Ettore Sottsass, Jr. - Design London Thursday, October 17, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Grassi collection, Milan
    Private collection, Milan

  • Catalogue Essay

    Phillips wishes to thank Alessandro Grassi from the Vetrate Artistiche Grassi for his assistance cataloguing the present lot.

    A Collage of Glass

    The present glass panel designed by the architect Ettore Sottsass, Jr. was executed in the early 1960s in the Milanese workshop of the Vetrate Artistiche Grassi. Drawing inspiration from the elaborate coloured glass windows of the French cathedral of Chartres, Alessandro Grassi established the workshop in the late-nineteenth century. Under the direction of Alessandro, then later his son Florindo and his grandson Alessandro, the Grassi workshop produced high-quality and refined glass compositions, collaborating with some of the greatest artists and designers of the twentieth century, including Sottsass, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, and Arnaldo Pomodoro, among others. During the 1960s, a decade of great artistic innovation in Italy, Sottsass, who experimented across many mediums, expressed the desire to create a stained glass window, both myself and my father Lindo supported his vision to introduce the technique of collage in glassmaking as illustrated by the present work. Based on the architect’s drawings, the piece was manufactured alongside it. Partially painted fired glass pieces were superimposed to glass paste pieces to obtain extraordinary chromatic and perspectival effects. In addition to personally painting the glass, Sottsass designed the collage’s simple wood frame.

    Alessandro Grassi


Unique collage

early 1960s
Coloured glass, textured glass, painted wood.
178 x 78.3 x 50.6 cm (70 1/8 x 30 7/8 x 19 7/8 in.) including frame
Produced by Vetrate Artistiche Grassi, Milan.

£18,000 - 24,000 

Sold for £22,500

Contact Specialist
Antonia King
Interim Head of Sale
+44 20 7901 7944


London Auction 17 October 2019