Chiswick to auction single-owner collection of contemporary glass, Mar. 29

contemporary glass

Fulvio Bianconi for Venini, Pezzato vase. Estimate £1,200-£1,800

LONDON – On March 29, Chiswick Auctions will host a Design & Modern Contemporary sale that includes a single-owner collection of beautiful contemporary glass. The 40 pieces, all created by renowned UK and international artists, were assembled by art glass enthusiast Ben Essex between 1978 and 2010. Some were specially commissioned.

Many of the vessels were created by the Czech-British artist Peter Layton (b. 1937-) at his London Glassblowing Workshop. Offered in 30 lots, they follow the evolution and full range of his style across several decades. The individual pieces range from a scent bottle pulled-feather decoration in ochre, blue and clear glass (estimate £70-£100) to a vase of tapered form, with yellow and blue spotted band to a red ground (estimate £150-£250).

contemporary glass

Peter Layton London Glassblowing Workshop, contemporary glass vase of tapered form. Estimate £70-£100

Other significant pieces by widely exhibited British makers include a unique 15cm vase by Jonathan Harris of Isle of Wight Glass that is expected to sell for £500-£1,000. Signed and dated 1995 and numbered 1/1, it features cameo-cut clematis blossoms picked out in iridescent green, purple and white enamels.

contemporary glass

Jonathan Harris Isle of Wight Glass 15cm vase with cameo-cut clematis blossoms. Estimate £500-£1,000

Works by the Japanese artist Keiko Mukaide (b. 1954-) and those by the American artist Vasa Mihich (b. 1933-) are now part of major collections in many museums throughout the world.

contemporary glass

Keiko Mukaide studio glass paperweight of naturalistic form. Estimate £500-£1,000

A studio glass paperweight of naturalistic form by Keiko Mukaide is expected to bring £300-£500 while a trademark acrylic column by Vasa Mihich commissioned by the vendor in 2012 is guided at £600-£1,000.

contemporary glass

Vasa Mihich, acrylic column, 2012, commissioned by the consignor, Ben Essex. Estimate £600-£1,000

A Pezzato vase (shown at top of page), one of the most iconic designs that Italian Fulvio Bianconi (1915-1996) created for Venini, comes to auction with a guide of £1,200-£1,800.

Bianconi used a glass mosaic to produce brilliant chromatic effects. These designs were first exhibited at the 25th Venice Biennale in 1950 and subsequently at the Milan Triennale in 1951. The technique enjoyed considerable success and is exhibited in a 20cm high vase crafted in 1991 from a combination of opaque pasta vitrea and transparent tesserae in the Parigi colorway of blue, red, green and amber.

Click to view the online catalog and sign up to bid. Visit Chiswick Auctions online at