In 1991 I wrote Svenskt Konstglas. It was an exorbitantly expensive coffee-table book, designed to make: 1. Myself rich (enough to embark on my all-those-things-a-man-should-have-done project), and 2. My fellow Swedes aware that Orrefors art glass 1925 – 1950 (apart from the Vikings’ wood and silver artefacts) is the only thing we Swedes have ever, at least undisputedly, been best at, when it comes to arts and crafts. VIDEO
Though the book failed to make the Swedes look after this part of their cultural heritage any better - a really good piece sold on auction is still likely not only to go abroad but also to sell for an (in my opinion) ludicrously low price - the book did succeed in fulfilling its other purpose; it became popular, and I have now started to fiddle with a new edition, because:
- My book Svenskt Konstglas, when published in 1991 became popular and the fact that it (in its poshest version) even today on occasion fetches close to $200 in the second-hand market suggests that an upgraded version could find some demand.
- Some of Svenskt Konstglas' attraction allegedly came from the book's narrative style – in parts it reads like a work of fiction – and writing fiction is precisely what its author has dedicated himself to for the last 20 years.
- Much of what is said in the original text is no longer valid, and esp. what is said about the prices paid at auction needs an upgrade. Much has happened in the Swedish art glass market - glass unmentioned in the book has become popular, and some glass that used to be in demand has been forgotten - and therefore collectors, investors, and auctioneers with an interest in Swedish glass could be well served by some more recent information.
- Stockholms Auktionsverk has held a successful auction of “The Crawford Collection” and then "A New York Museum Collection," and they have since sold several pieces at prices suggesting that interest may be increasing. This seems corroborated by a renewed interest in Swedish glass from abroad and good prices have been reported from Wrights Auctions (Chicago), Christie's (London) and Phillips de Pury & Co (London). It could be that at least one of these auction houses might be interested in some form of cooperation.
Against this background, as I am launching myself and my father online in e-publishing, I figured that making an improved and updated version of Svenskt Konstglas – including new photos, new price information, new stories and suggested new trends/artists to invest in – could be a good idea. I have started out on this project with the intention of leaving as many options as possible open.
- First I made sure that I owned all the rights to my book Svenskt Konstglas.
- I then scanned the book and "OCRed" it, separating texts from illustrations.
- Next I started out on restoring Svenskt Konstglas to its original state, only now as a digital book, all while correcting mistakes, eliminating stupidities and making some improvements when obvious/called for, yet always keeping the page-brakes so as to allow for the possibility for a new printed “original but improved” paper edition. I am in the process of doing this (actually, right now I'm pausing), and once I am finished (if that ever happens), it is my intention to stash it away as "an improved digital version of Svenskt Konstglas in Swedish," ready to be turned into any of several possible formats.
- Once this is done, if I get interest from a publisher, I intend to replace much text and photos with new and to bring it all up to date by bridging the quarter of a century that has passed since Svenskt Konstglas was published.
- This new text, I believe, could be a good seller both as (i) An e-book (in a reduced version), helping the bargain-hunter, the collector, the auctioneer and the investor, and (ii) An upmarket printed coffee-table book (just as the original).
- I have also considered an English or bilingual version (maybe even an English/German). View Collection