Inspired by Carlo Scarpa’s use of murrine glass in the 1930s and 1940s, Paolo Venini designed a number of vessels in the 1950s that have become icons of post-war design. Using sober, minimal forms Venini experimented with numerous combinations of tightly packed micro-murrines and used them to achieve an overall visual effect not unlike finely woven fabrics or the intricate patterns found on birds, insects and sea life.
The first of these series, a Dame (checkered, or chessboard) was designed in 1953. The inspiration for this particular pattern may come from a group of samples made in the 1880s by Vincenzo Moretti, which were on display at the Venice Biennale of 1934. This particular vase is composed of lattimo (milk white) and turquoise murrines in the a Dame pattern and the shape corresponds to model 3910, which was first designed by Carlo Scarpa in the 1930s.
Due to the high cost and difficulty of their production, a Dame pieces were made in very limited numbers, and authentic examples are extremely rare today.