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Sunday March 29, 2020 | by Farah Rose Smith

Chicago auction house Wright moves ahead with April 2nd auction "Important Italian Glass" with online-only sale of rarely available Murano glass works

Amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, museums, galleries, and auction houses have temporarily closed their doors to the public, and many exhibitions have been postponed for weeks until the lifting of a government-ordered shut down to stem the spread of the pandemic. But Chicago based Wright (and its New York/New Jersey-partner Rago, with which it merged business operations in 2019) will proceed with its much anticipated April 2nd auction of "Important Italian Glass," with individual estimates up to half a million dollars and rarely seen works by Carlo Scarpa, Nicolò Barovier, Tomaso Buzzi, and Ercole Barovier, among the more than 100 works available for sale.

Ercole Barovier, Medusa vase, c. 1938. Iridized glass with applied details. H 16, D 14¼ in. courtesy: wright20.com
Richard Wright, CEO of the combined Rago/Wright operation acknowledges the difficult moment, but remains hopeful that the auction will run smoothly and offer collectors an opportunity to bid on rarely-available Murano glass works. In an email exchange with the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet, Wright explained that moving the auction to virtual-only, was actually not a major adjustment. "Ninety-five percent of our bidding has occurred remotely for a while now," Wright said. "We have invested in developing technology for both the online presentation of our auctions as well as to provide remote bidding convenience to our clients."
Carlo Scarpa, Owl, model 4757, c. 1930. iridized glass with gold leaf and applied pasta vitrea details H 8, W 4, D 4 1/2 in. courtesy: wright20.com
Wright remains cautiously optimistic about the upcoming sale on Thursday, April 2, 2020, which starts at 12 PM Central Time. "Italian Glass is a specialty market and should perform fairly well (of course, the current market conditions are especially challenging)," Wright explained. "Rago/Wright has invested heavily in our online presentation and bidding capabilities. Clients can also phone bid with our remote staff so we accommodate all forms of bidding (other than in-person)."

He further explained that though the online auction will be taking place in real time, all elements [of the sale] are produced remotely so everyone is safe during this time."

The April 2nd "Important Italian Glass" auction features more than 130 works created by Murano’s master glass blowers and designers.The auction features remarkably rare examples never before seen on the market and includes works by:

Artisti Barovier

Anna Akerdahl

Ercole and Nicolo Barovier

Napoleone Martinuzzi

Carlo Scarpa

Vittorio Zecchin

Fulvio Bianconi

Thomas Stearns

Rago/Wright is one of the industry's leading auction houses, and specializes in 20th century art and design. For more information, please visit their website. Previews are available by appointment by calling 312 563 0020, or emailing: sales@wright20.com

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.