Vaso a ventaglio (fan-shaped vase) in incalmo glass with twisted-filigree (zanfirico) glass at the top
Of the many works Fulvio Bianconi designed on commission, a curious fan-shaped vase of typically 19th century taste merits particular mention. Notable for the considerable skill demanded of the Venini glassmakers for its execution, this series was presented at the 1947 Milan Triennale. At the time, Paolo Venini was critical of the lapse in style in Murano glass comparing it to items made as souvenirs for tourists.
This ironic, irreverent opinion was not shared by Ettore Sottsass, however, an architect thirty years old at the time appointed to preparing the Handicraft Section at the Triennale. In his autobiography Scritto di Notte, he described the Section dedicated to Murano glass as a series of thick vertical pillars bearing horizontal wooden floors lined with silver foil so as not to alter the colours of the glass. Sottsass countered Venini’s position as follows: “I was content. Also the glassmakers were content, except perhaps Mr. Venini, who wanted to display large and emphatic Nineteenth century barrels of white and black opaque glass that I said I had no intention of showing.”