NEW YORK – On Thursday, December 1, Capsule Auctions will present 20th Century Italian Glass, a sale of fine glass objects from a single private collection. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. Offering designs by big names such as Venini and Barovier as well as designs by smaller houses, the sale acts as a survey of Murano glass-making across seven decades.
Many of the top lots come from the firm of Paolo Venini, established in 1921. Thanks to his innovative collaborations with leading designers, Venini is credited with ushering in a new era of Italian glass-making. Capsule’s auction offers dozens of examples of results from these collaborations, including designs by Carlo Scarpa, Ludovico Diaz de Santillana and Tomaso Buzzi, who is represented by a Venini Laguna vase with an estimate of $6,000-$8,000. These objects adapt traditional styles – some dating to ancient Rome and Etruria – for modern tastes. It is this blending of the old and the new that has earned Venini an enduring reputation as a global tastemaker.
Another highlight comes from the Italian-trained Japanese glass artist Yoichi Ohira. His sculptural vase, estimated at $400-$600 and made for renowned glass-making studio De Majo, is exquisite: it illustrates the grace and sensibility to light that makes Muranese glass so desirable. Ohira moved to Venice from Japan in 1973 to study at the Academy of Fine Arts, where he developed a deep love for the medium. In 1987, just a year before creating this spectacular piece, he was awarded the prestigious Premio Selezione by the city of Murano. His style reflects a deep reverence for traditional Italian glass-making while simultaneously filtering the practices through a radically different cultural lens, rendering it beautifully unique.
The December 1 sale also includes a number of vases and bowls from the Barovier house of glass-making, led by an Ercole Barovier Spira Aurata vase estimated at $2,000-$3,000. The Baroviers opened their business in the year 1295, making them the oldest glass house in Murano. Many of the family’s centuries-old techniques have persisted and are still in use today. Though their craft has strong historic roots, Barovier is distinctly forward-looking, collaborating often with modern designers such as Bulgari. Offerings from the manufacturer, known by the name Barovier & Toso since the 1940s, include richly colored Floreali vases and a variety of elegant bowls and tableware.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/