Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION


A rare 'Primavera' pigeon, 1929-1930
Primavera glass with black pasta vitrea and clear glass decorations
executed by Vetreria Artistica Barovier, Murano, Italy
12 5/8 in. high (31.5 cm.)
Private collection, Italy;
Galleria Marina Barovier, Venice;
Acquired from the above, circa 1993.
Other examples illustrated:
La XVII Biennale di Venezia 1930, exhibition catalogue, Venice, 1930, p. 191;
U. Nebbia, 'La XVIIa Biennale di Venezia', Emporium, no. 430, October 1930, p. 239 for a period image of the model at the XVII Venice Biennale, 1930;
'Animali di Vetro', Domus, no. 169, January 1942, p. 38, for a period image of the model at the XVII Venice Biennale, 1930;
A. Gasparetto, Vetri di Murano 1860-1960, exh. cat., Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Verona, 1960, pl. XIXa, no. 7;
Vetri Murano Oggi, exh. cat., Centro Cultura di Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 1981, p. 104, fig. 410 for a period image of the model at the XVII Venice Biennale, 1930;
Vetri Murano Oggi, exh. cat., Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 1981, p. 104, fig. 410 for a period image of the model at the XVII Venice Biennale, 1930;
R. B. Mentasti, A. Dorigato, A. Gasparetto, T. Toninato, Mille Anni di Arte del Vetro a Venezia, exh. cat., Palazzo Ducale and Museo Correr, Venice, 1982, p. 257, no. 508;
R. Barovier Mentasti, Il vetro veneziano, Milan, 1982, p. 264, fig. 267;
Mostra del Vetro Italiano 1920-1940, exh. cat., Palazzo Nervi, Turin, 1984, p. 102;
A. Dorigato, Murano Glass Museum, Venice, 1986, p. 72;
A. Dorigato, Ercole Barovier 1889-1974, vetraio muranese, exh. cat., Museo Correr, Venice, 1989, p. 27 for a period image of the model at the XXVI Venice Biennale, 1952, p. 45, no. 16;
M. Barovier, A. Dorigato, L'Arte dei Barovier, vetrai di Murano 1866-1972, exh. cat., Fondazione Scientifica Querini Stampalia, Venice, 1993, p. 112, no. 85;
A. Barovier, R. Barovier Mentasti, A. Dorigato, Il Vetro di Murano alle Biennali 1895-1972, Milan, 1995, p. 29, 68, for period images of the model at the XVII and XXVI Venice Biennale, 1930 and 1952, p. 121;
M. Barovier, A. Dorigato, Il Bestiario di Murano, Sculture in vetro dal 1928 al 1965, exh. cat., Palazzo Ducale, Venice, 1996, p. 25;
M. Barovier, Venetian Art Glass, An American Collection, 1840-1970, Stuttgart, 2004, p. 30 for a period image of the model at the XXVI Venice Biennale, 1952.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Brought to you by

Jeremy Morrison
Jeremy Morrison

Lot Essay

Ercole Barovier hailed from one of Murano's oldest and most successful glassmaking families. Though a student of medicine, he and his brother Nicolo joined the family business in 1920, which at the time traded under the name Vetreria Artistica Barovier. A dynamic proprietor, Ercole's true genius lay in his designs, as reflected in his major success with murrine vessels, achieved shortly after joining the firm, and soon thereafter with the introduction of his Primavera series of 1929-1930. The collection, presented at the 1930 IV Monza Triennale, featured compotes, vases, and vessels. The icon of the collection however was the regal figure of a pigeon, proudly standing with its puffed chest at the centre of the installation, immediately becoming the most famed piece from the series, deemed worthy of a full page illustration in the catalogue (illustrated).

Primavera glass was quite literally the accidental result of one of Ercole's experiments, mixing various chemicals, and with its discovery came a new and revolutionary quality of glass, reminiscent of a cobweb in colourless glass decorated with a white crackled netting, matched with highly contrasting dark amethyst glass, commonly used at the time to mimic the colour black. The collection enjoyed immediate international success but, due to the scarcity of the available mixture, only a very limited number of pieces were produced. The secret to the chemical compound was never discovered, and to this day the technique has been impossible to replicate faithfully.

Including the present lot, only six examples of Primavera ‘Piccione’ are known today; two are currently held in private collections, one example is held in the collection of Barovier, Murano, a further example is in the permanent collection of the Fondazione Chiara e Francesco Carraro, Venice and a fifth example is in the collection of The Steinberg Foundation, New York.

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