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Savoy Vase
Iconic Designs

Savoy Vase

About the Design

When Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) designed the curvilinear Savoy vase in 1936 for the eponymous luxurious restaurant in Helsinki set to open the following year, he created one of the most well-known glass objects of the 20th century. 

The Savoy vase — commonly referred to as the “Aalto vase” — won first prize at 1936’s Karhula-Iittala Glass Design Competition, held to determine which works would be included in the Finnish Pavilion at the 1937 Paris World Expo. This very first vase was taller than the subsequently produced models and was executed in a wooden mold that was burned away during production.

Aalto’s inspiration behind the vase remains unclear, although it has been speculated that the design is based on waves or the Finnish landscape. The abstract biomorphic shape of the vase was designed to spread out any flowers placed inside and to support the stems in the folds of the glass facing in different directions rather than keep them bunched together in a central opening. The vase, which was included in the interior design commission for the Savoy (shared with his designer wife, Aino) that included the couple’s celebrated Golden Bell pendant light, was not the only revolutionary design Aalto created during his lifetime. He was a pioneer of Scandinavian modernist design as well as Finland’s most important architect of the 20th century. Aalto created or cocreated with Aino some of the most revered buildings in the Northern Hemisphere, such as the Paimio Tuberculosis Sanatorium (1928–33) in Paimio, Finland, and the Villa Mairea (1939) in Noormarkku, Finland.

The Savoy vase never made any money for Aalto because it belonged to the Finnish glassworks factory that sponsored the 1936 competition. The factory’s modern iteration, Iittala, still produces the piece today. Each Savoy vase is mouth-blown and can be found in various sizes and colors.

Alvar Aalto Savoy Vase

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Alvar Aalto White Savoy Vase for Iittalia
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Miami, FL
White Alvar Aalto vase for Iittalia. 6-1/4 tall. A classic piece that remains a modern Scandinavian design staple to this day. The Iittala Aalto Vase was originally designed by Al...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Bauhaus Vases

Materials

Glass

Finnish Mid-Century Modern Savoy Vase in Double White Glass by Alvar Aalto, 1936
By Alvar Aalto
Located in MIlano, IT
Finnish Mid-Century Modern savoy vase in double white glass by Alvar Aalto, 1936 Savoy vase in double glass with external layer in glossy white opal glass. Designed by Alvar Aalto ...
Category

Vintage 1930s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vases

Materials

Glass

Alvar Aalto Glass Savoy Vase and Bowls
By Alvar Aalto, Iittala
Located in Esbjerg, DK
1950s, Mid-Century Modern, blown glass 'Savoy' vase and bowls designed by Alvar, signed/marked. Measures: H. 10/4/3, W. 11/13.5/10, D. 10/11/9.
Category

Vintage 1950s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vases

Materials

Glass

Alvar Aalto Glass Bowl Savoy, circa 1970
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Langserud, SE
Glass designed by Alvar Aalto, circa 1970. Made in Finland. Very good condition.  
Category

Vintage 1970s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vases

Materials

Glass

Iittala Alvar Aalto Clear Art Glass Sculptural Flower Savoy Vase Scandinavian
By Alvar Aalto, Iittala
Located in Miami, FL
Scandinavian Modern sculptural clear art glass savoy vase designed by Alvar Aalto for Iittala, made in Finland. This is a beautiful hand made iconic piece from the 1980s. Foil lab...
Category

Vintage 1980s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Vases

Materials

Art Glass

Alvar Aalto Glass Savoy Vase
By Alvar Aalto, Iittala
Located in Esbjerg, DK
1950s, Mid-Century Modern, blown glass 'Savoy' vase designed by Alvar Aalto with acid etched mark on bottom.   
Category

Vintage 1950s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vases

Materials

Glass

Rare Early Alvar Aalto Savoy 9750 Vase
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Sharon, CT
A rare early green version of the Classic. Provenance: Estate of Mary Griggs Burke, Long Island. See "Long Island Modernism 1930-1980" by Caroline Rob Zaleski, W.W.Norton 2012.
Category

Vintage 1940s Finnish International Style Vases

Materials

Glass

Alvar Aalto Vase by Iittala, circa 1970
By Iittala, Alvar Aalto
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Glass bowl designed by Alvar Aalto manufactured by Iittala from Finland, circa 1970. In original condition, with minor wear consistent with age and use, preserving a beautiful pat...
Category

Vintage 1970s Finnish Other Decorative Bowls

Materials

Glass

Vase Model 'Savoy 9750' by Alvar Aalto for Karhula Glassworks
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Brussels, BE
Vase model 'Savoy 9750' by Alvar Aalto for Karhula Glassworks.
Category

20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vases

Materials

Glass

Vase, Model 3031 “Savoy” Designed by Alvar Aalto for Iittala, Finland, 1950s
By Alvar Aalto
Located in Stockholm, SE
Opal glass that was blown into a wooden mould.
Category

Vintage 1950s European Mid-Century Modern Vases

Materials

Opaline Glass

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