Robb Design Portfolio: Venetian Find

<< Back to Robb Report, March 2007

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.

When the air had cleared after the frenzy of New York’s spring art auctions, players and spectators...
This circa-1900 pink-swirl marble is in what Dan Morphy calls “wet mint condition,” or as pristine...
Photo by Bob Tursack
Maya Angelou’s art collection focused on works by African-American masters...
The display is part of a hotel-wide renovation that will be completed by the end of the year...
Heritage Auctions will also offer Mickey Mantle’s rookie card and Mike Ditka’s Super Bowl playbook…
Photo by Cordero Studios⁄corderostudios.com
Charles and Judy Tate assembled a world-class collection of Latin American art—and then gave it all...
Photo by The Strong, Rochester, N.Y.
The American game culture is almost as old as the country itself...
Photo by Michael Richter
Visitors trekked to Maastricht, the Netherlands, for the March opening day of the European Fine Art...
Photograph by Ron Pierson, courtesy of Guernsey's
The bounty from the sunken ship includes 40 tons of silver and gold valued at $450 million…
The 13 new portraits include images of Douglas Cramer, Judy Garland, and Ernesto Esposito…