This hemispherical bowl, blown of blue glass and cased with white and manganese- purple glass, is a rare japoniste example of the work of the Swedish painter and designer Alf Wallander.
Wallander began his career as a painter. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm from 1880 to 1885. Like many artists at the time, he continued his studies in Paris, where he lived from 1885 to 1890, making paintings in a symbolist style. In 1886, he married his cousin, the painter Gerda Charlotta Wallander (1869-1920). With her, he had a son, Sven Wallander (1890-1968), who became a well-known architect.
By 1895, Wallander and his family had returned to Sweden, and he was hired to design ceramics for Rörstrand. He soon became one of the leading Swedish designers working in the art nouveau style. He joined the Reijmyre glassworks in 1908, and this bowl was one of the first pieces that he produced there. The cameo cutting was executed by the noted Swedish engraver Axel Enoch Boman. Between 1908 and 1914, Wallander also made designs for the Kosta glassworks.
The Reijmyre glassworks, located southeast of Stockholm, was founded in 1810 by Johan Jacob Graver and Mattias Alexander von Ungern. It is Sweden’s second–oldest glasshouse after Kosta, which was founded in 1742. By the end of the 19th century, Reijmyre had become an important Swedish manufacturer. It was the first company to introduce pressed glass in the 1840s. The glassworks, which is still in production, made tableware, window glass, bottles, and laboratory glass in addition to art glass.