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Houston - United States


Marius Sabino, an italian born glass artist who moved to France in his early years, started his company in the 1920s. At this time he realized the enormous potential of the new techniques which made it possible to create the perfect molds for a unique translucent material. By pouring this material into the molds, he created beautiful relief in very precise and exciting designs. The glass of the chandelier was no longer part of the design-it was the principal component. His chandeliers, which were often monumental in size, were made to compliment the architecture of the day.

Poster of Sabino's company

Poster of Sabino's company

Sabino art glass has been made in France since approximately 1920 up until now from the designs of Marius Sabino. In 1925, Sabino created an opalescent type of glass, also known as golden glass, which looked very similar to the art glass of Lalique. This blueish opalescent glass is often characterized by sculptural qualities that came from Sabino's earlier training. For his vases and plates he used natural themes, often with animals (particulaly aquatic creatures), along with friezes of women and some geometric designs. These art wares won prizes at numerous major international exhibitions between the two world wars and were retailed in Paris and exported to the United States.

Sabino's early opalescent glass had a higher arsenic content than most of his competitors, but his glass formula is reported to have changed after World War II to reduce this component. The earlier glass is said to feel and look different with a softer and "soapy" feel. In the 1930s Sabino moved production to his factory in Noisy-le-Sec. Other colors were added to the company's opalescent products, like yellow, purple (mauve) and a smoky type of color.

After World War II M. E. Sabino transferred operations to his nephew and adopted son Gripoix-Sabino. The elder Sabino died in 1961, by which time the company was again producing opalescent glass using the same moulds that he had designed. No new post WWII designs were created. All their output was exported to the USA. In 1978 Gripoix-Sabino sold the entire Sabino operation (moulds, factory, designs, rights and glass formulae) to the company's American agent Richard Choucroun and his "Sabino Crystal Company". This company has continued to produce Sabino Art Glass in France using the same moulds, the same factory, and the same processes, exporting all their output to the USA, and distributing it world-wide.


Early Sabino glass was marked "Sabino France" if intended for export, or "Sabino Paris" if intended for sale within France. Larger pieces still carry the "Sabino Paris" signature, which was etched onto the base of the pieces. Smaller pieces are marked "Sabino France" moulded into the side of the item. "Verart" and "Vernox" were two other trade marks used by Sabino during the 1930's. They were developed to compete in the cheaper market for opalescent glass that had been opened up by companies like Holophane (trademark "Verlys").


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Sabino art glass