Robb Design Portfolio: Venetian Find

<< Back to Robb Report, March 2007
  • Steve Guttenberg

However striking a fazioli piano (www.fazioli.com) may appear, the instrument’s truly distinguishing component is the red spruce soundboard that lies under the strings. The company—which conservatory-trained pianist and mechanical engineer Paolo Fazioli founded in 1981 in Sacile, Italy, near Venice—sources the wood from the Val di Fiemme in the Italian Alps. Antonio Stradivari once harvested the wood for his violins from the same forest. According to Fazioli, the spruce enables his pianos to produce a resonance that is “an elegant, singing sound, remembering the bel canto, with a big dynamic range.”

A Chinese entrepreneur commissioned the Marco Polo piano shown here, a custom model from Fazioli’s Art Case Collection that cost more than $200,000. (The prices of production models range from $80,000 to $160,000.) The image on the inside surface of the lid is a reproduction of Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, which Venetian artist Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697–1768) painted in 1732. The instrument’s name references the historic connection between Venice, the home of Marco Polo, who journeyed to and traded in China, and the piano owner’s homeland.

From Around the Web...
The lamp Nakashima designed in 1978 for Edmund Bennett of Bethesda, Md., incorporates a natural root base and an architecturally inspired shade
Prices for pieces by George Nakashima are receiving fresh polish thanks to some serious collectors…
Hervé Van der Straeten’s Pipe Show
Hervé Van der Straeten’s vivid Pipe Show is a conversation piece that takes about 2 months to make…
San Francisco’s Berggruen Gallery
The newly designed space south of Market holds Berggruen Gallery’s Matisses, Picassos, and more…
Christie’s Beverly Hills flagship
The opening exhibition features works from Picasso, Monet, Bacon, Twombly, Basquiat, and others…
Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Photo by SNAP/REX/Shutterstock
Julien’s opens its 2017 auctions with Patrick Swayze mementos that are sure to be a crowd pleaser…
1973 Andy Warhol silkscreen from the artist’s Mao series
Warhol’s silkscreen depicting the Chinese communist leader hits the auction block on April 2…
Stanley Bard part-owner and manager of Manhattan’s legendary Chelsea Hotel
The art collection of legendary Chelsea Hotel manager Stanley Bard will hit the auction block…
Rothko’s No. 1, painted in 1949 as the first in a series of 12
No. 1 and Transom will hit the block as two of 50-plus lots at a Christie’s London sale in New York…
Heartfelt correspondence and stunning jewels are among many remarkable items set to cross the block...
The Beatles, Bob Marley, and Barbra Streisand all hit the auction block in this landmark sale…