Design Masterworks 19 May 2016

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39

Ercole Barovier


Rare Intarsio vase

Barovier & Toso
Italy, 1963
alternating orange and green glass tessere
10½ w x 5½ d x 13½ h in (27 x 14 x 34 cm)

result: $55,000


estimate: $30,000–50,000

provenance: Collection of Frank Toskan | Wright, Important Italian Glass, 9 June 2012, Lot 157 | Important Private Collection
literature: I Vetri di Murano, Bestetti, unpaginated, illustrates form and technique Art of the Barovier: Glassmakers in Murano 1866-1972, ppg. 191-193 illustrate series Ercole Barovier 1889-1974: Vetraio Muranese, Dorigato, pg. 113 illustrates series I Vetri di Murano, Mariacher, pg. 105 illustrates form and technique

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Intarsio

Distinctive Patterning

Inspired by the Venetian harlequin motif, the Intarsio series is an internationally recognized icon of 1960s art glass. Due to its popularity, a wide variety of color combinations and shapes were produced, each a distinctive arrangement of triangular glass tessere. The vase presented here is one of only five examples known to exist in this shape and size, and each exhibit a unique color combination.

Period photo from 1967 of a similar example featuring red and blue tessere. (Photograph by Ferruzzi. Reproduced from I Vetri di Murano by Carlo Bestetti, 1967, Edizioni D’Arte)

…the main source of inspiration is the furnace: the artist must stand side by side with the glass-maker, whose task is to carry out a faithful reproduction and interpretation not just of the sketch, but of the designer’s very soul. The designer must be in spiritual communion with the glass-maker and follow with care his execution of the object, correcting him if necessary. At times the object produced is set aside, thrown away, because one feels that it is imperfect. If the desired result is not achieved through one path, then another must be undertaken. At long last, the art glass piece is accomplished. How many models of new glass objects have I produced in my forty years of activity? The answer astonishes even me: thousands, each of which bears the traces of a part of my life and of my soul.

—Ercole Barovier