Glass "gin pigs" were popular in the late 1800's, following the Victorian tradition of displaying liquors and liqueurs in animal form glass decanters. This modern "gin pig" was hand blown in the 1960's by the Kumela glass factory in the southern Finland town of Riihimäki. Kumela began producing glassware as Oy Kumela (Kumela, Ltd.) in 1937, owned by three brothers: Toivo, Oiva and Ilmari. Illmari's daughter, Sirkku Kumela-Lehtonen, worked there as a designer from 1955 to 1976, when Oy Kumela was sold to Humppila Glass (Sirkku freelanced for Humppila until 1981). Glass items made after the sale of Oy Kumela are marked with the new company name, Kumelan Lasitehdes Oy, which closed completely in 1980.
Sirkku Kumela-Lehtonen designed this delightful clear lead glass pig (we've also seen it in amber) and it was in the Kumela catalog from 1955 through 1977. It retains the original silver and black foil label with the depiction of a glassblower and "Kumela Riihimäki Made in Finland" printed on it. The mouth retains the original pewter cap and pull ring attached to the cork (which by the way comes out easily). It's squatting on its hind legs; each foot is a cloven hoof, slightly rough where each has been cut into two toes. It measures 9 inches long from mouth to curly tail, stands about 5 1/2 inches tall to the top of the pewter cap and weigh just a bit under 2 pounds. Cork, cap, label and pig are all in excellent condition, a wonderful example of mid century modern Finnish glass.