Venice. The name connotes all things beautiful, delicious and decadent, so it’s no surprise that some of the most sought after glass in the world comes from one of the islands in the lagoon: Murano. It is also no secret that starting in the 16th century, another island, Burano, was the center of lacemaking in Europe.
So what happened when a Murano glassmaker patterned Burano lace onto his piece? A technique called merletto (lace in Italian) was born. Today, it’s one of the chicest patterns found in Venetian glass.
Archimede Seguso’s merletto pieces from the 1950s are particularly looked upon as some of the best and are today highly collectable. Do I have to explain? The examples here are as modern in 2012 as they were in the 1950s, likely because of their stunningly simple design. Their intricate merletto pattern is not an easy feat and each of the pieces featured today has something very special about them.
Don’t let the simple hour-glass figure of the red/orange vessel distract you. Upon closer inspection, you can see 2-colored glass threads in white and blood red decorate the vessel which depending on the light, will cast off a delightful red or orangish color. The second vessel is dynamically twisted at the base and is partially covered in intricate purple woven threads on a clear background. The last piece is divinely pure and elegant; its fine yet dense pattern mostly resembles the lace from Burano.
I love finding something marvelously beautiful and unexpected as merletto and I invite you to think of it next time you think of purchasing vintage glass. As you can see, placing a group of three together like these surely makes for a classy statement of taste.
image credits: Primavera Gallery, New York. The exemplary pieces above are from their inventory.
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