An outstanding private collection of glass art from the 20th century is offered at Bruun Rasmussen's international auction in Copenhagen 26 September. The owner is the Danish doctor Torben Sørensen who has spent a lifetime gathering a plethora of works from Italy, Finland and Sweden.
This September, we celebrate the art of glass here at Bruun Rasmussen. At the autumn auction in Copenhagen we present a private collection of about 1,000 works of glass art. This has resulted in 350 lots, distributed across a traditional auction and a subsequent online auction. The estimates run from DKK 2,000 up to DKK 150,000.
"In Denmark, such a collection is truly one of a kind, and it ranges from rare and precious collectibles to more commonplace decorative items. It is the result of one person's relentless pursuit of the next perfect piece for more than four decades," says Peter Kjelgaard, head of the Modern design department at Bruun Rasmussen.
The man behind the collection is the Danish doctor Torben Sørensen who, for many, has come to be known as "Doctor Glass". He is a true collector whose knowledge on the subject is endless, and he understands the techniques of making glass, has visited the glassworks and been a permanent fixture at auctions, fairs and exhibitions all over Europe.
Rare Glass Under the Hammer
The international auction's highlights originates from Italy, Finland and Sweden. In the period 1920-1960, three countries, in particular, contributed to the innovations within glass art. From the middle of the 20th century, the purpose of glass moved from the purely functional to become a medium of art. Glass objects began to take on new shapes and colours inspired by the art of time. This time of transition abounds with creativity in the history of glass art, which is clearly demonstrated by the collection here.
"Some of the highlights from the auction is probably the closest we come to seeing nominally functional objects being treated as a canvas for a piece of abstract modern art," says Peter Kjelgaard.
The auction is divided into three sections that reflect the special characteristics of these three countries. The glass art from Venice represents something special with its wealth of colours and diverse forms. In line with Nordic design traditions, Scandinavia's glass art is not surprisingly simpler and less colourful. The focus here is on clear glass, which brings to mind the Scandinavian climate with snow and ice. Several rare glass works from the auction originate from these different areas, such as a “Pezzato Arlecchinio” vase by Fulvio Bianconi, a Tyra Lundgren fish and a “Winter” vase by Vicke Lindstrand.
"Among the absolute highlights of the collection are four pieces of glass designed and made with the fine Merletto caneworking technique by the master of Murano glass, Archimede Seguso. It is very rare to find four of these works at one and the same auction," says Peter Kjelgaard.
Preview and Auction
Auction: Wednesday 26 September at 5 pm at Bredgade 33, Copenhagen
Preview: 13-17 September at the same address
Watch our modern design expert, Peter Kjelgaard, present the glass collection:
Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first traditional auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.
In 2004, the first online auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, England, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are put up for auction each year at the traditional auctions and daily online auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.