Saturday, August 24, 2013

The object of the day: The Fazzoletto vase by Fulvio Bianconi

Venini Fazzoletto vase, designed by Fulvio Bianconi, Est: $2500 - $3500
The Fazzoletto, or handkerchief, vase was designed by Paolo Venini and Fulvio Bianconi in c. 1948. It has since become an icon of Muranese design and has been widely copied, notably by Chance in UK.

The distinctive shape of the Fazzoletto, which resembles an inverted draped handkerchief, has been produced in innumerable patterns, shapes, and sizes. Many of the variations continue the handkerchief theme with patterns of spots or stripes. From around 1950 it became a feature on sideboards and coffee tables throughout Italy and farther afield.

Large, well-decorated and signed Venini examples can fetch many times the value of plain examples. However, copies by other factories are worth very little. Examples with applied bases will generally be worth much less than those made in one piece, like this one.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Beswick figurines

Beswick Pottery began as a manufacturer of  tablewares in Staffordshire, England, in 1894. It produced its first animal figurines around 1900 and by 1930 they had bacome a major part in the factory’s output. In 1969, Beswick was sold to Royal Doulton but various pottery items, including figurines, continued to be sold under the name ‘Beswick’. In 1989, production of Beswick and Doulton animals merged under the Royal Doulton mark. The name ‘Beswick’ was used again from 1999 until the factory closed in 2002. 

Budgerigars are popular pets and models are keenly collected. Rare pieces may fetch the price £800 - 1,200

Friday, August 9, 2013

Antique paperweights

The small glass paperweight holding down your papers could be worth a large sum of money. Complex designs produced in France during the mid-19th century are generally worth the most, but more recent designs by british – and particularly Scottish – makers can sell for hundreds of pounds.
The first paperweight were made in 1843 on the Venetian island of Murano. Many featured patterns made of tiny sections of glass canes known as millefiori (Italian for ‘thousand flowers’), a decorative technique that epitomises paperweight design. Italian paperweight can be worth great sums. One of the most notable makers, Pietro Bigaglia, signed many of his weights with a ‘signature cane’ containing a ‘PB’ monogram, making them easier to identify. Large and complex examples of his work can be worth over £5,000.
The ‘golden age’ of the paperweight, from late 1845 until the mid-1850s, was inspired by French designers.They created elaborate millefiori designs and introdced weights containing lampworked flowers or fruit. Paperweights from this period are often the most valuable, especially those by one of the three major French factories: Baccarat (est.1764), Clichy (1837-1885) and St Louis (est. 1767). Some weights include ‘signature cane’ – Baccarat used the letter ‘B’ and Clichy used a ‘C’ or a trademark cane called the ‘Clichy rose’. if a weight is not marked, and many are not, the maker can still be identified from the shape, colours or patterns used.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What are pottery and porcelain?

What is pottery?

Pottery includes anything made from baked clay and may be made from a number of different materials. Earthenwares and stonewares can be covered in many different glazes.

  •     An earthenware body may e red-brown, buff, white or grey 
  •   The tin glaze chips easily.
  •    Stoneware can be thinly potted. 
  •    Stoneware is fired at higher temperature and does not need a glaze to make it watertight.
  •   The fired body can be dark grey, red, white or sand-coloured.

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