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Sabino Opalescent Manta Ray Vase
This is a classic Sabino opalescent vase. The pattern is referred to as "Manta Raie". The vase is surrounded by an overlaid pattern of manta ray fish, giving the vase a truly art deco feel. The opalescence of this vase is uniquely Sabino with tinges of blue and of course gold when back lit.
Dimensions: Approximately 21 cm (8 ¼ in) tall.
Signature: "Sabino, Made in France" sticker and Sabino Paris" script on base.
Condition: Excellent. No chips, cracks, or repairs.
A Note About the Manufacturer:
Marius Sabino was born in Sicily in 1878, and with his family moved to France while he was still a young boy. His father, a sculptor of wood, trained him to follow in his steps. He would go on to study at L'École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs and the Beaux Arts de Paris, where he became particularly interested in the challenges that the advent of electricity would have on glass manufacture. It was through electric lights that Sabino came to the production of glass. In fact, on his return from the first World War where he had joined as a volunteer, he founded a factory which manufactured traditional light fittings and then quickly changed to glass.
He realized the enormous potential of new techniques which made it possible to create perfect molds for a unique translucent material. By pouring this material into the molds, he created beautiful relief in very precise and exciting designs. The glass of the chandelier was no longer part of the design, it was the principal component. His chandeliers, which were often monumental in size, were made to compliment the architecture of the day.
In 1925, Sabino created an opalescent glass with a blue hue and iridescent impressions of either clouds in a blue sky, light striking a soap bubble or a reflection from water surface. Apart from the chandeliers, he created a multitude of vases and decorative objects, making great use of his expertise as a sculptor. In particular, busts and statues of women, and an exceptionally large range of animals with stylized features-sometimes in extraordinary large sizes. For example, in 1931 he created a large fish in a limited edition, two of which were bought by Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier.
For his vases and plates he used natural themes, often with animals (particularly aquatic creatures) along with friezes of women and some geometric designs. Using the same motifs, he made many different pieces which could be used alternatively as paperweights, book ends, plates, and even lamp shades when mounted on a stand. In 1936, he was commissioned to produce all the electric lights fittings and chandeliers for the shah of Persia.
During these years, he also exhibited at all the major Salons. For the 1937 Exposition Universelle, he designed an illuminated column. A Maharaja had even asked him to make a throne of glass, but the outbreak of the Second World War prevented the completion of that commission.
Early Sabino glass was marked "Sabino France" if intended for export, or "Sabino Paris" if intended for sale within France. "Verart" and "Vernox" were two other trademarks used by Sabino during the 1930's. They were developed to compete in the cheaper market for opalescent glass that had been opened up by companies like Holophane (trademark "Verlys").
After World War II M. E. Sabino transferred operations to his nephew and adopted son Gripoix-Sabino. The elder Sabino died in 1961, by which time the company was again producing opalescent glass using the same molds that he had designed. No new post WWII designs were created. All their output was exported to the USA. In 1978 Gripoix-Sabino sold the entire operation to the company's American agent Richard Choucroun and his "Sabino Crystal Company". This company has continued to produce Sabino Art Glass in France using the same molds, the same factory, and the same processes, exporting all their output to the USA, and distributing it world-wide.
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