Cover Classicon Bell side and coffee tables, by Sebastian Herkner (Photography: Elias Hassos, via Classicon)

With its colourful glass base and sleek tabletop, the ClassiCon Bell table by Sebastian Herkner is truly an object of desire

A delicate glass base holding a heavy metallic top; the Classicon Bell table, designed by German industrial designer Sebastian Herkner, is a work of art. And when light hits the tinted glass base? The sculptural piece shines with a beautiful glow, casting captivating shadows on the ground. 

The Bell table goes against conventional designs that feature a glass tabletop and metal legs, making it an intriguing piece. Often viewed as the first of its kind, the exemplary design caught of the eye of designers and design enthusiasts alike when Herkner first debuted it at the Salone del Mobile fair in Milan in 2009; the table has also captured the attention of celebrities worldwide, including Crash Landing on You star Son Ye-Jin. 

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The German design powerhouse has always had a keen interest and affinity with materials, colours, and forms. When it came to the Bell table, the idea of turning traditional materials upside down came to mind; Herkner wanted the focus to be centered on craftsmanship and familiar materials, rather than relying on technology and modern materials, as was the trend at that time. 

In 2012, three years after Herkner first unveiled the design, Munich-based design company Classicon brought the Bell table into production. The glass base is hand-blown by a traditional glassblowing manufacturer that was founded more than 450 years ago and is currently in its 16th generation; this storied history was especially important for Herkner, who sought to imbue a sense of authenticity to the design.

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The delicate hand-blown glass pieces are then placed in a wooden mould in order to produce their gentle curves that recall the shape of bells. Unique irregularities can be found in each piece, due to the hand-blown techniques. The glass pieces, available in a variety of tinted candy-like hues, carry a sturdy brass metal volume with black lacquered crystal or marble infill. A special 2013 edition features the use of copper, instead of brass. 

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When Classicon first produced the pieces, the Bell designs were available as side tables or coffee tables. In 2020, the company collaborated with Herkner once again to expand the selection; the range now includes a larger piece, known as the Bell high table, intended for use at the living or dining areas in a home. 

A celebration of the beauty of materials and the product of remarkable craftsmanship, the Bell table was made possible by Herkner’s foresight. The iconic design is also often credited as the breakthrough design piece for the German designer. With its global recognition, it clinched the prestigious Red Dot Design Award, and have since spawned replicas and imitations worldwide. In Singapore, the Bell range of tables retail at Space Furniture

Speaking volumes about Herkner’s talent and creativity, the popular Bell table was driven by the designer’s curiosity and desire to take the plunge. “Sometimes you need to take a risk,” says the designer, in a previous interview with Tatler Homes. “When I designed the Bell table, the combination of glass and brass was new at that time. Now, the table is one of the most successful designs at Classicon and the material combination is everywhere.”