PHOTO: SVENOLOF JONN       

CHAMPAGNE

 

FLUTE

 

GRIPSHOLMS

 

SLOTT

 

Champagne is the drink for festive occasions.
 

A Benedictine friar, Dom Perignon, was the first to discover the secret of champagnemaking, in the late 17th century when he was responsible for the wine cellars of the Hautevilles Monastery near Epernay, in the heart of Champagne.
 

The taste for champagne was soon acquired in Sweden and champagne glasses were already being made in the early 18th century at the famous Kungsholms Glassworks in Stockholm.

 

In the household stores at Gripsholm there is a collection of slender champagne glasses, ’flutes’, made at the Reijmyre Glassworks in the first half of the 19th century. The Reijmyre Glassworks was started in 1810 and quickly assumed al leading position in Sweden.

 

During the glassworks’ early years a French marshal, prince Jean Bernadotte, had been elected Crown Prince of Sweden, succeeding to the throne in 1880 as King Charles XIV John. It may well have been he who had these glasses ordered in the 1820’s. Besides extensive restoration of the castles exterior the king instructed the Governor to found a collection of portraits of outstanding Swedish men and women, an extension of the interest in art, evidenced at Gripsholm by Gustavus III in the 1770’s an 1780’s. Charles John also had the old East India tableware put up to auction and replaced it with a new set of Rörstrand flint ware, more in keeping with contemporary taste.

PHOTO: SVENOLOF JONN

When Gripsholms Fabrik decided to reintroduce this traditional type of glass it was natural to turn to Reijmyre Glassworks, where the tradition and skills of the early 19th-century glassmakers have been preserved to this day.

 

The ’new’ glass is the work of a master craftsman and his colleagues. It is he who judges the right quantity of hot glass to gather on the end of the blowpipe. The stem maker commences blowing the ’gather’ and draws it the stem to initiate the elegant shape of the final product. The helper brings fresh gathers for the stem maker to add to the original bulb and thus complete the stem and foot. Once this is done, the helper attaches the foot to an iron rod, a ’punty’, before handing the glass over to the master who shears away the excess material, forms the lip and perfects the shape of the object. The foot is then cracked of the punty.

 

Glasses made individually in this way are known as offhand work. They require no further processing. Glasses of this complex shape require exceptional craftsmanship. No two glasses are exactly alike: each glass is a unique work of art.

 

THE MARK LEFT IN THE FOOT OF THE GLASS WHEN IT IS CRACKED OF THE PUNTY IS EVIDENCE THAT THIS IS HANDMADE BY CRAFTSMEN USING TECHNIQUES AND TOOLS WITH ORIGINS MORE THAN THOUSAND YEARS BACK IN TIME.  

 

Each glass is individually marked with initials, year of production and number.

 

PHOTO: SVENOLOF JONN