Paolo Venini Murrine a Damo vase, estimate £15,000-25,000 at Sworders.

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Using relatively simple forms, Venini experimented with numerous combinations of tightly packed micro-murrines. The first of these series, a Damo (chequered, or chessboard) was designed in 1953. The inspiration for this 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.

A 8in (20cm) ovoid form Murrine a Damo glass vase, c.1953, decorated with turquoise and ruby murine, is for sale as part of the Design sale at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchet on October 31. It is estimated at £15,000-25,000.

Venini met Fulvio Bianconi (1915-96) in the spring of 1946. They struck a deal unusual for the time: Bianconi was a freelancer and at liberty to work for other glass companies and himself. However, at least during the 1950s he was the best and most prolific artist at Venini’s firm.

The various elements of the Pezzato series are considered classics of the genre – and a broad selection is included in the Quittenbaum sale of Murano Glass in Munich on October 10.


Fulvio Bianconi for Venini Scozzese vase, estimate €30,000-35,000 at Quittenbaum.

A particularly rare beast is a Scozzese vase, c.1954-57, made using a complex and colourful arrangement of glass canes to imitate Scottish tartan. Very few of these are known, although several were included in Bianconi’s exhibition at the Galleria Danese in Milan in 1958, the year before Venini’s untimely death.

The 11in (28cm) four-sided vase worked with ribbons of green, blue, red, yellow and opaque white glass is estimated at €30,000-35,000.

As always with modern design, the later reissues of collecting classics are more affordable.


Fulvio Bianconi for Venini Pezzato vase, 1996, estimate €1000 at Hermann Historica.

Also pictured here is an 8in (90cm) Pezzato vase to a 1951 Bianconi design made at Venini in 1996. It is estimated at €1000 in the Hermann Historica auction in Munich on October 10.