Dino Martens

at Aureliano Toso

Dino Martens' work as a glass designer for Aureliano Toso has become legendary for its inventiveness, experimentation and excess. His innovative use of oversized murrines, brightly colored metallic powders and fragments of glass rods, all expressed in wildly biomorphic forms, have become synonymous with Murano glass style of the 1950s. 

His innovative use of oversized murrines, brightly colored metallic powders and fragments of glass rods, all expressed in wildly biomorphic forms, have become synonymous with Murano glass style of the 1950s.

The Oriente series in particular can be seen as the ultimate expression of Martens’ vision—biomorphic shapes and patchwork compositions full of multi-colored Zanfirico canes, sprays of brightly colored pigment, and black and white murrine pin-wheels. While the Oriente series does possess an undeniable shock-value, even Martens’ wildest designs were carefully rendered from preparatory drawings. To many of these he also attached poetic names such as Nabucco, Ati and Dialettica

Martens’ life as a soldier, adventurer and painter ultimately found concrete expression in his glass designs. He flourished in the post-war climate of openness which encouraged experimentation. Of the numerous series he created in the 1950s, each seems to suggest an endless array of variants and possibilities. 

During his final years at Aureliano Toso, Martens designed pieces which express a greater sensitivity to subtle chromatic effects. For these he often chose elongated forms. These pieces are quite rare, and demonstrate a refined aesthetic at the end of a vibrant and dynamic creative life.

Dino Martens 1894–1970

Born in Venice in 1894, Dino Martens studied painting and design at the Accademia di Belle Art in Rome. A talented artist, his paintings were exhibited at the Venice Biennale between 1924 and 1930. In the mid-1920s, Martens was a partner and decorator for S.A.L.I.R. and later took a position as designer for Salviati & Co. In 1939, upon returning from the African War, Martens became artistic director for the famed glass firm, Aureliano Toso.

Martens' work for Aureliano Toso has become legendary for its inventiveness, experimentation and excess. His innovative use of oversized murrines, brightly colored metallic powders and fragments of glass rods, all expressed in wildly biomorphic forms, have become synonymous with Murano glass style of the 1950s.

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Auction Results Dino Martens

DINO MARTENS, Sirventese bottle, model 6319 | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Sirventese bottle, model 6319

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $221,000
DINO MARTENS, Rare Brocca Generosa vase | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Rare Brocca Generosa vase

estimate: $10,000–12,000
result: $100,000
DINO MARTENS, Sirventese bottle, model 6319 | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Sirventese bottle, model 6319

estimate: $50,000–70,000
result: $75,000
DINO MARTENS, unique Vanita vase | wright20.com

Dino Martens

unique Vanita vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $70,000
DINO MARTENS, Geltrude vase, model 5299 | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Geltrude vase, model 5299

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $62,500
DINO MARTENS, Eldorado ewer with handle, model 5271 | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Eldorado ewer with handle, model 5271

estimate: $50,000–70,000
result: $62,500
DINO MARTENS, Geltrude vase, model 5299 | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Geltrude vase, model 5299

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $37,500
DINO MARTENS, Oriente vase, model 5380 | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Oriente vase, model 5380

estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $31,250
DINO MARTENS, Eldorado vase, model 5215 | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Eldorado vase, model 5215

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $30,000
DINO MARTENS, rare Zanfirico vase | wright20.com

Dino Martens

rare Zanfirico vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $30,000
DINO MARTENS, Oriente Geltrude, model 5299 | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Oriente Geltrude, model 5299

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $27,500
DINO MARTENS, vase | wright20.com

Dino Martens

vase

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $23,750
DINO MARTENS, Pesce vase | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Pesce vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $22,500
DINO MARTENS, Oriente Geltrude | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Oriente Geltrude

estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $22,500
DINO MARTENS, Unique Celebes vase, model 7827 | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Unique Celebes vase, model 7827

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $22,500
DINO MARTENS, Zanfirico vase | wright20.com

Dino Martens

Zanfirico vase

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $21,250