Inaugural Bonhams Prize for the Venice Glass Week goes to Barbini Specchi Veneziani

The first winner of the Bonhams Prize for The Venice Glass Week is Barbini Specchi Veneziani workshop, for its project Materia Eterea – Ethereal Matter.

The €1,000 prize aims to inspire original and high-quality projects in the field of artistic glass. It was awarded during the Venice Glass Week, now in its third year, which celebrates the tradition of glassmaking, through more than 180 events at 150 venues around Venice, Murano and Mestre. The 2019 Festival ran from 7-15 September.

The winning project of the Bonhams Prize for The Venice Glass Week, Materia Eterea, curated by Barbini Specchi Veneziani and Babau Bureau, presented 14 works created by Barbini Specchi Veneziani in collaboration with ten glass masters - Giacomo Barbini, Lucio Bubacco, Stefano Bullo, Simone Cenedese, Pietro and Riccardo Ferro, Dario Frare, Martino Signoretto, Giorgio Spezzamonte, Cesare Toffolo and Marco Toso Borella - and four designers - Bethan Laura Wood, Martino Gamper, Lucia Massari and Sara Forte.

Special Commendations were also given to two projects deemed to be particularly interesting and emblematic of the spirit of the festival: Isolani by Róisín de Buitléar, and Autonoma.

Sponsor of the prize, Bonhams International Head of Modern Decorative Art and Design, Dan Tolson, commented, "The judges were hugely impressed with the quality of the work. These exceptional pieces displayed both traditional and innovative approaches to glass, and we were all struck by the ethos behind the project: its entrepreneurial vision, ambition – and inspiring spirit of openness and collaboration."


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