The Torben Sørensen collection of glass will be sold at Bruun-Rasmussen next week. The collection centers around the three most prominent countries in European glass making in the 20th century, especially from 1915-1970, namely Italy, Sweden and Finland. First of all I would like to applaud the initiative from Bruun-Rasmussen of making such great catalogue and two promotional videos; one with a short introduction by the curator. I feel their effort is the only way to elevate the objects and create a larger interest for Scandinavian modernist glass. That is not to say I like everything in the collection but as far as Swedish glass goes there are a few pieces I really like such as the small thick-walled graal before it was blown and covered in clear glass, a Öhrström Ariel from 1950, a large Simon Gate graal, and a playful yet elegant sculptural “expo” vase by Ingeborg Lundin.
There is also a rare figurative Ravenna by Palmqvist. It does not really look like any Ravenna I have seen in person by him before but having found the drawing in the archives it is quite clear his imagination sort of left the byzantine church mosaics in Northern Italy to the nude beach.
Lot 972 has been catalogued as Barbini and one of the four vases is apparently signed Barbini. These fairly common vases were actually designed by Margereta Hennix for Johansfors and first revealed at the "7 formgivare" exhibition in 1965. It just goes to show how misleading signatures can be. In fact people are obsessed with signatures. This is the reason why forgers sign unsigned pieces. For instance, in the 1980's a lot of second factory Kosta glass by Vicke Lindstrand were unfortunately bought by dealers who signed them with the "right" signature. A collector of Lindstrand should therefor always look at the signature AND the execution of the piece. Especially with Swedish glass, where so much was signed and recorded in the archives, the lack of a signature automatically gives the feeling that the stamp of approval is missing and thus indicates low quality. It is difficult to know if those tampering decided to sign unsigned pieces thinking they corrected a mistake or simply did it for financial gain. Both, probably. It is a bit worrying when these mistakes become even more flagrant in the literature. For instance, Brilliance of Swedish glass 1918-1939, purports to show a tazza by Knut Bergqvist. That particular one is apparently signed "K.B. 1927" and was at the time a part of the Birgitta Crafoord collection, today in the collection of a major Scandinavian gallery. In reality the tazza is way too generic to be included in the book and would certainly not have been mentioned nor illustrated on a full page had they known it was a common production piece designed by Nils Landberg from a line of transparent glass with an abundance of decorative applications (inspired by antique venetian glass). The original drawing dated 1966 speaks for itself.