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Sandolo "Fórcola" by Saverio Pastor



The fórcola is a Venetian oar-lock, traditionally used since the medieval era as the all-important fulcrum for the oars that are used to propel, steer, and stop the famous gondolas of Venice. There are many different types of fórcola, each one of a highly-evolved, specialized design for a particular type of vessel and purpose, all of them enigmatic and beautiful (and perhaps not entirely inadvertent) sculptures. This is a "velàda"-type fórcola, used at the stern position of a sandolo (a Venetian vessel lighter and smaller than an gondola); the slightly smaller one I am offering (see image 6 for the two fórcole standing side-by-side), also a "velàda"-type, is used at the bow of a gondola. Maestro Saverio Pastor is one of the very few remaining master remèri -- the elite Venetian artisans who, after long apprenticeships, are sanctioned as Maestri to hand-carve these elaborate fórcole out of solid, aged Italian walnut (along with their companion oars), taking many months to finish each one. The variety of contours on a fórcola serve the gondolier's different needs in controlling the movement of his vessel with just a single oar, and must be carved by hand to an exacting standard of form. Given the large variety of different types of fórcole that a remèr must be able to hand-make with precision, their knowledge and skill is remarkable. The curiously abstract, organic beauty of the actually quite technologically-sophisticated fórcola has long fascinated aesthetes, attracting people who do not earn their living piloting gondolas. Fórcole can be found in great private art collections, as well as in the Museum of Modern Art. Saverio Pastor has made fórcole for such celebrated clients as Mick Jagger, architects Frank Gehry and I.M. Pei, and architectural photographer Julius Shulman (it was many years ago at breakfast with Mr. Shulman at his home that I first saw Saverio Pastor's gorgeous work). Nothing says "citizen of the world" quite so emphatically as a fórcola on display in one's home or office. This fórcola is signed and numbered by Saverio Pastor, and mounted on a walnut display base (from which it is easily removed, if needed for use on any gondolas one happens to have nearby). Literature: Pastor, Saverio. Fórcole. Cierre Edizioni, Verona.


  • Creator
    Saverio Pastor (Artist)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 29 in. (73.66 cm)Width: 7 in. (17.78 cm)Depth: 9.8 in. (24.9 cm)
  • Style
    Organic Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU809115816711

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    US$175 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 3-5 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Los Angeles, CA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
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Located in Los Angeles, CA
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