Kaj Franck - A glass art-object "Ruutana", model KF 226 - Nuutajärvi-Notsjö Finland, 1954

KF 226 web-0509
KF 226 web-0504
KF 226 web-0507
KF 226 web-0508
KF 226 web-0505


Kaj Franck (Vyborg, Finland 1911 – Santorini, Greece 1989) was an influential Finnish designer and leading figure in Finnish art-world between 1940-1980. 

Born in 1911 on the Finnish Russian border in a family of architects (his grandfather was director of the famous Arabia Ceramics factory) of Finnish-German-Swedish decent.

He attended the furniture department of Taideteollinen korkeakoulu (todays Aalto university school of Arts, Design and Architecture) in Helsinki.  

After his studies he worked as a freelance designer until he joined Arabia as a designer in 1945. In 1950 he became Arabia’s Artistic Director. He also designed glass-objects for Iittala between 1946 and 1950 and between 1950 and 1976 for Nuutajärvi-Notsjö glassworks. 

From 1945 onwards he worked as and educator at Taideteollinen korkeakoulu and he became Artistic Director from the institute in 1960.

His modernist designs in everyday tableware glass are considered to be a revolution and classic Finnish design object (most notably his Kilta tableware and Kartio glassware). 

He is often referred to as “the conscience of Finnish design”, moderation, ecology and equality were Franck’s principles. He strove to minimise the number of everyday objects we need in our lives, drawing attention to the sustainability and life cycle of products. 

Kay Franck’s designs are in collections of numerous museums all over the world. Among others: Design Museum Helsinki, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and The British Museum, London. He was a recipient of many prizes. Most notably the Lunning prize in 1955, a “Grand prix” and several “Gold medals” at the Triennale di Milano.        

Today his name is used for the prestigious “The Kaj Franck Design Prize” annually awarded by the Finnish Design Forum. 


Art-object in the shape of a fish ('ruutana' or crucian carp), green lead glass with tin crush bubbles, free-blown with ground and polished base, stylised flattened ovoid body with shaped tail.

This "ruutana" is model KF 226 in the series of art-objects designed by Kaj Franck. It was produced between 1954 and 1962 by the Nuutajärvi-Notsjö glassworks, winning the Diplôme d'Honneur at the Milan Triennale in 1954. It is a stylised lifesize version of the crucian carp, a species widespread across Northern-Europe as far as the Arctic circle in Scandinavia.

The object is signed underneath the base: Kaj Franck - Nuutajärvi-Notsjö 54 (1954) which makes it a rare early example, made in the first year of production.


Price including VAT: Sold


Signed underneath the base: K. Franck Nuutajärvi-Notsjö '54 (1954)



Nuutajärvi-Notsjö glassworks, Nuutajärvi Finland 1954


Good vintage condition, some scratches underneath the base. There is an internal crack (approx 1.5 cm) - most likely a tension crack - originated during the making process or cooling of the glass. it's located on the front of the base within the glass mass, and it's only visible in a certain angle and not visible when it is standing.



Marianne Aav (ed.), Kaj Franck, Universal Forms, p.323


H. 10 cm

W. 20 cm

D. 7 cm

Weight: 494 gram

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