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Leerdam


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(established 1878)

This Dutch glass manufacturing company was founded by C. A. Jeekel and commenced production in 1878, becoming NV Glasfabriek Leerdam in 1891. In the first decades the products were mainstream in their design, drawing heavily on the past for inspiration. From 1912 the general manager was P. M. Cochius, a firm believer in corporate social and community responsibilities. He also believed in the production of aesthetically satisfying products that respected the materials from which they were fashioned, Accordingly, he commissioned designers such as the architect K. P. C. De Bazel, who produced a distinctive twenty‐piece service of pressed glass. Another noted designer for the company at this time was C. De Lorm, who first worked for the company in 1917, designing a number of simple and elegant drinking glasses including the Normaal range. Other well‐known designers for the company included the architect‐designer H. P. Berlage who designed for the company in the early 1920s, though his breakfast and dinnerware designs were technically problematic to manufacture. Cochius' design outlook was reflected in his involvement in the establishment of the Nederlandische Bond voor Kunst in Industrie (BKI) in 1924. Among the many designers commissioned in the 1920s and 1930s was Frank Lloyd Wright. A. D. Copier was the only full‐time designer working for the company during these years and produced a number of practical drinking glasses articulated by restrained ornamentation and the use of colour. One of his most enduring services was the Gilde range, which became the company's best‐selling design. He continued to be the company's leading designer of table glass after the end of the Second World War, including the sapphire blue Primula breakfast set of c.1948. He was also responsible for the Glass School that had been established in Leerdam in 1940, the first of its type in Holland ensuring the continuity of high‐quality designers in the company in the competitive post‐war market place. The products were seen as ‘Good Design’. Floris Meydam, who had become Copier's assistant in 1935, produced a number of distinctive and sometimes expensive designs after the Second World War, having been made head of the design department in 1947. These included the Tulp (Tulip) service (1952), the Anima sherry set (1953), the Milano sherry set (1954), and the Anjou service (1968). Automation came to Leerdam in the late 1950s and Meydam also designed mass‐produced glasses for the Hema supermarket chain. Other designers associated with Leerdam glass from the 1960s onwards include G. J. Thomassen, Willem Heesen, L. J. F. Linssen, and Bruno Ninaber van Eyban.

See also Stichting Goed Wonen.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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