“In seven centuries of history we have seen fashions come and go.Some minimalist, others more baroque, but all equally busy chasing the time that passes, in a desperate search for the “new”.In Venice, however, time flows slowly.There’s no hurry, just the time and space needed to refine an art.So, we decided to take our time, to do something unique and original.Something that can last forever.Something that goes beyond the ephemeral charm of a season. It takes strength to shape glass from sand and fire.It takes patience to arrive at the perfect shape without compromise and it takes heart, a lot of heart, to bring a legendary tradition of luxury lighting up till today, in a perfect balance between past, present and future.But once again we can afford the luxury of time.And maybe you too.”
Light Beyond Time
Barovier & Toso is the sixth oldest family business in the world, which is still in business. It has existed since the first quarter of the millennium, back in 1295! Can you imagine? And, I don’t mean to boast about it, but it’s Italian!
A bit of history
The origins of the family are from Treviso. First in Castelfranco Veneto, then in Murano. Summarize the history of Barovier’s family is really complicated, centuries and centuries of history. They are a real dynasty of glassmakers, they began as simply “glass blowers” (they made bottles) and now they are a reference in the world of lighting, furniture and luxury design.
I suggest you go and read the history of the Barovier family,it’s very interesting. However, we do not want to focus on the Barovier family, but on the “Barovier & Toso”. We’ve seen a little of Barovier,
S.A.I.A.R. Ferro Toso, an Italian joint-stock company, founded in 1895, famous for the first glass works with a “modern” taste, of which we are aware. Vases of murrine, blown glass, up to tinned glass lamps. Over the years, SAIAR Ferro-Toso has collected awards for the majesty of its projects.
So, around 1936, Barovier and S.A.I.A.R Ferro-Tosi decided to “merge” their roads, creating the “Ferro-Toso-Barovier”, which became a few years later the Barovier-Toso&C. Two companies, a single project dedicated to lighting and art objects.
4 Secular Values
For a company that has been constantly renewing itself for centuries, the values that made all this possible cannot be missing; in fact, we can find what determined the success and magnificence of Barovier & Toso in:
which apparently only Murano has managed to preserve. In the common imagination we are used to seeing Venice as a dream city, with a still image for a perfect postcard, and without a doubt it is, but for the master craftsmen it is also a treasure chest of their secrets, untouched over the centuries, which it still preserves the techniques and secrets of the trade today. As with plants, there are many that grow thanks to the good soil and good farmers, likewise for the Murano glass; what makes it special, in addition to the work of craftsmen, is Murano itself.
We have talked about secrets before, and Barovier & Toso has inherited many of them, handed down over the past 700 years. This is precisely one of the strengths, to maintain sweat and hard work for twenty generations, accompanied by the constant search for meaning and the desire to create something new that lasts more than a lifetime.
Passion and Alchemy
It was Ercole Barovier, artistic director of the glassworks for almost the entire 20th century, who said:
“THERE ARE TWO MAIN CREATORS OF AN ART GLASS: THE ARTIST AND THE MASTER GLASSMAKER. WHILE SOMETIMES THEY MAY SEEM VERY SIMILAR, IN THE WORLD OF GLASS THE REALITY IS DIFFERENT, BECAUSE GLASS ART IS A PURE TECHNIQUE THAT SUPPORTS, INTERPRETS AND ENHANCES A UNIQUE AND FREE ARTISTIC VISION”
And it is only with this passion and this love that the glass masters, for centuries and even today, manage to have the dedication and patience to work for hours in the furnace at more than 1200 degrees and to blow on those grains of sand, making them glass and then extraordinary works of art.
Here we can only speak of excellence, not only for the awards that both families collected over the years, but above all for the nobility and the high aesthetic value expressed in their masterpieces, an element that we also find in the company’s logo that looks like a noble coat of arms.
It was history, but what about it?
Obviously it is literally impossible to talk about all the works, projects, objects that Barovier & Toso has produced in seven centuries of history, all elements that have become part of the Italian artistic and cultural heritage but also and above all worldwide, precisely because of the numerous collaborations in public art initiatives in which Barovier & Toso has taken part. What has undoubtedly remained constant and visually tangible is the exaltation of luxury, which although changing in shape and time, Barovier & Toso has always enhanced their creations with light, beauty and elegance. Let’s see what this is all about.
Barovier & Toso, boasts 182 masterpieces, which I invite you to look directly in the collection section of their website, and that we can subdivide into categories:
They are the result of the right combination between the tradition of Venetian chandeliers, rich in decorations and colours, and the simple and elegant lines of the classic style. Unique in style and spectacular sources of emotion.
Think a little, this chandelier was born in 1980 to illuminate, nothing less than the residence of the Saudi king, in Taif, the city from which it takes its name. Directly commissioned by the King from a French studio that turned to Barovier & Toso. Following the production of Taif, it was Angelo who found himself struggling to combine the purely French request with the Venetian style, and as reported directly on the company’s website ” it required an initial cleaning, bringing the Murano glass to its most essential presence, and then elevating it again in an original style”. Taif is still the icon of Barovier & Toso, a key element in opening up new formal and material perspectives, a symbol of the search for timeless perfection. Taif is available with 6, 9, 12 or 18 lights, with the addition of the wall version with 2 or 5 lights. The metal parts are chrome-plated and gold-coloured in the gold version.
A real explosion of glass, in the most diverse working techniques studied and handed down by Barovier & Toso, in a play of colours and volumes in perfect balance and symmetry, thanks to the presence of arms. Chrome-plated structure, LED lighting.
Designed for more contemporary environments, they give a unique and special touch to any room, a whole new interpretation of suspension lamps.
What looks like a very common pendant lamp, contains many flowers handmade and arranged in a base of white metal. All the flowers are made of transparent glass, except one, which recalls the colour of the lampshade and can be placed anywhere. The lights on the flowers are 1.5watt LEDs, while the others inside the shade are simple LEDs.
Unusual projects at first glance, but extraordinary for this reason. Shades, chrome-plated steel and ribbed glass. Linear or square suspensions suitable for any environment.
Forget the classic ceiling lights, and get used to a real waterfall of light. Furniture, design and luxury in a single combination.
Imagine lotus leaves floating in the air, illuminated by LEDs that underline the shapes.
Real blown glass bubbles, an explosion of colour, enclosed in chrome-plated steel frames.
Calling them lamps is reductive; they seem more like jewels that express the personality of those who have chosen them, together with the elegance and magic of light.
With its linear shape and basic colours, the jewel element is precisely the gold leaf that contrasts the black and white of the light. It is a versatile lamp, both for walls and for floors and tables.
Goodbye to the classic wall lamp, forget its small size and let your imagination run wild. 5 quadrangular elements entirely handmade, with 4 decorative grids attached in metal with different textures. Thanks to the large dimensions, 85 cm per side, it looks like a luminous wall.
Keyword: soft light, a key element to create a real warm and welcoming refuge in every room.
Remember the vase painted by Veronese? This is the reinterpretation in a modern and elegant key. Metal parts in steel, wooden bases and crystal reflector. In one word? Breathtaking!
Homage to Ercole Barovier’s innovative idea of the 1940s. Entirely made with the rostrate technique to create an effect of “luminous crystal” thanks to the small but powerful lights
Fascinating and elegant light points of character. The right combination of class, style and design.
Barovier & Toso Palace
A real museum of time, where we can all afford the luxury of stopping and admiring a world of light.
Fondamenta Manin 1/D
Murano, Venezia, Italy
Lun- Sab 10:00 – 18:00
Salone del mobile 2019, Barovier & Toso
Eh yes, that’s right!
You will also find Barovier & Toso this year during the Salone del Mobile week (9-14 April 2019).
I tell you where to go:
Stand D19, Pavilion 9 of Euroluce (Fiera Milano Rho) from 9.30 to 18.30
Showroom in via Durini 5 on 14/04 from 10.00 to 16.00
I won’t advance you anything, see you there!