My office is located right in the thick of things in the upper east side design district and I have the good fortune to be constantly stimulated by some of the most fabulous furnishings to be found. One of my most favorite haunts is Cosulich Antiques, run by Franco and Fabienne Cosulich. They specialize in Italian Mid-Twentieth Century glass furniture and lighting. The pieces are simply gorgeous.
Although quite familiar with Murano glass lighting fixtures and their exceptional beauty,..as I am sure you all are… I was totally uninformed about vintage Italian glass furniture from the 1940′s through the 1980′s, which is what Cosulich specializes in. Every week I go past the store there is another dezignlicious cabinet created with a beautiful glass facade, unlike anything I have ever seen before sparkling in the window…one more stunning than the last.
The furniture varies from bars to night tables to small credenza’s to extra large cabinets, all unique and one of a kind. Some were private commissions for large private homes in Italy and some were actually produced for the high end furniture market of that era. They all are extremely artistic and original in appearance and just perfect for today’s contemporary interiors.
Actually you might remember that I wrote a blog about one absolutely exquisite piece I had purchased for a young couple that are clients of mine, which was their first foray into buying Twentieth Century antique furniture. (see post.) The opportunity that I see here is owning something totally unique from the past, with great design and craftsmanship, that no one else will have in their home.
The furniture is generally totally encased in opaline and Murano glass pieces and always has a unique decorative design to them. Frequently, the pieces actually incorporate real silver or gold leaf in the glass as you see in quality Murano fixtures or they are constructed in very colorful and playful glass designs. Pieces will occasionally have bronze metal detailing and unique hardware created specially for them.
Cosulich calls these pieces “Great Italian Design” and I am inclined to agree with them. Adorned with rounded corners, designs going vertically, horizontally, diagonally and unusual legs and other detailing, one really can’t expect something finer when it comes to Italian furniture manufacturing of this period. Plus, the execution of work is always excellent and the pieces are always in excellent condition.
Some of the glass used on this furniture is often irreplaceable, as it is no longer manufactured in Murano. However, Cosulich has connections in Italy with glass producers to replace pieces that might have gotten broken over the passage of time. Occasionally, either Fabienne or Franco will suggest that some minor damage be accepted as integral to the furniture and it’s age, something we do with all antiques. That “small badge of wear and tear and history” is what makes an antique have that indelible character you appreciate when you own it.
AND in case you want a FABULOUS glass floor lamp…or any other great glass chandelier…I suggest you look up at the ceiling and around the floor of the shop where you are bound to find just the perfect one to go with your glass furniture!
So, hopefully, you are as in love as I am with all this scrumptious glass furniture, and hopefully, I have opened your eyes to yet another little niche in Italian furniture from the Twentieth Century.
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!