This very rare figure by Guido Balsamo Stella (c. 1930 for S.A.I.A.R. Ferro Toso) is made with iridescent pink soffiati glass. Mostly known for designing etched vases, he also created a series of soffiati glass animals which were presented in the 1930 Triennale in Monza. The animals were so popular there that one of the figures was selected as the symbol for the exhibition itself.
This unusual figure has animal-like, cartoonish features and appears to be wearing a cloak with a rope belt and hood like a monk's robe. The figure has striking similarities to a Balsamo Stella figure in the Galleria Marina Barovier in Murano labeled "Tricheco" (Walrus - see picture). Note in the Walrus picture the general form, how it sits and the execution of the blown glass head, ears, nose and flippers. Also included is a picture of his Gazelle using the same iridescent pink soffiati glass, as well as excerpts from Marina Barovier Mentasti's book referencing Balsamo Stella's work with this series.
Regarding this piece, possibly Balsamo Stella was making a visual joke as this figure looks like a monkey wearing a monk's robe.
The production run for these figures was relatively brief and the firm merged with Barovier and Co. in 1936.
The piece is in excellent condition.
17cm. H., 8cm D.
Rare Murano Figure by Guido Balsamo Stella for S.A.I.A.R. Ferro Toso and C. , 1930
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