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We celebrate: Nordic Design

Rosenthal pays tribute to the great Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala with anniversary editions. His iconic »Paper Bag Vase«, which is especially coveted by Nordic design aficionados, is available for the first time in a range of trendy colours produced using coloured porcelain paste.

Tapio Wirkkala not only laid the foundation stone for the success of Finnish design, but also shaped the Rosenthal brand like no other from 1956 until his death in 1985. The visionary Philip Rosenthal and the Scandinavian creative icon mutually complemented and inspired one another. Philip Rosenthal valued Wirkkala as a creative personality who was “a craftsman, an industrial designer, an artist, a technical innovator, a poet and a realist” and recognised his creative potential very early on. Today, his works, which are characterised by their aesthetics extending beyond fashion influences, are still admired all over the world.

To mark what would be the 100th birthday of Tapio Wirkkala, Rosenthal is releasing the brilliant »Paper Bag Vase«, which was first created in 1977, in a range of new colours. The most popular creation by the Finnish designer, which raises the status of a simple paper bag to a design object and renders its kinks and folds perfectly, is now available in the on-trend colours mint, peach, macaroon and dove produced using coloured porcelain paste. The original vases, which are available in two sizes, are the perfect receptacle to present small and large bouquets of flowers.

The collection will also feature a new, four-piece vase series with a relief design and attractive black grooved vases in three sizes from the Rosenthal archive, which will be rereleased to mark the occasion. The small and large fish bowls made of glazed white porcelain are prime receptacles for fine fish and precious seafood. Their organic lines once again reveal Wirkkala’s deep affinity for nature.


Tapio Wirkkala (1915–1985) was a prominent and style-defining designer in Finland and beyond, especially in the field of porcelain and glassware. His most well-known porcelain designs for Rosenthal include »Century«, »Polygon« and »Rotunda« as well as the cutlery classics »Taille« and »Curve«. The »Century« set even featured in the permanent collection of contemporary design at the Pompidou Centre in Paris and »Variation« is exhibited in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

1Produced using specially developed, solid-coloured porcelain paste that is complex to manufacture, whose particularly even colour despite the creased effect makes a real statement: the iconic »Paper Bag Vase« by Tapio Wirkkala.

2Wirkkala was a great lover of nature. A great many of his designs are testament to this – including the black fluted vases from 1966 and the white, four-piece vase series with relief design from 1956.

Smart Travelling in Helsinki

  • Architecture: When exploring the Finnish capital, it is well worth visiting the Etu-Töölö district. Temppeliaukio Church is a state-of-the-art rock church. It is an outstanding example of Finnish architecture from the 1960s and is associated with the late expressionist movement. The rotunda, which architects Timo and Toumo Suomalainen designed in a blasted mound of granite, is awe-inspiring. The light flows down through a huge copper dome featuring 180 windows into the unostentatious sacred space.

  • Culture: Opposite the National Museum lies the Finlandia Hall clad in white carrara marble. The building, which was completed in 1971 based on a design by the architect and designer Alvar Aalto, numbers among the city’s landmarks and is used as a concert and congress hall.
  • Design: In the Design District, one of Helsinki’s tourist highlights and the place to be for lovers of Scandinavian art, fashion and culture, lies the Design Museum, which houses an international collection of industrial and graphic design and fashion. A permanent exhibition showcases Finnish handicraft, art and design since 1870.
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