How to recognize Murano glass?

How to recognize Murano glass

Do you know how to recognize murano glass? How to understand when we are dealing with authentic Murano glass? Are there systems that protect against purchasing non-original products?

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small item like a vase or a large chandelier. In all cases, Murano glass products represent true works of art with special characteristics. Unfortunately, due to unfair competition, many buyers believe that they are bringing home a valuable item when in fact it is common glass manufactured industrially and at low cost in China.

The aspect that stands out glass vases, decorations, bottles, gems and other items made of murano glass, there is certainly a price. After all, such a valuable and exclusive material cannot be cheap. However, there are ways to identify original Murano glass. But let’s start with history….

History of Murano Glass

The history of Murano glass

Glass production in the Venetian lagoon probably dates back to Roman and Byzantine times. It was in Venice itself that the first factories were located. But in 1291, the Doge of the Republic of Venice ordered the foundries to be moved to the nearby island of Murano to avoid the development of possible fires. At that time, all buildings in the city were built mainly of wood. And yes the laboratories of master glassmakers were concentrated along the famous Rio dei Vetrai.

Murano Glass History Blog

To understand the importance of glassmaking in Venice, just consider that master glassmakers also enjoyed a certain prestige in society. They were entered in the golden book of Venetian patrician families. Their daughters could marry, without any problem, descendants of families of noble origin. This too Thanks to the glass masters from Murano, we owe the creation of crystal in 1450. Refined and valuable quality glass, which, being synonymous with elegance, has become very sought after at courts.

Murano Glass Discover Its History

Refined products from Murano were known all over the world, and in the 16th century, during the decline of Serenissima, they were eagerly ordered by the courts of the Baroque nobility. Lattimi was particularly appreciated. Milky white glass, which, due to its color, harmonized perfectly with the contemporary style furniture.

How to recognize Murano glass

How to recognize Murano glass – the most important facts

To avoid various scams, there are certain precautions and assessments. Therefore, to recognize Murano glass, you need to pay attention to the price and watch out for cheap trinkets on the stalls. Secondly, each piece of this glass is unique, unparalleled, because it is rigorously handcrafted. Each original item is marked with fire. If it turns out to be too small for such importance, it has a non-generic certificate of origin, with the name and address of the craft production workshop. Murano glass may have bubbles inside.

Each Murano glass product is made by hand, not mass-produced or industrially. Therefore, it will be very important to pay attention to every little detail and compare the product with other similar ones to spot small differences. It should be noted that some manufacturing techniques require the use of molds, but the final result is always a handmade finish, which, however, differs from other similar ones, especially in color.

The specificity of Murano glass depends on the decoration

The specificity of Murano glass also depends largely on the decoration: gold leaf, silver, platinum, alexandrite, aventurine, etc. These are materials that have a high cost and therefore must be used using special techniques. When an item is offered at a very low price, it is certain that it was not produced by the master glassmakers of Murano. In most cases, it is actually imitation jewelry, souvenirs and items with fake decorations that try to imitate the originals.

Original Murano

Experts will also be able to identify in the original objects the central point from which Murano glass was blown. When the surfaces are homogeneous and perfectly smooth, it means that the production is industrial in nature.

The original is made entirely of glass and has no inserts of metal, silver, wood or other materials. You should also be careful with hand-painted items. In Murano glass products, the color is obtained from the colored glass melted inside. The authentic product features the classic “Vetro Artistico® Murano” logo. The manufacturer’s code is also indicated. The latter, established by Law 70/94 by the Veneto Region, is the official guarantee of the originality of the item. It certifies its production on the island of Murano. It protects the consumer, respects and values ​​thousand-year-old tradition.

However, sometimes it happens that for purely aesthetic reasons, a craftsman deliberately omits to sign a work. This is especially the case with glasses, carafes, mirrors or chandeliers. In such cases, it is possible that the article is still accompanied by the manufacturer’s certificate. A good rule of thumb in all cases is to ask about the master: this will allow you to compare the item with others made by the same craftsman to verify the technique and style. Murano glass glossaries and catalogs also provide a reliable reference for recognizing the characteristics of different artists.

Murano Glass How It is Made
How to recognize Murano glass?

Main techniques of producing Murano glass

Creating artistic objects from Murano glass, which has now become a registered trademark, is very complex and can use a variety of production techniques such as:

  • aventurine – consisting of winding copper wires into a glassy mass;
  • filigree – a hot decorative technique using rods containing smooth milky glass or colored glass threads;
  • lattimo – opaque glass worked with tin and lead lime, created in 1500 to imitate the white of oriental porcelain;
  • crystal – the most valuable, transparent and discolored version, characterized by the purity of the materials used.

Murano glass blowing

The most frequently used technique for making objects from Murano glass is blowing. The glass, made of silica powder, is heated to a temperature of 1,600 degrees. In this liquid form, before it turns into a solid, it is extremely plastic and the craftsman shapes it by blowing into a glass pipe at the end of which there is a mass of glass. From the initial ball obtained from a heated and shaped glass rod, the craftsman manages to forge his own works using various tools, whether scissors, tongs or a simple work surface. Murano glass is a work of art, whether it is as small as a ring or as large as vase or chandelier.

Where to Buy Original Murano Glass

The most famous Italian manufactures

A quantitative and qualitative study conducted in 2020 shows that There are approximately 150 companies engaged in primary and secondary processing of artistic glass in Murano Murano, employing almost 800 people. The island’s extensive glass production ranges from objects to sculptures. From lighting articles to engraved, decorated and beveled glass. From mirrors to lamp glass and pearls.

The Glass Museum, located in Palazzo Giustiniani in Venice, is interesting. It presents examples of glass objects from ancient Egypt to the present day. We learn that Murano glass was produced in large quantities in the 1950s and 1960s for export.

Some of Murano’s historic glass factories are famous brands including Venini, Salviati, Barovier & Toso, Pauly & C., Ferro Murano, Seguso and many others. Among them, the oldest glass factory still operating today is Antica Vetreria Fratelli Toso, founded in 1854.