three hundred years of collectable glass in one day

The Cambridge Glass Fair

Foyer Exhibition:
September 2004

Bimini Glass

The Bimini glass studio was set up in Vienna in 1923 by Fritz Lampl (1892-1955) in association with his brothers-in-law, Artur and Josef Berger, who were architects. The name ‘Bimini’ comes from a 19 th century book which describes Bimini as a miraculous island where the spring of eternal youth can be found.

The fine, delicate, almost weightless glass the studio produced was an immediate success, comprising mainly of either thinly blown drinking glasses and decanters with swirling filigree patterns or small, whimsical lampwork animals and figures. The pieces were unmarked save for paper labels.

When war became imminent, Fritz Lampl closed the factory and emigrated to England in1938, where he built a glass furnace in the basement of his house in London. He called this new operation Orplid Glass and the Bimini name was discontinued.

Once again he became successful not only with glass but also with ceramic buttons and brooches, and his work was frequently featured in design and fashion magazines.

However, after the war his small workshop could not compete with the imported mass-produced buttons from Czechoslovakia and elsewhere and it struggled on until his death in 1955.

This foyer exhibition will showcase around 100 items from the Bimini and Orplid collections of Peter Elliot. There will also be examples of pieces which are sometimes mistaken for Bimini and which are often collectable in their own right.

Many of the pieces on display are extremely rare and are representative of some of the factory’s finest work. There will also be items from the more commercial output for the souvenir market.

If you are not familiar with Bimini glass, this exhibition is sure to be a fascinating introduction, showing the acutely-observed detail and entertaining nature of the glass, and the delicacy and fine workmanship which is evident in its manufacture.

exhibition highlights

  • can-can girl

  • white ballerina girls

  • black weiner werkstatte grape girls

  • swirl drinks set

  • gazelle

  • storks

  • a horse

  • a group of cats

  • vases