Unique and Important Mosaico Vase

This unique Mosaico vase by Artisti Barovier is a well-known example of the finest and most complex work executed on Murano during the period just after the First World War (c. 1920). 

By this time, Giuseppe and Benvenuto Barovier had mastered the use of blown murrine and were moving away from traditional compositions in favor of a more lively pictorial style related to both modernist geometric abstraction and the primitive tile mosaics of Roman and Byzantine art. Many of these pieces were executed by Giuseppe who, working after hours at the Barovier furnaces, was able to indulge his imagination and exercise his unparalleled technical virtuosity. 

A small but well-known group of these vases were designed by Teodoro Wolf-Ferrari and Vittorio Zecchin, young Venetian artists influenced by the work of Secessionist painter Gustav Klimt. A number of other pieces from this period reveal the same artistic influences and were, perhaps, designed by Zecchin, but exact authorship is unknown. 

The present lot is among these works—signed with an “AB” murrina, it presents a landscape with three palm trees, birds and flowers in vibrant colors. It is one of the great examples of the visually dynamic Mosaico style which would culminate in the highly expressionist work of Ercole and Niccolo Barovier later in the 1920s. 

Over the past thirty years this vase has resided in two important collections of Murano glass and is presented at auction for the first time since 1998. As with all the Barovier Mosaico pieces of this period, it is rightly considered a masterpiece.