Auction 170C

Murano Glass

12. October 2023 at 3:00 PM CEST

There will be over 200 important lots of Murano glass for sale on 12 October

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Arts & Crafts movement was to breathe new life into artistic craftsmanship in the second half of the 19th century. The highest artistic achievements came around 1900 in the era of Art Nouveau, which in part still recalled the craft roots from Arts & Crafts, but can also already be seen as a form of industrial design. In Italy, neither Arts & Crafts nor Art Nouveau were particularly pronounced, as one could already interpret from the Italian name for Art Nouveau, 'Stile Liberty’, after the exclusive London department store for arts and crafts.

Italy was experiencing its very own renaissance of art, namely in the Venice of the 1920s. Milanese lawyer Paolo Venini opened a glass manufactory in 1921 and, following the example of international manufactories, hired contemporary painters, architects and designers. Five decades followed, during which the two great protagonists Venini and Barovier, but also numerous smaller manufactories, competing for beauty in a staccato change of shapes and colors, created an inconceivable variety of ever new glass vessels. It is also significant that glass art was shown at the International Art Exhibition that was the Venice Biennale on a par with painting and sculpture - in 1972 for the last time until today.

In addition to the thin-walled vessels in subtle colors by Vittorio Zecchin and Napoleone Martinuzzi from the 1920s, which will be on offer for € 300 to € 1,000, a bright blue vessel by Fratelli Toso from this decade stands out. The spindle shape of this rare object consists of a net of finger-thick ribbons (€ 2,500 - 3,000). In the 1930s, 'Pulegoso' and 'Bollicine' objects by Venini and Seguso would follow. Highlight from this decade is an 'Alga' vase by Tommaso Buzzi (1932/33), estimated at € 8,000 - 9,000.

Due to the political circumstances, not much was created in the 1940s. Therefore, it is all the more significant that we can offer two extremely rare creations by Carlo Scarpa for Venini. Two thin-walled vases in 'Variegato' decor stem from a German private collection. The smaller vase in stout double gourd form is entwined with a brownish thread (€ 25,000 - 35,000), the other vase is in slender calabash shape, with two threads in violet and orange (€ 40,000 - 60,000).

The post-war period was initially dominated by designs by the painter and illustrator Fulvio Bianconi, who - when it came to the variety of colors - competed with the painter Dino Martens, who delivered drafts for Aureliano Toso. The offer here is headed by an extremely rare ‚Scozzese' vase with tartan pattern. Executed in 1954-57, this model captivates with a particularly beautiful color palette and is estimated at € 30,000 - 40,000. A large 'Oriente' vase with star murrine by Dino Martens is on offer for € 5,000 - 6,000. Ercole Barovier's designs, which he supplied for his own manufactory Barovier and Toso, are in no way inferior to the diversity of colors of the aforementioned. His 1956 vase 'Pezzato' in amber and moss green is estimated at € 6,000 - 8,000. In 1963, Barovier created a vase in a tartan pattern paying homage to the fashion genius Christian Dior - here an estimate of € 5,000 - 6,000 is set.

All lots can be viewed from October 5 to 10 at our premises at Theresienstrasse 58 and 60.