Alvar Aalto miniature Savoy glass dish for Iittala, Finland c2000s. Iittala sticker and moulded mark to base. A contemporary example based on the original classic vase designed in the 1930s.
Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) is one of the most important architects and designers of the Twentieth Century. After graduating from architecture in 1921 he travelled in the Nordic countries and did his military service. His early designs were for small houses in a classical style. In 1924 he married Aino Aalto (neé Marsio) and they went on to become an important designing couple with a shared studio. Aalto's prominence developed in the 1930s after he adopted modernist functionalism under the influence of Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. His work as a designer also developed during that decade. He began to introduce biomorphic shapes into his designs for chairs and glass objects, using the lakes and mountains of the Finnish landscape for influence. Most iconic of these is the so-called Savoy glass, first designed in 1936, and first exhibited in the Finnish Pavilion at the Paris World Fair in 1937. It was later on display at the Savoy Hotel in Helsinki, from which it got its name. Against a backdrop of the dominant 1930s motifs of Classicism and an Art-Deco geometric style, this vase was revolutionary and ushered in the fluid neo-functionalist style that was to become dominant in design over the next two decades. This vase has become one of the most iconic pieces of Twentieth Century modern design. Early examples were hand blown into wooden moulds, later ones into metal moulds. It has remained in production for most of the time since it was first made.
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