Glorious glassware for sake sophisticates is our Best Spirit Lifter

A Lobmeyr drinking set by Hans Harald Rath, and Aldo Bakker vessels for J Hill’s Standard win Wallpaper* Design Awards 2023 for a whimsical take on traditional glassware

Glassware sake set on table
‘Alpha’ pitcher (far left) and tumblers by Hans Harald Rath for Lobmeyr. ‘HopStep’ pots (centre and back) and ‘Cloud Pipe’ (right), by Aldo Bakker, for J Hill’s Standard. Full credits below
(Image credit: Neil Godwin at Future Studios for Wallpaper*)

The best way to savour sake, we have found, is to present it in dreamy glass vessels.  One of our perennial favourite glassware sets is by Hans Harald Rath, who, in 1952, created the ‘Alpha’ series for Viennese crystal specialist J & L Lobmeyr. Inspired by a copper beaker from the Middle Ages, the simple pitcher (above left) and tumblers are made of crystal-blown muslin glass and remain a timeless way to serve sake, water or wine. 

Our two other vessels of choice, ‘HopStep’ (above centre and back) and ‘Cloud Pipe’ (above right), were designed by Aldo Bakker for Waterford crystal specialist J Hill’s Standard. Featuring the Dutch designer’s signature whimsical shapes (see more in the exhibition ‘Aldo Bakker: Pouring Vessels’ at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag, until 7 May 2023), they represent, respectively, a bouncing tick mark and the puff of smoke produced by a pipe. 

Honoured in the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2023 as our Best Spirit Lifter, this glorious glassware deserves a toast. Kanpai! 

Pictured top: ‘Alpha’ mini sake pitcher, €110; ‘Alpha’ sake tumblers, €36, all by Hans Harald Rath, for J & L Lobmeyr. Limited-edition ‘HopStep’ crystal vessel, price on request; ‘HopStep’ in brown glass, £129; ‘Cloud Pipe’ in amber glass, £86, all by Aldo Bakker, for J Hill’s Standard. Assemblage 2 sake, £125 for 72cl, by IWA, from Hedonism Wines. ‘Assam’ fabric in 0008, £151 per m, by Sahco

The winners of the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2023 are revealed in the February 2023 issue, available in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today

Léa Teuscher is a Sub-Editor at Wallpaper*. A former travel writer and production editor, she joined the magazine over a decade ago, and has been sprucing up copy and attempting to write clever headlines ever since. Having spent her childhood hopping between continents and cultures, she’s a fan of all things travel, art and architecture. She has written three Wallpaper* City Guides on Geneva, Strasbourg and Basel.