This object, the ‘sleeping bird’, could be used as a vase. At the same time it is also a sculpture in its own right. This is Timo Sarpaneva’s response to the gap that he perceived between ‘ornamental glass’ and ‘practical glass’. Sarpaneva devised the ‘i-series’ in the mid-1950s for the Finnish design company Iittala: household glass products and also one-off pieces. The work is simple, with clean lines and a modern shape, inspired by Finnish nature. Sarpaneva developed the colours in close collaboration with a specialist, which in this object has resulted in a deep blue with a hint of purple. The design of Nukkuva Lintu dates from 1957 and won a gold medal at the twelfth Milan Triennale (1960), which was at the time one of the most important platforms for contemporary design. This example from 1962 was created to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Stockmann department store in Helsinki, the city where the ‘i-line’ had been launched.