Auction 173C

Murano Glass

20. March 2024 at 3:00 PM CET

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14. March 2024 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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Catalogue


Murrine mania

The technique of murrine has been rediscovered and reinterpreted by glassmakers throughout history. It involves processing glass threads into staffs, cutting them into cross-sections, and fusing them together to create colorful, graphic, and sometimes figurative motifs, also known as millefiori. The three most expensive vases in this auction were made using this technique and come from the Venini and Barovier manufactories. Venini employed various designers, artists, and architects from the 1920s to the 1970s, creating a broad artistic spectrum. At Barovier, the focus is on Ercole Barovier, the long-standing company owner and designer. Designers faced a challenge with the Murrine theme, as they had to give the classic technique a new form.

Early works by Ercole Barovier are highly sought-after. The auction will feature a 1924/25 'A vetro mosaico' bowl valued at €18,000 - €24,000. The bowl showcases colorful murrines arranged in flower motifs amidst blue murrines. Fulvio Bianconi, who rarely explored the theme of murrine after the Second World War, presented his 'A fiori' series at the Milan Triennale in 1951, a year after his famous 'A macchie' series. The vase is slender and tall, shaped like a cone with murrines in the form of flowers made of deep purple and white glass. It is being offered for €18,000 - €24,000. In the 2015 Stanze del Vetro œuvre catalog, this model is only represented by a design sketch.

Paolo Venini, the Milanese architect who founded the manufactory in Venice in 1921, was responsible for several of the manufactory's designs in the 1940s and 50s. In 1953, Venini created the 'A dama' series, which means 'chess' in the regional dialect, Veneziano. The series consists of very small rectangular squares in two colors arranged in a chessboard pattern using the murrine technique. The pattern is intentionally distorted in some places, creating a striking effect. The vase, featuring pop colors of turquoise green and red, is valued at €40,000 - €60,000.