kosta for more than two and a half centuries but was not considered as serious business until 1898. In their prized Swedish forests iron was becoming less profitable. In order to save their most valuable natural resources where a beautiful river flows into Lake Orrenas, at the end of the 19th century glassworks were realized as a profitable way of preserving the forests and utilizing spilled timber.
Recruitment of experts from Kosta and elsewhere in Europe were gathered to produce glassware such as jars, table glass, lampshades and perfume vials. By 1910 when Johan Ekman of Gothenburg acquired the glassworks Swedish crystal became significant. His ambition was to produce more artistic glass and in 1916 he engaged services of Simon Gate, a landscape and portrait painter. The following year artist Edward Hald arrived. These artists laid the foundation for the creations of Orrefors. Close cooperation between skilled glassblowers and gifted designers was born. The style of Gates was more classical in design, while Hald’s modern, freer style was greatly influenced by the French artist and friend, Matisse.
At a Paris Exhibition in 1925 a magnificent glass goblet designed by Simon Gate, which was given as a gift to the City of Paris from the City of Stockholm in 1922, was presented. The goblet became a sensation and the prestigious Grand Prix award was given to Orrefors and its designers. In addition, news that artists were engaged in a glasshouse for the first time attracted gifted glassblowers and new designers from across the continent.
Simon Gate and Edward Hald created the first modern art glass, and initiated an era that lives on to this day.