The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of Paul LeBlanc, 2016.451.1–4
The company that made these bar tools, specialized in hand-wrought sterling silver designed by architects, including Italian emigres Lella and Massimo Vignelli. In 1971, the year the couple established Vignelli Associates in New York, Lella designed a carafe as part of a bar ensemble. Strongly architectonic, the set had contrasting textured and smooth surfaces.
The following year, the Vignellis designed these four bar tools to accompany the ensemble. Despite widely differing functions, the strainer, stirrer, tongs, and knife are all flat, rounded, and pierced forms—as graphic as the bold Helvetica typeface the Vignellis often used in their designs for signage.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Denis Farley.