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Carlo Scarpa Vase, Bought For $4, Sells For A Whopping $107K

A vase bought for $4 at Goodwill turned out to belong to Carlo Scarpa and sold for $107,000 at a New York auction.

In June, Jessica Vincent was in her usual thrifting routine when she bought an interesting-looking vase at a Goodwill store in Hanover County, Virginia. For Vincent, the allure was certainly the beautiful swirls of sea foam green and burgundy that adorned the bottle. But she soon found out that the vase was actually the work of Italian architect Carla Scarpa. Scarpa produced the work as part of the “Pennellate” series in the 1940s. The series involved creating complex objects using glassblowing; a series of such items were displayed during the Venice Biennale in 1942.

Carlo Scarpa

Due to their complexity, glass vases produced by Carlo Scarpa are rare and sought-after. Jessia Vincent consulted Sara Blumberg and Jim Oliveira, who are experts in the works of Scarpa. After physical examination, they confirmed that the vase was indeed produced by the Venetian artist. Other glassworks from the ‘Pennellate’ series have sold between $30,000 and $200,000 in the past. Based on this as well as the condition of the vase, the experts suggested an estimate of $30k to $50k.

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However, when the glass vase actually hit the auction block at Wright Auctions on December 13, it surprised everyone. Held in New York, the vase fetched a hammer price of $85,000. Including the auction house fees, the final price stood at $107,100. Jessica Vincent, the owner of the vase, admitted feeling surreal at the incident.