Baldwin Kingrey Con Macchie Vase

Baldwin Kingrey storefront, 1952

This Fulvio Bianconi Con Macchie vase has an interesting and very specific provenance — it belonged to Kitty Baldwin Weese, a founding partner of Baldwin Kingrey, the groundbreaking shop and gallery for modern art and design which opened in Chicago in 1947. The following is reprinted from author John Brunetti’s book, Baldwin Kingrey, Midcentury Modern in Chicago, 1947­ – 1957, and describes the genesis of Baldwin Kingrey, the shop’s relationship to Venini glass, and includes a poignant description of the work of designer Fulvio Bianconi:

Today it is extremely unusual to discover a rare Bianconi Con Macchie vase with such a direct and illustrious provenance. Perhaps the most graphic and abstract of all Bianconi’s Macchie vases, this piece is truly a masterwork of 20th century art and design.

During the summer of 1947 a retail furniture store called Baldwin Kingrey opened in Chicago. Its low-cost, space-saving modern furniture from Scandinavian and American designers was urgently needed by ex-GI’s and their families as they faced housing shortages. The store’s founders — architect Harry Weese, his wife Kitty Baldwin, and their partner Jody Kingrey sold out their first shipment of furniture before Baldwin Kingrey had officially opened, affirming their instincts about the value of good design at affordable prices. However, even they couldn’t foresee the art and design nexus Baldwin Kingrey would become, elevating it beyond a simple commercial enterprise. From 1947 to 1957 it was an informal gathering place and exhibition space for leading architects, designers, and artists of the time, such as Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, György Kepes, James Prestini, and Arthur Siegel. The contributions of these individuals defined good design in the second half of the 20th century.

Fulvio Bianconi 1915–1996

Born in Padua in 1915, Fulvio Bianconi initially rose to prominence as an illustrator, graphic designer and caricaturist working for Italy’s top companies during the 1930s. Designing for big names like Fiat, Pathé and Pirelli, Bianconi employed his passion for drawing as the creative mind behind one of Italy’s most prestigious publishing houses, Garzanti for over 30 years. However, it is perhaps his post-war collaboration with Paolo Venini and experimentation with glass which best defines his legacy as an artist.

Auction Results Fulvio Bianconi

FULVIO BIANCONI, Con Macchie vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Con Macchie vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $197,000

FULVIO BIANCONI, rare and important Sirena vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

rare and important Sirena vase
estimate: $40,000–60,000
result: $155,000

FULVIO BIANCONI, Important Con Macchie vase, model 4324 | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Important Con Macchie vase, model 4324
estimate: $90,000–120,000
result: $149,000

FULVIO BIANCONI, Sirena vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Sirena vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $125,000

FULVIO BIANCONI, Marghuerite vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Marghuerite vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $112,500

FULVIO BIANCONI, Con Macchie vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Con Macchie vase
estimate: $50,000–70,000
result: $108,750

FULVIO BIANCONI, Important con Macchie vase, model 4427 | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Important con Macchie vase, model 4427
estimate: $90,000–120,000
result: $102,400

FULVIO BIANCONI, Con Macchie vase, model 4325 | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Con Macchie vase, model 4325
estimate: $50,000–70,000
result: $96,200

FULVIO BIANCONI, Con Macchia vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Con Macchia vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $68,500

FULVIO BIANCONI, Marghuerite vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Marghuerite vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $65,000

FULVIO BIANCONI, A Rete vase, model 4232 | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

A Rete vase, model 4232
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $52,500

FULVIO BIANCONI, Monumental Fasce Orizzontale vase, model 1522 | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Monumental Fasce Orizzontale vase, model 1522
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $46,250

FULVIO BIANCONI, rare Fasce Verticale vase, model 4404 | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

rare Fasce Verticale vase, model 4404
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $46,080

FULVIO BIANCONI, Con Macchia vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Con Macchia vase
estimate: $40,000–60,000
result: $43,750

FULVIO BIANCONI, Bikini vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Bikini vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $42,500

FULVIO BIANCONI, Teatrino vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Teatrino vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $42,500

FULVIO BIANCONI, Rare Pezzato vase, model 3541 | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Rare Pezzato vase, model 3541
estimate: $25,000–35,000
result: $41,600

FULVIO BIANCONI, Fasce Verticale bottle, model 4404 | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Fasce Verticale bottle, model 4404
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $39,000

FULVIO BIANCONI, Bikini vase, model 4333 | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Bikini vase, model 4333
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $39,000

FULVIO BIANCONI, Commedia dell'Arte figures, pair | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Commedia dell'Arte figures, pair
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $37,500

FULVIO BIANCONI, Monumental Fasce Orizzontali vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Monumental Fasce Orizzontali vase
estimate: $12,000–15,000
result: $35,000

FULVIO BIANCONI, Rare Pezzato Americano vase, model 3541 | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Rare Pezzato Americano vase, model 3541
estimate: $25,000–35,000
result: $32,500

FULVIO BIANCONI, rare Cappello del Mago vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

rare Cappello del Mago vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $32,500

FULVIO BIANCONI, Con Macchie vase | Wright20.com

Fulvio Bianconi

Con Macchie vase
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $32,400