Auction 161B

Murano Glass

22. February 2022 at 5:30 PM CEST

This time a number of important glass works date from before the Second World War.

In contrast to the epoch that followed, where very different accents were set with strong colors, a reduced, modernist design language was in the foreground. The Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa in particular appears here as a pioneer of this new aesthetics. Under the fascists he did not get any commissions as an architect, so, in the mid-1920s, he first worked for Cappellin and then around 1930 for Venini. In 1926, he designed a spherical vase on a conical stand for Cappellin, which for a while was his employer's logo with an inserted blossom branch of glass. Such a vase with an etched signature by Cappellin in bottle-green 'Trasparento' decor will go under the hammer with an estimate of €1,200 - 1,800. From the same North German private collection comes a two-piece table decoration, a pair of flowering branches on a round base, which Scarpa also designed for Cappellin in 1929. The extremely rare object is only estimated at € 600 - 700 due to minor damage. Scarpa created a slim cylindrical vase for Venini in 1932/33. This form is mainly known in the 'Bollicine' decor. It is offered in the auction in transparent grass green for €3,500 - 4,500. Among other designs, Scarpa developed objects with etched surface in the so-called 'Corroso' decor for Venini. From this series, the cylindrical vase with green nubs from 1936 is offered for €9,000 - 12,000, as well as a blue bowl with the rare 'venini murano ars’ acid stamp (€3,000 - 4,000).

In 1934, the 'Mugnoni' vase, designed by Murano-born architect Vittorio Donà, was presented at the 19th Venice Biennale. At the auction, a vase of the same shape in this decor in the contemporary version by the S.A.I.A.R. Ferro Toso manufactory is being offered for €7,000 - 9,000. This manufactory only existed until the end of the 1930s and merged with Barovier & Toso, which reissued the 'Mugnoni' decor decades later. The large-format vase with lentil-oval violet applications is an early version by S.A.I.A.R. hitherto hardly known.

From the mid-1930s to the early 1960s, Flavio Poli, the Chioggia-born artist who trained as a ceramist, created the designs for the Seguso Vetri d’Arte manufactory. With one of his first designs, the large-format 'A bullicante' vase, designed in 1937 and weighing over 10 kilos, he immediately accomplished a tour de force. The thick-walled quatrefoil vase combines colorless glass with a gray melted layer, regularly punctured air bubbles and a layer of finely shattered gold foil. This great masterpiece of Muranese glass art can be bought at the auction for an estimated €5,000 - 6,000.

Another vase enriches the range of important early Venetian works of the 20th century as well: the large-format 'Laguna gemmata' vase was created by Ercole Barovier in 1935/36 for his Barovier & Toso manufactory. Barovier is limited to the basic shapes of sphere and cylinder - the large spherical body is crowned by a slim cylinder neck. Loosely translated, the decor would mean 'gem-encrusted lagoon'. A fitting description of the decor, which indeed evokes the Lagoon, sparkling like jewels in the sunlight. This effect is created with fused blue and gray metal oxides.

The aesthetics of the post-war period on Murano were dominated by new color effects, which particularly contributed to the worldwide popularity of Murano glass in these often very difficult times. Colorful stripe decorations, color fields and rectangular patterns were invented - sometimes in relation to contemporary art. The painter and illustrator Fulvio Bianconi was an extremely multifaceted protagonist of that time. From his 'Pezzato' series, developed in 1951 and still in production by Venini today, comes a large bottle-shaped vase, which is estimated at € 8,000 - 9,000. Even rarer are his works in the 'A fasce di colore' decor, which he created in 1953. Up for auction is a 40 cm high vase in the particularly rare color combination with alternating blue and yellow horizontal ribbons for €9,000-12,000.

The designer Dino Martens, who was trained in painting, also delivered bold designs with a wide range of colors for the Aureliano Toso manufactory. His 'Oriente' decors are the most famous, striped, warped fields of color in powdery melted masses decorate the sculptural body of the vase in a painterly way. A tall, slender, slightly asymmetrically curved vase in this decor is on sale for €5,500-6,500. In a spectacular shape with two asymmetrical openings, a vase in the rare 'Frammentato' decor - estimated at € 2,500 - 3,500 - can also be purchased. Here, Martens melted fragments, small leftovers from glass production, into colorless glass.

Flavio Poli also brought a wealth of colors to the Venetian glass world with his 'Sommerso' decor, which he developed in the early 1950s. However, he provides elegantly shaped vessels with two layers of colored glass - the lower layer is always the dominant color and the objects appear monochrome at first - only on closer inspection does one recognize the second layer of color. After sifting through the archives, the art dealer, glass expert and book author Marc Heiremans described exactly which color combinations were used in which year in his 2014 monograph on Seguso Vetri d'Arte. Vessels in the 'Sommerso' decor are particularly suitable for presentation in groups - color and design language complement and then really enhance each other. Estimates at the auction range from €120 to €1,400.

Rare designs in the focus of collectors - Quittenbaum starts the sales year with a successful Murano glass auction

Following the 'Italian Design' auction, 196 selected glass objects from Muranese manufacturers were on offer on Tuesday. Large and exceptional forms were particularly appreciated by collectors. The 'Incamiciato' bowl by Napoleone Martinuzzi dates from the early years of the Zecchin-Martinuzzi company. The coveted object in delicate rosé was sold after a considerable price increase from €3,000 to €16,000. The starting price of the spherical vase 'Mugnoni' by S.A.I.A.R. Ferro Toso doubled its price to €13,000 thanks to eager bidders. The list of results is headed by Fulvio Bianconi's 'A fasce di colore' vase. The model with fused high-contrast ribbons in yellow and blue goes into a private collection for €19,000.

You can still purchase unsold objects as part of our after sale until March 25, 2022.