Dating Orrefors Graal Glass

Dating Orrefors Graal glass (or graalglas as they say in Swedish) is a bit more complicated because there were different numbering systems in place during different times. Below you can find all the known different numbering system that should help you identify the year your Orrefors Graal glass was made. Basically, there are three different numbering systems in use: 1916 - 1930 for larger Graal pieces, 1919 - 1930 for smaller Graal pieces and 1936 - 1982 for Graal pieces as they have become known today (made with thicker glass). 

The first Orrefors Graal glass piece was made in the summer of 1916. No 3 is signed 28 juli 1916. A picture of the signing was published in a book by Märta Holkers 2007, De svenska antikvitéternas historia. Many of the early graal glases produced during 1916 were not signed. It is not known exactly how many were made, but it was less than 100. That is why they continued the numbering system in 1917 starting with the number 102. The shapes of the first graal glasses were designed by Knut Bergqvist himself. Fritz Blomqvist and Heinrich Wollman stood for the pattern compositions. Later, a bit in to 1917, Simon Gate began to compose patterns for graal glass, and after a while also shapes in collaboration with Knut Bergqvist. What we can see from the archives is that Gate did not compose forms for graal glass all by himself before graal no 225. Before that his signature G appears only 3 times in the lists, and always together with Bergqvist's B. Bergqvist's B appears in the lists on 24 glasses before number 225 and totally on 233 glasses in 1917-18. But many glasses in the lists from Orrefors has no information of author for shape (We would like to thank Nils Bergqvist for the information contained in this paragraph.) 

Pieces made after 1917 were generally signed Graal, Orrefors, the Year, model or serial number, and KB (Knut Bergqvist), HW (Heinrich Wollmann), FB (Fritz Blomqvist) or EH (Edvard Hald). Sometimes the name Hald was written in full. 

After 1930, the signature usually consists of the following parts:

1. The name “Orrefors”, sometimes with “Sweden” or “Suède” added.

2. The technique used: “Graal”

3. The serial number.

4. The year it was made. Sometimes this was omitted and after 1947 the year was replaced with a letter that was added to the model number.

5. The name of the designer.

Below you will find the different date codes / serial numbers for the different types of Orrefors Graal glass pieces and time periods in which the different numbering systems were in use. 

Early Orrefors Graal glass pieces 1916-1930:

1916 – 1, many pieces are unsigned and less than 100 were produced.                                                                 

1917 – 101 to 521                                    

1918 – 522 to 738                                    

1919 – 739 to 868                                   

1920 – 869 to 1063                                              

1921 – 1064 to 1089                                           

1922 – 1090 to 1099 and 2000 to 2003                                              

1923 – 2004 to 2013                                           

1924 – 2014 to 2031                                           

1925 – 2032 to 2081                                           

1926 – 2082 to 2099 and 3000 to 3064                                              

1927 – 3065 to 3076                                          

1928 – 3077 to 3244                                          

1929 – 3245 to 3258                                           

1930 – 3259 to 3292                                           

 

Signatures on small Orrefors Graalglas 1919-1930:

In the 1920, a small amount of Orrefors Graal glass pieces have been signed in 65 different series. The numbering of the series designates the shape of the glass, not the amount made. In the list below you can see hom many pieces were made from each series. If you have a piece that says: 11/8 that means that this is glass number 8 from series number 11. In the below list you can see that there were a total of 11 pieces made in that shape.

Series Qty Made Series Qty Made
1 17 34 1
2 12 35 2
3 22 36 1
4 24 37 1
5 11 38 4
6 14 39 1
7 20 40 1
8 11 41 1
9 7 42 5
10 7 43 1
11 13 44 2
12 1 45 3
13 1 46 4
14 3 47 7
15 4 48 3
16 2 49 2
17 4 50 7
18 1 51 1
19 2 52 7
20 1 53 8
21 2 54 4
22 5 55 7
23 4 56 4
24 6 57 3
25 1 58 9
26 4 59 18
27 1 60 7
28 5 61 1
29 3 62 1
30 5 63 4
31 3 64 7
32 1 65 1
33 4    

 

 

Later Orrefors Graal glass pieces: 1936 - 1982

In the 1930s, Edvard Hald and Vicke Lindstrand experimented with the Graal technique and came up with the technique as we know it today. The main difference is a thicker layer of clear glass than before. When you compare older Graal pieces with the ones from after 1936, you will notice that pre-1936 pieces are thinner and more fragile than post-1936 pieces. From 1936 all Orrefors Graalglass was signed with: Orrefors - Graal - and the number. From 1947 onwards a letter was added to the number. 

Below you can find the serial numbers / date codes for the Orrefors Graal glass pieces from 1936 onwards. 

1936 – Only experimental, not numbered                   

1937 – 10 to 164

1938 – 165 to 346

1939 – 347 to 503

1940 – 504 to 551

1941 – 552 to 794

1942 – 795 to 1213

1943 – 1214 to 1403

1944 – 1404 to 1934

1945 – 1935 to 2355

1946 – 2356 to 2824

1947 – 2825 to 2999 and 300 B to 650 B

1948 – 651 B to 1660 B

1949 – 1661 B to1999 B and 200 C to 869 C

1950 – 870 C to 1914 C

1951 – 1915 C to 2114 C and 2015 to 2029 and 2030 C to 2999 C and 200 D to 437 D

1952 – 438 D to 1835 D

1953 – 1836 D to 2866 D

1954 – 2867 D to 3000 D and 200 H to 1386 H

1955 – 1387 K to 2547 K

1956 – 101 L to 1266 L

1957 – 1267 L to 1276 L and 101 M to 495 M and 456 M to 1294 M

            Double use of numbers 456 until 495

1958 – 100 N to 1204 N

1959 – 100 O to 1134 O

1960 – 100 P to 960 P

1961 – 961 P to 963 P and 100 R to 733 R

1962 – 101 S to 695 S

1963 – 101 T to 426 T

1964 – 101 V to 342 V

1965 – 101 A to 343 A

1966 – 344 A to 633 A

1967 – 101 B to 251 B

1968 – none manufactured this year

1969 – 100 D to 135 D

1970 – 100 E to 364 E

1971 – 101 F to 359 F

1972 – 100 G to 311 G

1973 – 100 E3 to 267 E3

1974 – 101 E4 to 452 E4

1975 – 101 E5 to 462 E5

1976 – 100 E6 to 370 E6

1977 – 100 E7 to 327 E7

1978 – 100 E8 to 258 E8

1979 – 100 E9 to 183 E9

1980 – 100 F1 to 201 F1

1981 – 100 F2 to 219 F2

1982 – Only Gallery Pieces

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