Beautiful Oivo Toikka For Nuutajarvi Glass Bird, Signed For Sale
Oivo Toikka is quite different form the other masters of Finnish glass such as Franck, Wirkkala and Sarpaneva. His inspiration is rooted in folk art and other cultures, finding “modernism” too limiting. He loves colour and experimenting – he’s more an artist in glass than a designer, I think. The “Birds” collection that he started to produce in 1971 reflects his sense of fun together with his great skill. All of them are based on real bird species, but I’m afraid I don’t know which one this is - perhaps some expert out there could let me know? However it’s typically quirky and yet beautiful.
At first sight the bird appears to be just two shades of grey / green, but if you look closely a great deal more is revealed. The front third of its body is minutely mottled in bright leaf green, dark green and dark blue, with tiny gold inclusions. Travelling up the elongated neck the mottling lengthens into streaks with bands of lustre, blue-green, pale green and then dark green immediately under the head.
The head itself is a wonder! – it’s cased in clear glass that’s been pulled to form the bird’s bill. Inside the clear casing the head is black, and using my 30x magnifier I can clearly see microscopic bubbles on the surface of the black. Right on the top of the head is a dark pool with a sparkling diamond of light in its centre – but you can’t see it unless you look straight down on the top of the head.
The remainder of the body is delineated from the front third by a thread that looks black but is in fact silver, and the colour of the body changes markedly behind it. From the back of the neck spreads a haze of grey, sage green and blue, moving into streaked dark amber as it approaches the tail.
The base is signed “Oivo Toikka Nuutajarvi”. There’s no date but I think it might be quite early in the series. There’s also a silver foil label with a stylised blue fish on which is printed “Nuutajarvi 1793” above “Made in Finland”. It’s 9.5cms high, 15cms long and weighs 154gms. It’s in absolutely perfect condition with no chips, marks or scratches.
This is a delightful, sculptural piece in subtle colours – an elegant expression of Toikka’s art.
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