Yesterday saw a nerve-shredding drive up the M11 to the 14th Cambridge Glass Fair at Chilford Hall. As ever, it was well worth it. I was one of many hundreds who braved the torrential rain and flocked to the event to buy the best in glass from 18thC drinking glasses to 21stC contemporary studio glass.
My collecting habits are somewhat obscure right now, but I was delighted to buy this piece of Czech glass from Italian glass supremo Massimo Marino. For those of you who don't recognise it, it's from the 'Flora' range, designed by Frantisek Koudelka and made at the Prachen Glassworks. This range is featured in a 1974 edition of Czechoslovak Glass Review, which describes it as lending a "refreshing touch to every modern home". It was inspired by Koudelka's 1973 'Karneval' range, which has similar decoration, and also by antique coloured glass from the Harrachov glassworks.
At 35cm (13.75in) high, it's the largest one I've ever seen but friends' responses were muted, with one even describing it as 'arty farty'! I'll leave you to make your own mind up, but I'm a fan of the abstract design, the shape that harks back to Czech Art Nouveau forms, and the high quality.
On my way around the huge fair, I also enjoyed chatting with dealer friends including Alison Snelgrove, Peter Elliott, Danny Walker, Ron & Ann Wheeler, Tracy Opie and Andrew Lineham.
I also spotted a lady buying this beautifully modern bull. Judging by the colour, I think it was made by Zeleznybrod Sklo in Czechoslovakia and, although I can't find a direct reference, I think it was most probably designed by Miroslav Janku. Of great quality, I think she did well at £60.
Paul & Christina Bishop run the most successful and enjoyable glass fairs in the UK - I really can't recommend visiting one enough. Click here to visit their website to see when a fair near you will be on. Next up on the agenda is the Ceramics & Glass Fair at the historic Dulwich College in South London on March 28th. If you do come, do pop over and say 'hello', as I'll be selling my own books as well as a range of Miller's books at the event.
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