A pair of rare vintage mid century brushed brass and glass photo frames by renowned Italian silversmith, Lino Sabattini.
This is a very rare pair of photo frames indeed and are believed to date from the earlier part of Sabattini’s design career. Although renowned as a silversmith he learned his key metalsmithing techniques whilst working for a designer of brass tableware in Italy; early Sabattini artefacts were therefore created in brass, as his favoured material, and either bright polished or brushed. He continued to use brass throughout his career and often plated the brass with silver to create many of his more recognisable designs.
He later served as an apprentice to German artist and ceramist Roland Hettner before moving to Milan in his early 30s. Hettner taught him about creating fluidity in his work and also how shapes derive from the behaviour of materials. This informed all of his later designs and is particularly evident in these frames that use a simple box section to encapsulate the glass panels.
During his time in Italy Sabattini worked with many Italian designers including Gio Ponti and also worked as the artistic director for Charles Christofle, the silver maker to French royalty, in Paris before starting his own company 'Argenteria Sabattini' in the 1960s. Here he created beautiful and elegantly simple shapes that were either made in pure silver or silver plated for the larger retail market.
These frames have the 'Sabattini', ‘Made in Italy’ stamps on the base (although the imprints themselves are quite worn from years of use and polishing). They remain in very good vintage condition for their age with just a few marks here and there as you would expect. Each piece has a double pane of chamfered glass which allows a photo or picture to slide into it. The pictures are essentially ‘sandwiched’ between the glass sections which in turn are held in place by the modernist brass frame. There are no chips in the glass and no major scratches, and all the brass work has consistently even brush marks throughout with the base being bright polished with light scratches to the bases.
As with all his work it’s a simple but very clever piece of design that works well in many settings – they would also be ideal as a special gift for a loved one.
Note that the MC Escher prints show in the frames are for illustrative purposes only and are not supplied with the frames.
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Mid century Italian brushed brass and glass photo frames by Lino Sabattini
20th Century, Modernist, Cubist
Date of production
Brass and Glass
Brass frame sections: W6 x H6 x D6cm
Overall, with glass plates: W24 x D6 x H6 cm
Number of pieces included in price
2 complete frames - includes glass and brass frames
Very good vintage condition
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