The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, June 23, 2018

William Ansley Contemporary Art Glass Collection to be Auctioned
Harvey Littleton early loop, circa 1971, estimate $1,500-$2,500. Photo: Dan Ripley.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- An advanced but intentionally low-key collector, the late William D. “Bill” Ansley amassed a select private collection of contemporary art glass over a 40-year period, and in so doing, created a panoramic three-dimensional history of Murano production. To the amazement of his fellow collectors, Ansley accomplished this feat almost entirely from his home base of Topeka, Kansas, said Dan Ripley, whose Antique Helper Galleries will auction the collection in its entirety in a single-consignor sale on Dec. 19, 2009.

“In cataloging the collection, I got the feeling that Mr. Ansley probably bought most of the glass in the Midwest,” said Ripley. “There are pieces in his collection that we’ve identified in catalogs from early-1990s auctions in St. Louis…Dealers knew what he was looking for, and he would have been the first phone call when a special piece of glass became available.”

More than 500 glass designs will be offered in 300+ lots on auction day, with an extensive bonus selection of art glass reference books, many of them quite rare. An additional uncataloged selection of glass will be available to onsite bidders only.

In the historical portion of the sale there are several examples of 19th-century and circa-1920 glass, but the vast majority of the collection’s inventory consists of mid-century Murano with a progression into the American studio glass movement from the 1970s onward. Among the earliest Murano pieces in the collection is a 10-inch footed vase by Salviati, executed in primary colors with a light dusting of gold leaf. “Salviati’s works are relatively unknown in the market, and there’s very little documentation of it. They’re very Victorian yet simple in their technique,” said Ripley. “This period was not Mr. Ansley’s main focus, but he wanted an example from it in his collection. This reflects a trend we’ve noted lately in which experienced 20th-century glass buyers are moving toward antique glass rather than buying more-recently-produced glass.”

The collection includes a few Fratelli Toso 6-inch cabinet vases, which are popular with collectors at the moment, and more-modern interpretations such as the 6-inch Fontana Arte green glass vase that represents the original concept for fazzoletto vases. Made of “slumped” glass, which is not blown, but rather, dropped into a mold to create free forms, the rare Fontana Arte vase is the precursor to Fulvio Bianconi’s Venini designs and even retains its paper label.

A great discovery within the collection is the extremely rare Vittorio Zecchin amethyst and amber glass sculpture produced at the MVM Cappellin glassworks. A modernist plant form known as pianta grassa, it is “not unlike what Tiffany was doing earlier,” according to Ripley. “It had been mislabeled in the collection as ‘Scandinavian glass 1970,’ but I was able to identify it with a direct attribution to Cappellin in the book Murano ’900 by Franco Deboni.”

There was little production of Murano art glass during World War II, so the Ansley collection’s timeframe takes a skip forward from the 1930s – with its Barovier clamshell vases and Pasta Vitrea Rossa elephant sculpture, among many other designs – into the optimistic 1950s. Highlights from that decade include Bianconi fazzoletti, a Bianconi for Venini pezzato (patchwork) vase, and Barovier and Toso patchwork vases.

Another star lot in the sale is the Alfredo Barbini iridescent amethyst Aquarium Aragosta with three suspended lobsters. “It is the only one I’ve ever seen,” said Ripley. “There are others known that feature a jellyfish, crab, seahorse or mermaid, but this one with a lobster is possibly unique.”

Other 1950s Murano pieces to be auctioned include all five of the Pulcini sculptural-bird series by Alessandro Pianon for Vistosi; several works by Archimede Seguso, including a Losanghe vase; and designs by Gino Cenedese, Giulio Radi and Giorgio Ferro.

Ansley’s collection is a virtual showcase of interesting and unusual Murano creations from all styles and periods. “Mr. Ansley continued to buy pieces that displayed complex artistic techniques well into the 1990s,” Ripley said. “What I find so interesting is that he was able to find so much of it locally. Murano was exported to the United States and sold in department stores. Yet he didn’t seem to buy in multiples – there was a studied variety to his collection. It was probably through his self-education in buying and reading about Murano that he progressed into the American studio market.”

The Ansley collection features early designs by Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino, founders of the American studio glass movement; as well as Richard Marquis, Stephen Powell and Steve Tobin. The auction will also present pieces by Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, and Art Nouveau-inspired glass treasures by David Lotton, Orient & Flume and Lundberg Studios. Worthy of special note are a vase from John Lewis’ Moon series and a book-example Yoichi Ohira Pasta Vitrea vase [provenance Barry Friedman Ltd. exhibition] depicted in the reference Yoichi Ohira: A Phenomenon in Glass.

Without question, the premier lot within the American studio section of the sale is the 39-inch-tall Occhi vase made in 1999 by Dante Marioni. Composed of occhi murrine [colored-glass “eyes”] encased in orange and yellow layers, the design revisits a technique originally employed by Tobia Scarpa for Venini. “We have a book showing the process that went into making these vases in 1999,” said Ripley. “There could not have been many of them produced. The one in our auction might even be the one shown in the book in the process of being manufactured.”

The Saturday, Dec. 19 auction is being geared toward a wide range of buyers, Ripley stressed, “with reasonable estimates that demonstrate the collection is legitimately for sale.” The live auction will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern Time at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper auction gallery, 2764 E. 55th Place, Indianapolis, IN 46220. The printed color catalog will be available one week prior to the auction for $15 + postage; the electronic version of the catalog may be viewed in its entirety online at . Bidding will also be available by phone, absentee or live via the Internet.

William Ansley
A respected and beloved member of his community in Topeka, Kan., William Dawson “Bill” Ansley was a Christian Science practitioner and teacher until his death on May 1, 2009. A modest man with a legion of friends in the antiques sector, Ansley left an indelible mark on his hometown not only through his profession but also his dedicated work on behalf of the Mulvane Art Museum.

Ansley, who served as president of the Board of Friends of the Mulvane in 2006 and 2007, launched an antique show in 2000 to benefit the museum. Over the next seven years, the annual event was organized by the Mulvane Women’s Board, a subsidiary of the Board of Friends of the Mulvane. This year’s edition of the show, which took place on June 12-14, reflected its new name: the 2009 Topeka Antique Show & Sale.

Vicki Cunningham, who knew Bill Ansley for 40 years, serves as executrix of his Estate. Like many others in Bill’s vast circle of friends, she admired his studious approach to collecting and remembers him as “a scholar who felt each piece had its own merit.” Cunningham lived only three doors away from Bill and his wife Jean [who died in 2004], and said each new acquisition invariably resulted in an enthusiastic phone call and an invitation to “come down and see what I bought.”

The Ansley home was plentifully adorned with art glass. “The upstairs and entire living quarters were all about his collection,” Cunningham said. He also maintained an extensive reference library of more than 200 books about glass. “Some of them would be quite valuable to glass collectors,” Cunningham said. “Some of the titles have been out of print for many years.” All of the books will be offered at the Dec. 19 auction.

Antique Helper Galleries | William Ansley | Contemporary Art Glass Collection | Dan Ripley |

Last Week News

December 2, 2009

New Medieval and Renaissance Galleries Open at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Art Basel Miami Beach Galleries and Organizers Expect Collectors

A Child's Portrait, Looted During the War, is Returned to Its Owner

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Awards the Frick Collection a $1 Million Grant

Two Newly-Discovered Still Lifes by Adriaen Coorte Soar Above Estimate

Sotheby's Week of Russian Art Sales Totals $31.9 Million

Large-Scale Sculpture by David Altmejd Acquired by Dallas Museum of Art

"Synecdoche", Watershed Work by Byron Kim, Installed at the National Gallery of Art

Huntington Names Its First Curator of American Decorative Arts

Art Madrid Announces 5th Edition to Open in February 2010

Museu d'Art de Catalunya Celebrates 75th Anniversary with Exhibition

Hauser & Wirth to Present Works by Jakub Julian Ziolkowski at Art Basel Miami

Ukrainian Museum Claims It Owns a Portrait of a Venetian Doge by Titian

Pirate Exhibit in Norfolk Taps into Pirate Craze

Conner Contemporary Art Announces Leo Villareal Commissioned by Tampa Museum

Brilliant Prices Achieved at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Sale in Milan

"Wisdom of the Mountain: Art of the Omie" at the National Gallery of Victoria

Norman Rockwell Headlines December American Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture Sale

New York Academy of Art Names Peter Drake Dean of Academic Affairs

China Appeals to Rival Taiwan with Ancient Treasures

December 1, 2009

Max Ernst Museum Presents 150 Works of Art by US Filmmaker David Lynch

Sotheby's London Sale Of Rediscovered Fabergé Totals $11.6 Million

Royal Society Launches New Interactive Timeline "Trailblazing"

Baltic Center for Contemporary Art Announces Partnership with Sky Arts

Miami Art Museum Names John Wetenhall Interim Director

Sotheby's Sale to Feature Rare Group Of Medieval Gargoyles

Display Celebrates Anniversary of Jane Bown's Relationship with 'The Observer'

Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver Introduces New Brand

Anish Kapoor to Make Rare Appearance to Sign Copies of New Monograph

Andrew Wyeth Painting on View for Limited Time at the Dayton Art Institute

Ellen Harvey's Solo Project "The Room of Sublime Wallpaper" to be Shown at NADA

Life According to Wilhelm Sasnal at the CAC Málaga in Spain

Paris Evolution Sale: from Dinosaurs to Space Diapers

From Russia with Love: Bonhams Attracts 1.9 Million for Russian Art Sale

Freeman's Announces Books, Manuscript, Maps, Prints & Posters Auction

Clothes Show Live Announces Shortlisted Entries

Attendance Boom at the New Ars Electronica Center

Classical Paintings Shine at Christie's in Hong Kong

Duke of Northumberland Buys Back Ancestral Plate in 1 Million Meissen Sale

Bonhams to Make Its Impression on the Recovering Art Market

November 30, 2009

Russian Art Week Sales Expected to Reach $81 Million for Auction Houses in London

Rhode Island Museums Consider Relocating Sarcophagus

Tomoo Gokita, the Clayton Brothers and Erik Parker Join STAGES for Miami Show

Van Ham to Auction Numerous Works by Established Photographers

First Major Survey of the Work of American Artist Zoe Leonard at MUMOK

Walk-In Sculpture, Tekrar Level Four, by David M. Abir, at PULSE Miami

Bozar Presents an Extensive Multidisciplinary Mexico Festival

"A" is for Aivazovsky as Bonhams Russian Sale Boasts a Cyrillic Who's Who

Solo Exhibition for Navid Nuur at Kunsthalle Fridericianum

Elms Lesters Painting Rooms to Show New Prints by Jose Parla

Group Exhibition at Siemens Sanat Shows Melancholy of Compassion

Free Bob Dylan Photograph to be Offered with "A Complete Unknown" Book

Durban Segnini Gallery Presents Works by Venezuelan Artist Milton Becerra

Biennial of Young European Creation Completes First Stage at Montrouge

Chazen Museum of Art Announces Contemporary Mechanical Sculpture Exhibition

National Museum of Cultures in Mexico Receives Donation from Cyprus

Red Dot Art Fair to Run Concurrent to Art Basel Miami Beach

Next Art4Barter to Open December 4 at Ven and Vaida Gallery

New Date for CIRCA Puerto Rico '10 & Cooperation with Art Beijing'

Some One Hundred French and International Galleries Invited to ArtParis + Guests

November 29, 2009

Kunsthalle Dusseldorf Eats the Universe with Exhibition of Art Made with and Involving Food

One of the Greatest of All Illuminated Manuscripts to be Exhibited at the Morgan

Museum Rethinks its Collection and Presents the Museum of the 21st-Century

Major Picasso Exhibition Featuring Unique Paintings at Heather James Fine Art

Iconic Ansel Adams Print Going Up for Auction at Swann Auction Galleries

Canadian Photographer Edward Burtynsky Presents "Oil" at Huis Marseille

Ei Arakawa Invites Artists for Exhibition at Kunsthalle Zurich

Bonhams New York Presents First Coins and Banknotes Sale

Michael Lee-Chin Crystal Cited as Architectural Marvel

Catch Only West Coast Presentation of Luc Tuymans at SFMOMA

Dual Exhibitions by Acclaimed Polish Artists to Open at Modern Art Oxford

Koudelka's Legendary Photographs of the Prague Invasion to be Shown in Miami

Raffles College of Design Fashion Grads Compete for Akira Internship

Hannah Maybank Opens Third Solo Exhibition at Gimpel Fils

December UBS 12 x 12 at Chicago's MCA Presents Carrie Schneider

London-Based Pakistani Artist Brings Unique Artworks to Dubai

Yuriko Lochan Creates a New "Self" Portrait in Her Solo Exhibition at Alliance Francaise

Kessling Vs. Kessling 2009 at the Modern Artists Gallery

Exhibition at Cantor Arts Center will Celebrates Donors' Vision and Generosity

Chichen Itza Gets Greener

November 28, 2009

Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery Shows Exhibition by Influential Designer Verner Panton

Sotheby's to Sell, "Elephant" (Purple), a Unique Work by Jeff Koons

Pinacotheque de Paris to Show Edvard Munch or the "Anti-Scream"

Posters Everywhere: Product Advertising through the Medium of the Poster

Bologna's International Art Fair, Arte Fiera Art First, Announced

Sale of Masterworks from Band Estate Carries Heffel Auction to $20.8-Million Sale

Lenin Statue Vandalized by Ukrainian Nationalists in Kiev

Serpentine to Celebrate 40th Anniversary with Richard Hamilton Exhibition

Frans Hals Museum to Show Exhibition of the First Woman to Become Masterpainter

800 Unpublished Drawings from the Venetian 19th-Century to Go on View

Stadel Museum Examines Works by Frankfurt Artist Who Died at Age 23

Sotheby's Swiss Art Sale Highlights Works by Giacometti, Hodler and Vallotton

ArtSway Announces Exhibition of New Work by Dave Lewis

First Full-Scope Solo Exhibition of William E. Jones in Europe Announced

Green Art Gallery in Dubai to Open Nazif Topcuoglu Exhibition

Fotomuseum Winterthur Opens Exhibition of Photographs by Graciela Iturbide

Group Show of Color Photographs Opens at Michael Hoppen Gallery

Exhibition to Inaugurate New de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space

Michael Landy: The New National Gallery Associate Artist

Prague Museum Depicts Country's Communist Past

November 27, 2009

Frantisek Kupka Exhibition at Fundación Miró Explores His Influence on Abstract Art

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Re-Hangs its Collection

New Permanent Galleries and Display Spaces at the National Gallery of Australia

Metropolitan Museum Exhibitions Create $593 Million Economic Impact for NY

Sotheby's to Sell the Pierre Leroy Collection of Modern & Contemporary Art

Kirsty Young to Chair Judging Panel for 100,000 Art Fund Prize

Nineteen New Paintings by Damien Hirst on View at White Cube

John Zinsser Presents Second Solo Show at James Graham & Sons

Winner of Award for Scottish Artists to be Announced at the Fleming Collection

First Permanent Artwork for London Underground Since 1984

Photographer Michel Demanche Wins Holgapalooza National Competition

Government of Greece to Restore Birthplace of Classical Theater

Mohsen Makhmalbaf Wins 2009 Freedom to Create Prize

IVAM Presents the Exhibition "Bernardi Roig: Must Shadows Dance"

Anglo-Saxon Gold Find Worth $5.5 Million

Landmark Photographic Exhibition, A Positive View, Announced

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman is Thankful that Art Works in his Hometown of St. Louis, Missouri

6th Annual Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe Announced

V&A and Iran Heritage Foundation Announce the Creation of a New Post

First Book to Deal with Relationship Between Titanic Home Port of Liverpool Published

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful