Learn about Iittala
Founded in 1881 in the Finnish town of the same name, littala specialised on tableware and cookware.
Iittala took Finnish glass design upmarket in the 1930s, with Aino Aalto's glasses and Alvar Aalto’s iconic modernist Savoy vase designed, in 1936.
Between the 1930s and 1950s the company drew on the talents of leading Finnish designers with the aim of targeting the international design-conscious and giftware market.
At the 1951 and 1953 Milan Triennale exhibitions, two of IItala's designers, Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpeneva were awarded the Grand Prix and this confirmed littala alongside Sweden’s Orrefors as leaders in the field of sophisticated glass design.
However, littala continued to produce its more popular designs over several decades, and this makes valuation of these items more complicated.
As an example, Alvar Aalto’s Savoy vase has remained in constant production since 1937, and second-hand pieces are invariably cheaper than new ones.
Similarly, Sarpaneva’s Orkidea (Orchid) vase, designed in 1953, has been reproduced over several decades whereas his Lancetti, designed in 1952, was made for only five years. more...