Josephine, bedside bottle and drinking glass. Designed by POLKA, manufactured for J. & L. Lobmeyr GmbH, manufactured by Boehmische Manufaktur. 2006. Museum purchase through gift of Dale and Doug Anderson, Anonymous Donor, Arthur Liu, and Prairie Pictures, Inc. and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund. 2009-18-144-a,b.

Elevating the Everyday

In the hands of Viennese glass firm J. & L. Lobmeyr, drinking a glass of water becomes a sensual ritual. Josephine is a sinuous bedside bottle and drinking glass designed by POLKA for Lobmeyr, resembling a voluptuous figurine. Imagine gingerly lifting the drinking glass—inverted to sit inside the carafe like a stopper—pouring a glass of water, and putting the thin, mouth-blown crystal to your lips to take a sip. As with so many of Lobmeyr’s designs, Josephine encourages its user to become more graceful and intentional in their interaction with the object.

The design’s delicacy is both inspired by and revealed in its production process. The elegant form is made of muslin glass (so named in honor of the finely woven French fabric) blown to only .7 – 1.1 mm thick. Despite its fine structure, muslin glass is still quite resilient, owing to its inner elasticity and formal construction. The short stem and circular foot, mirrored in the carafe and glass, are joined free-hand by a master. Handpolishing softens the rims. It is a simple and clearly rigorous design, for which POLKA worked through a series of sketches and prototypes to arrive at the precise calculation for the form and fit of the carafe and glass. (The design firm borrowed the idea of the drinking glass as fitted stopper in its subsequent Drinking Set no. 280, also for Lobmeyr and in the Museum’s collection.) Josephine makes a luxury of the quotidian. Drinking a glass of water may never be as pleasurable.

Museum Number: 
2009-18-144-a,b