Faglaviks Glass Works
By Glen & Stephen Thistlewood
It was 1874, and the snow was deep and piled high on the rail track. Swedish glass wholesaler, Anders Andersson, must have been frustrated by the delay when his rail journey out of Gothenburg was halted by the drifting snow in the little town of Faglaviks. But Andersson turned the unplanned stop to his advantage as he investigated the local area, and a long-held desire to start his own glassworks became a reality. The Faglaviks glassworks was born out of serendipity – good luck.
And it was good fortune – serendipity – that led to our discovery of the glassworks in 2012, as we were researching for our e-books on Nordic Carnival Glass (from Sweden, Finland and Norway). One particular vase had been tantalising us with its distinctive and unusual characteristics. Our searches led us to the Faglaviks glass works, situated some 70 miles north east of Gothenburg. Faglaviks was one of the major glass works in Sweden in the early 1900s, finally closing its doors in 1980. One of the master glass-blowers there, who was still at the factory when it closed, was Ingemar Nilsson. His expertise coupled with factory archives, local knowledge and catalogues, enabled us to establish that Carnival Glass was made at Faglaviks.
The first piece that we were able to attribute to Faglaviks was the one that had been intriguing and captivating us for years - the Poppy Spray vase. This had been a mysterious puzzle for decades, and we were thrilled to finally be able to give a name to the maker. The second piece (another vase) was trickier, and at first we had felt that it might be a Czech item as it had specific characteristics which included a ground top rim and the pattern continuing over the base (as does the Poppy Spray). Further investigation revealed the maker to be Faglaviks. We called the vase Spiral. Another distinctive feature of most (not all) Fåglaviks glass is that it appears to have been blown into the mould rather than pressed in.
The colours of Faglaviks Carnival that we have studied are green, marigold and purple (or a lighter amethyst), and now, thanks to Christina’s recent discovery, we can also add vaseline. To see these and learn more, please visit Carnival Glass Worldwide