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Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => Scandinavian Glass => Topic started by: Paul S. on June 03, 2010, 01:19:00 PM

Title: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: Paul S. on June 03, 2010, 01:19:00 PM
I don't have anything of note on Scandinavian glass - but I am aware of the two offerings from Leslie Pina and Lorenzo Vigier (Smoke & Ice plus Fire & Sea) - not cheap if you get both of them.    Does anyone recommend these, or are there better options for that sort of outlay.    thanks for looking.    Paul S.
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: Pinkspoons on June 03, 2010, 02:32:13 PM
I'm not too keen on the Pina books - their fact-checking leaves a lot to be desired.

They're not cheap, but I've found the best books on Scandinavian glass are those focusing on just one factory. Holmegaard has 5-6 books covering it, but their main production is excellently detailed in Dansk Glas 1925 - 1985 (it's in Danish, but profusely illustrated), Iittala : 125 Years of Finnish Glass is a great history of the Finnish factory. I think most of the big factories have their own books - but I've only these in my collection so far.

As I say, they're not cheap - but they have paid for themselves very quickly.
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: Paul S. on June 03, 2010, 07:54:43 PM
thanks indeed for suggestions of the alternative book purchases, and suspect I will go down that road.   If I need a Danish translation, will give you a call. ;D
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: glassobsessed on June 03, 2010, 10:04:43 PM
I bought copies of Fire & Sea etc, a couple of years ago from America when the exchange rate was 1 pound for 2 Dollars. Not sure I would pay the asking price here now without a little windfall.

There is also William L Geary's book Creative Energies, only once had a brief flick through it but it looked good.

John






Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: langhaugh on June 03, 2010, 10:20:43 PM
Paul:

The problem with books on glass is threefold: first, they're expensive, and, second, they're seldom either completely accurate or comprehensive, and third they're either absurdly general or arcanely focussed. Despite all this, I find that I was far worse off with no books, and I've spent a fair bit on glass books. I've got all the books mentioned, except Dansk Glass, where I have Lutken Glas ist Liben (yes, in the German as it was the cheapest I could find).

If you are starting to collect Scandinavian glass generally, I'd still get the Pina books. She does make a couple of mistakes, but there's a fair bit that comes up on eBay that I've only seen in her books. Later on, you can focus. If it's Orrefors and Kosta you like, Swedish Glass Factories by Ricke and Thor is the most indispensable, but very pricey. All the other books mentioned are definitely worth buying as you go along.

Good luck.

David
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: Paul S. on June 03, 2010, 10:47:49 PM
John - o.k., but do you consider that the Pina books (irrespective of the cost) were actually worth having in the end :)
David - thanks, I've got to rush off now and look in the dictionary for 'arcanely focussed' ;D - sorry, just joking.    Like a lot of us, I have acquired some quite general books initially i.e. Millers, Jackson and some of the smaller guides - which give an overview to whet our appetites, and then we move on to more specialist books.   But I wouldn't be without those first books, and I often pick them up first when I start a search.   
Coming back to the first reply - being a collector only, I don't think that for me it is quite so important that the books pay for themselves - although if they teach me what to avoid, then I guess that probaly is saving money.
Without getting too academic, and wanting to enjoy the hobby without taking a Masters in glass, I feel that quality images are the best route for me at the moment - so that I can recognize which are the important and desireable pieces - seeing if something is cased, ground and bevelled, and what shade of colour.   Text can then supplement this.         Thanks to all of you.....must go to bed.   cheers       Paul S.
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: Pinkspoons on June 03, 2010, 11:07:05 PM
Books "paying for themselves" can also mean that you spot more bargains. Just recently I found a set of scarce Iittala drinking glasses on eBay for just 99p. There was no description beyond "small blue drinking glasses", and I only recognised them because I'd seen them illustrated in the aforementioned Iittala book.

If I were to buy them at the general going price from a knowledgable seller, they would have cost me twice what I'd paid for the book. In this respect, with one purchase, the book paid for itself twice over.
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: glassobsessed on June 03, 2010, 11:07:38 PM
The more books the merrier, the Pina books long ago 'earned' their keep. Buy a book every few months if you can. Once they are out of print the price can go crazy.

Just bought Hajdamach 20th Century British Glass. That should keep me going for a few days.

John

 
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: Paul S. on June 04, 2010, 09:26:56 AM
thanks, all sounds very worthwhile and good advice  -  so think I will take the plunge and start off with the Pina volumes.    Appreciate the help.   cheers.
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: Bill G on June 05, 2010, 05:12:57 AM
Good morning:

On Swedish glass, I must recommend "Orrefors - A Century of Swedish Glassmaking" which has the best
information on the sometimes complex signatures on Orrefors glass. The text is in English and a great resource.

"Swedish Glass Factories" by Helmut Ricke and Lars Thor is a must for those interested in Swedish glass.

Unfortunately, a similar book does not exist on Kosta and its many affilitated companies ie. Boda.

Of course, I must also recommend my book "Scandinavian Glass - Creative Engeries" with information on Finnish and Swedish glass with number of photographs.

Bill Geary
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: gfirob on June 05, 2010, 05:40:25 AM
I really think you can't have too many books.  Some of these are hard to find, or are available only in Scandinavian countries, but I like collecting books like I enjoy collecting glass.  I really feel you cannot look at too many photographs, or learn too much about the companies that made this glass and the circumstances under which it was designed, made and sold.  And I think the Pina books are very useful, particularly if you supplement them with others.  You really can't cpunt on any of them for pricing.

There are some good books that I have enjoyed and found useful (its true you only have to identify one unusual and valuable piece to make the books seem pretty cheap):

—The Best of Modern Swedish Art Glass: Orrefors and Kosta 1930-1970, Mark D. Friedman
—Modern Glass 1890-2000, The Danish Museum of Decorative Art
—Alvar and Aino Aalto as Glass Designers, published by the Iittala Museum
—Make Glass Not War, The Finnish Glass Museum, 1992
—Timo Sarpaneva, Collection, Designmuseo, Helsinki (best overall Sarpaneva reference)
—Timo Sarpaneva: A Retrospective, catalog for a show at the Helsinki City Art Museum (also traveled to the US) Great photos of high-end Sarpaneva
—Scandinavian Ceramic and Glass, 1940's to 1980's, George Fischler &  Barret Gould
—20th Century Glass, Judith Miller, Collector's Guides (marginal, perhaps, but interesting)

There is also a great book on Kaj Franck that I saw in Stockholm, but sadly did not buy because it was so heavy and I was already loaded down and had to fly back to the States.
The 125 years of Iittala book is superb as well, a great overall reference.

Also, glass is often featured in general books about Scandinavian design:

—Finnish Modern Design: Utopan Ideals and Everyday Realities, 1930-1997,  Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Yale University Press
—A Treasury of Scandinavian Design; The standard Authority on Scandinavian-designed furniture, glass, ceramics and metal, Eric Zahle, Director of the Museum of Industrial Art, Copenhagen, 1961
—Scandinavian Design, Eileen Harrison Beer
—Scandinavian Design, Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Taschen
—Scandinavian Modern, Magnus Englund and Chrystina Schmidt

Rob
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: taylog1 on June 05, 2010, 08:16:21 AM
I would agree with Bill's suggestions, and add 20th century factory glass (Lesley Jackson) as a book I find myself keep on going back to.

If you're serious, I would also encourage you building up your own resource from Ebay and other web sites of the stuff you like - past results are invaluable when trying to work out what is a 'good' price, and identifying the rarer bits.

I've used Smart Pix manager for a number of years (basically you can add notes to photos, and then group them in a flexible relational database with no size issues). I'm sure there are other packages out there that do the same thing. [I've no financial interest in this software, it just works for me]

If you focus on a narrow area of interest, by gathering and ordering data you will learn a lot.   


Gareth
Title: Re: recommendation please for books on Scandi.
Post by: Paul S. on June 05, 2010, 07:21:11 PM
Bill, Rob and Gareth - my thanks for taking the time and trouble to reply - and I would probably agree with most of what you guys have said.   Will download all three posts for future reference, as consider they make wonderful bibliographies, not just for me but for anyone else contemplating acquiring some reference books for Scandinavian and Danish material.     I have some of the more run of the mill items i.e. Miller's etc. and do in fact have Jackson's C20 Factory Glass  -  but will now make a start on some of the others by getting the Pina volumes, and then I think the Iittala volume.    Would agree that you can't have too many books (I have hundreds on just about everything you can think of, from Pop-Up childrens books (anyone know the Dwindling Party or Fungus The Bogeyman) - Shaker Furniture - William Morris - oh, and a good pop-up version of the Kama Sutra ;D....... although guess we must try to balance the books with buying glass  -  as there wouldn't be much point if we had a library at the expense of the glass itself.   thanks again.    Paul S.
P.S.  Never ever start me talking about books -  be here all night. :)