Is Murano Glass Worth Collecting? Guide On Value And Buying.

Murano Art Glass In A Showroom In Venice, Italy

Is Murano Glass worth collecting? We say yes, without a doubt. Italian Murano Glass is special. It has unique and exquisite designs, which have attracted the attention of collectors and admirers for centuries. Its beauty and the intricate craftsmanship that goes into each piece set it apart from other artistic glassware. As such, Murano Glass is an art that is absolutely worth collecting.

To help you start collecting Murano glassware, we’ll tell you how to determine the value of a Murano Glass item, highlight the most various famous Murano Glass artists, and explain the modern trends in the art of Murano Glass. We will point you to galleries, museums, and collections featuring Murano Glass, and suggest the best places to purchase collector-quality Murano Glass art.

Collecting Is Understanding The Value

Collectible Murano Glass Goblet Sold By

Determining the value of a Murano Glass item can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider, such as the piece’s age, rarity, and condition. To determine the value of a Murano Glass item, it’s important to first understand whether it is authentic Italian Murano Glass or a counterfeit produced elsewhere. Once you know that the piece is original and genuine, you need to understand if it is vintage or modern, Vintage pieces command much higher values.

Then examine the piece closely for any flaws or damage. Additionally, the signature of the artist can greatly impact the value of the piece. Some of the most sought-after signatures in Murano Glass include Archimede Seguso, Carlo Scarpa, and Lino Tagliapietra.

Famous Murano Glass Artists

Murano Glass Master Creates A Chandelier In Venice, Italy

Archimede Seguso

Countless artists created Murano Glass masterpieces over the years, each using their own unique style and approach. One of the most well-known Murano Glass artists is Archimede Seguso. Archimede Seguso is a revered name among collectors and his pieces command prices of tens of thousands of dollars at art auctions worldwide. Born in Murano, Italy in 1909, he was the son of the famous glass master Antonio Seguso, and began his career in his father’s workshop at the age of 16. Over the course of his career,  Archimede Seguso created many intricate and innovative glass designs, which collectors and admirers of Murano glass around the world value especially highly.

Seguso’s work features exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. He was a true master of complex techniques such as filigrana and incalmo, which allowed him to create intricate patterns and designs within his glass pieces. He lived a long and productive life that encompassed most art trends of the 20th century. His designs reflect the evolution of the 20th century art and ranged from traditional, Venetian-inspired forms to more modern and abstract shapes. His experimentation with color and texture set him apart from many of his contemporaries.

Lino Tagliapetra

Another famous Italian Murano Glass artist is Lino Tagliapetra who was born in 1934. Tagliapetra is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in contemporary glass art. Born in Murano, Italy, Tagliapetra began his career as an apprentice at a glass factory at the age of 12, and went on to study at the Venini Glassworks. Over the course of his career, his innovative use of color and texture, and his ability to create stunning, one-of-a-kind glass pieces earned him accolades among specialists and amateur collectors alike.

Tagliapetra’s art glass features fluidity and elegance, and his use of complex techniques such as battuto and zanfirico sets him apart as a true maestro who is a virtuoso at his craft. His designs range from delicate and intricate sculptures to large-scale installations, and his work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. Today, Lino Tagliapetra is recognized as one of the most significant glass artists of his generation, and his legacy continues to inspire and influence artists 

Carlo Scapra

Other Murano Glass artists such as Carlo Scarpa have eventually become famous in other art forms too, in his case in architecture. Bringing his innovations in art glass into architectural creations, he became known for  designs that blended seamlessly with their surroundings. His work ranged from public buildings and museums to private residences and furniture, and his use of texture and color fused the best trends in various art forms. 

There are many other prominent Italian Murano Glass artists who shaped an ancient craft into a globally recognized art form, which is highly valued and admired by both collectors and the general public alike.

20th Century Evolution Of Murano Glass Art

Murano Art Glass Sculpture “Yin And Yang” By Adriano Dalla Valentina at

The 20th century saw many trends emerge in Murano glass art, reflecting the changing tastes and styles of the era. One of the most significant trends was the move towards more abstract and modern forms. Artists such as Carlo Scarpa, led this shift by experimenting with new techniques and materials. He thus created works that were sleek, minimalist, and highly sculptural. This approach was embraced by many other artists in the Murano community and helped to establish a new, more modern aesthetic in art glass.

Another trend that emerged in Murano glass art in the 20th century was the increased use of color. Artists such as Archimede Seguso and Lino Tagliapetra embraced vibrant and bold use of color, often incorporating complex patterns and designs into their works. This trend started thanks to the growing interest in abstract art and the use of color as a form of artistic expression. This focus on color and the boldness of artistic expression helped to establish Murano glass art as a highly dynamic and innovative field.

In addition to these trends, there was also a renewed interest in traditional techniques and forms during the later part of the 20th century. Many artists sought to preserve and revitalize the classic techniques of Murano glassmaking, such as battuto and zanfirico, and incorporate them into their contemporary works. Main proponents of this approach were Alfredo Barbini and Fulvio Bianconi, who created works that honored the rich history and heritage of Murano glass art while still pushing the boundaries of what was possible in the field.

Galleries, Museums, and Collections Featuring Murano Glass

Murano Glass Gallery on Murano Island In Venice, Italy

There are many galleries, museums, and collections around the world that feature stunning examples of Murano Glass. The Murano Glass Museum in Venice is one of the most well-known and the best as far as the breadth of its collection. It features an extensive collection of historical and contemporary Murano Glassworks.

The Corning Museum of Glass situated in New York state in the USA is another notable institution. It showcases a large and varied collection of glass art from around the world, including many pieces of Murano Glass. Corning Museum offers very interesting glassmaking demonstrations showing the use of various Murano Glass techniques in front of a live audience.

Murano Art Glass is also featured in many top art museums in the world, including The Louvre, The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Museo Correr in Venice, Palazzo Massimo in Rome, and many others. In addition to these museums, there are also many private collections around the world that house beautiful examples of vintage Murano Glass.

Best Places to Purchase Collector-Quality Murano Glass Art

If you’re interested in collecting Murano Glass, there are many places where you can purchase high-quality pieces. One option is to visit galleries and shops in Venice, where you can find works from some of the most well-known Murano Glass artists. Another option is to attend art auctions, in person or online, where you can bid on rare and unique pieces of vintage Murano Glass.

Outside of in-person store and auction house visits, the best option is to browse the vintage section of our website Here you can find a good selection of fine vintage Murano Glass pieces that we verify to be genuine and free of chips, cracks and defects. Marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy can also be potential places to find Murano art glass. However, you need to be careful shopping there and take the time to research the seller and ensure that the piece is authentic.

So, Why Is Murano Glass Worth Collecting?

Murano Glass is definitely worth collecting for those who appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into each piece. By following the results of past auctions, speaking with experts, and examining the pieces closely, you can determine the value of a Murano Glass item.

With its rich history, renowned artists, and stunning designs, Murano Glass has captured the hearts of collectors and admirers around the world. Whether you’re interested in the delicate designs of the early 20th century, the modern and abstract works of the mid-century, or the more traditional vintage designs, Murano Glass is definitely worth collecting.


Murano Glass From Italy: Its Value And History

Brief History Of Murano Glass

Murano glass from Italy has a long history and high value. Also known as Venetian glass, it is one of the world’s most beautiful and sought-after forms of glass art. Murano glass has a rich history that dates back to the 13th century. Amazingly, it continues to be produced in Murano, Italy, to this day. However, it was in the 16th and 17th centuries that Murano glass experienced a significant period of development and evolution. In this article, we will take a closer look at the special value of Murano glass and its history, with a specific focus on its development during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Murano glass has been around for more than 700 years. It has a rich history that is steeped in tradition and innovation. The glass-making industry in Murano began in the 13th century, and it quickly became a center for glass production in Europe. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the glass industry in Murano experienced a significant period of growth and innovation. During this time, Murano glassmakers developed new techniques and styles that are still used today.

Murano Glass enameled pitcher in Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

How Murano Glass Evolved

One of the most significant developments in Murano glass during the 16th and 17th centuries was the invention of Cristallo glass. Cristallo glass was a clear, colorless glass that was highly sought after by the wealthy and the aristocracy. The invention of Cristallo glass was a major breakthrough for Murano glassmakers. From that point, it quickly became the most important product produced in Murano. This translucent colorless glassware was highly valued for its purity, transparency, and brilliance. It was used to make a variety of decorative objects, such as chandeliers, mirrors, vases, and even window panes.

Another important development in Murano glass during the 16th and 17th centuries was the introduction of enamel decoration. Enamel decoration involved applying a layer of enamel to the surface of the glass and then firing it in a kiln to create a durable and colorful decoration. Enamel decoration was a popular technique in the Middle East. Like other foreign innovations, it was brought to Murano by Venetian traders. Murano glassmakers quickly adopted this technique and began producing colorful, enameled glassware. Glass with enamel decoration became popular among their rich customers and is still highly valued by collectors.

New Murano Techniques

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Murano glassmakers also developed techniques for creating complex and intricate glass objects. One of the most significant of these techniques was Filigrana. It involved creating a pattern of thin, twisted canes of glass that were then fused together in special ways to create a decorative object. Filigrana was a highly complex and time-consuming technique, but the results were stunning. Murano glassmakers also developed new techniques for creating millefiori glass. The method involved crafting special glass rods with a design inside, then cutting them up. The master carefully arranged the pieces in intricate patterns, then fused them together to create a decorative object.

Murano Glass Filigrana drinking glass in Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Famous Murano Masters Of The 16th-17th Centuries

One of the most famous Murano glass masters from this period was Jacopo Barovier (1488-1570). Jacopo was a member of the Barovier family, one of the most prominent glassmaking families in Murano. This master was known for his innovative techniques, particularly his use of deep enamel colors to create elaborate designs on glass objects. He also developed the “crystal” or Cristallo glass technique, which involved the use of clear glass to create delicate and transparent glass objects.

Another notable Murano glass master from this period was Angelo Barovier (1454-1491). He was the founder of the Barovier family’s successful glassmaking business. Angelo Barovier was known for his technical expertise and his ability to create large and complex glass objects, such as chandeliers and mirrors. He also developed the “zecchinato” technique. It was based on using 24-karat gold leaf to create rich patterns and designs on glass objects.

Other important Murano glass innovators from this period include Giovanni Seguso (1604-1670), who was known for his use of vibrant colors and his ability to create complex glass objects. Masters Domenico and Francesco Toso were known for their use of filigree techniques to create delicate and intricate patterns on the glass.

These glass masters, along with many others, helped to shape the development and evolution of Murano glass during the 16th and 17th centuries. Their innovative techniques and artistic vision continue to inspire modern glassmakers and collectors alike. Their legacy lives on in the stunning works of art that are still produced in Murano today.

Murano Glass Decline

The production of Murano glass has faced many challenges over the years. In the 17th century, the glassmakers of Murano faced competition from other glass producers in Europe, particularly in France and England. The capture of Venice by Napoleon was another blow to the Venetian glass industry. When Venice passed to Austria in the 19th century, its glassmaking secrets were no longer guarded. Many Venetian masters left the former Republic and settled elsewhere in Austria.

Eventually, a rival glass center flourished in Bohemia, which was favored by the Austrian emperor. This competition led to a decline in the production of Murano glass. and many glassmakers were forced to close their workshops. However, Murano glass was able to survive, thanks to the passion and dedication of the glassmakers who continued to produce high-quality glass objects.

Focus On Authentic Murano Glass

Another challenge that Murano glass has faced is the production of counterfeit and imitation Murano glass. Murano glass is highly valued and expensive. This has led many unscrupulous dealers to purchase cheap imitations that are sold to unsuspecting buyers. To combat this problem, the Murano Glass Consortium was established in 1985. The Consortium is responsible for certifying authentic Murano glass objects and promoting the Murano glass industry around the world.

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in Murano glass from Italy, particularly among collectors and interior designers. Murano glass is valued not only for its beauty but also for its historical significance and cultural importance. Murano glass objects can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any interior design. Moreover, they are often used in high-end hotels, restaurants, and private residences.

Why Murano Glass From Italy Is Highly Valued

Murano glass from Italy is known for its high quality, exquisite beauty, and intricate designs. Murano glass is still produced in Murano today, using many of the same techniques that were developed during the 16th and 17th centuries. This glass is highly valued by collectors thanks to its unique craftsmanship and history. It is sold in galleries and stores all over the world. Murano glass objects are often very expensive due to the time and skill required to create them using only the ancient methods and basic tools.

If you are interested in collecting Murano glass from Italy, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First, it is important to purchase from reputable dealers who specialize in Murano glass. This will ensure that you are buying authentic Murano glass and not a cheap imitation. Second, one needs to carefully examine the object before purchasing it to ensure that it is in good condition and that there are no chips, cracks, or other damage. Finally, Murano glass objects should be stored carefully. They need to be cleaned from dust and any grease periodically when on display.

In addition to collecting Murano glass objects, you can also visit Murano to learn more about the history and production of Murano glass. Murano is a small island in the Venetian Lagoon. It is easy to reach as it is located just a short boat ride from Venice on Vaporetto number 4.1 or 4.2. Murano is home to many glass factories and workshops, and you can watch as the glassmakers create their beautiful works of art. You can also visit the Glass Museum in Murano, which has a large collection of historical and contemporary Murano glass.

Purchasing Murano Glass Today

In conclusion, Murano glass from Italy has a rich history and a unique beauty that has captivated people for centuries. The 16th and 17th centuries were a particularly important period of development and evolution for Murano glass. The glassmakers back then developed new techniques and styles that are still used today.

Murano glass is still produced in Murano today, using many of the same techniques that were developed centuries ago. If you are interested in collecting Murano glass, it is important to purchase from reputable dealers. Carefully examine the object before purchasing it, and store it carefully to prevent damage. Whether you are a collector or simply an admirer of Murano glass, there is no denying its beauty, history, and cultural significance.


Is Murano Glass Worth The Money? 4 Reasons To Splurge.

Is Murano Glass Worth the Money? Murano Glass is an art form and as such it does increase in value over time. Collectors purchase Murano Glass, museums exhibit it, and lots of wealthy people use Murano Art Glass for home decor. The high price for Murano Glass often makes sense as each piece is a designer object that is handmade and unique.

Murano Glass works of art at Capellin Vennini exhibition in Murano, Italy

Here are the 4 reasons to pay premium prices for Murano Glass.

1. Murano Glass is a collectible item.

Murano Glass is an art form that has been in existence for at least 800 years. The master artisans of Murano started from humble beginnings. However, over the following hundreds of years, they continuously evolved their blown glass creativity, elevating it to art by the renaissance.

Many famous masters had their own workshops on Murano island. They came up with fancy forms, deep colors, and creative designs. Initially only the rich and famous could afford expensive and elegant Murano objects, which had the superior quality to any glass created elsewhere. Their clarity was mind-blowing and unheard of. Murano Glass chandeliers were translucent and reflected so much light. Venetian mirrors had not just unique ornamental designs but, more importantly, highly polished glass surfaces, allowing for clear reflections. 

However, in the twentieth century, the level of wealth of the general population grew. More and more middle-class people started traveling to Venice and got familiar with Murano and its glass art. Regular people were purchasing Murano Glass mirrors in Venice for their homes. or shopping for Murano Glass vases to display on the shelves.

Collectors of Murano Glass art come from all walks of life. However, they have in common an understanding of the special beauty of this art medium and the different styles and techniques used to create Murano Glass over the centuries. 

Multiple catalogs of Murano Glass and the works of specific glass artists exist. Many have been published in the twentieth century. The catalogs and special books allow collectors to learn more and gauge the artistic value and the rarity of a particular piece. Multiple auction houses, including Sotheby’s and Christie’s, feature Murano Glass. Especially popular are sculptures, figurines, chandeliers, and vases. Occasionally, auction houses will feature Murano jewelry along with precious jewelry.

Murano Glass Scarpa Exhibit
Carlo Scarpa Murano Glass exhibition in New York

2. Murano Glass artists are world-famous.

Today most tourists to Venice visit Murano island and stop by workshops, galleries, and stores. Guidebooks recommend not leaving without purchasing a locally crafted Venetian art glass object. Tourists can find Murano Glass vases, sculptures, wine glasses and tumblers, bowls, and jewelry for every budget. However, the art glass pieces which are crafted in famous factories or by well-known masters command prices in the thousands of euros.

Venice was always an inspirational place for artists. Both members of well-established glass-making families and foreigners worked in Murano’s famous furnaces. They were attracted by the atmosphere of free-flowing creativity and constant search for new methods and techniques of working with glass. Murano was a center of innovation and new frontiers in art.

Family names from Murano are famous in the art collectors’ world. Barovier, Venini, Moretti, Toso, Tagliapetra, Cappellin, Ballarin, and others made museum-quality glassware. Their signatures often grace the most amazing, bold, or elegant Murano sculptures such as classic Venetian themes like winged lions or gondolas, animals and birds, or abstract or impressionist figures. Many Venetian vase designs are easily recognized works by a specific master. For example Fulvio Bianconi vases have unique color designs, and Vennini’s sport flowing Fazzoletto shapes.

For people who choose to collect Murano Glass, vintage glass items are available both in Murano and online. Because Murano’s blown glass appreciates over time, these art objects are even more expensive. In addition, many world-famous Murano Glass artists are no longer alive and their creations are rare and difficult to acquire.

Glass masters at work in a Murano factory, 1920’s

3. Murano Glass ages well and can be passed through generations.

Whether you have owned your Murano Glass vase or sculpture for a month or 20 years, it will look the same. Even if you buy a vintage piece, its colors, and all elaborate elements will look like they did when the master glassblower first created them. 

Murano Glass colors do not fade. They are not painted but are achieved by melting various minerals in the glass furnaces under high temperatures. Many designs of Murano vases, such as Filigrana, Reticello, Millefiori, or Sommerso, are based on the way glass canes and various glass layers are melted and merged together. Therefore, Murano Glass designs become permanent as soon as they cool down. Even gold accents on Murano Glass do not fade over time because 24K gold leaf is permanently bonded to the blown glass under high temperatures. 

When the glass artisan finishes their art glass piece, he or she puts it into a special annealing oven. There it stays for several days in order to not let it cool too fast and relieve internal stress. In that oven, the glassware cools very gradually under controlled conditions and is not prone to sudden breakage or shattering.

4. Blown Murano Glass vases, chandeliers, and sculptures are valuable artworks.

You may think that a Murano Glass vase you see in a gallery on Murano island is simply a colorful functional decor piece. However, such objects are considered works of art for the following reasons. 

Maestros that create them have been practicing the art of glassmaking for 30 years or more. Their creations showcase the fantasy, passion, inspiration, and talent of the artist who created them. These works of art relay bold experimentation as well as established methods of work with glass, which is an ever-changing and hard-to-master art medium. Finally, such objects bring to life hundreds of years of history and unique Murano tradition unparalleled anywhere in the world.

So, next time you ask yourself “is Murano Glass worth the money?” think about all these points. Look at the Murano Glass vase or an abstract sculpture, or a Christmas ornament you see online or in a shop in Venice and think of its heritage. If it is authentic and crafted in Murano, you will know why it is worth the steep price tag. You need to think of that price in the context of the art, the history, and the workmanship that goes into creating each Murano Glass object.


Murano Glass Is In Trouble. How Skyrocketing Gas Prices Are Affecting The Ancient Industry.

Murano Glass exists in Venice for over 1,000 years and survived multiple upheavals. However, this time it is in real danger of extinction.

Murano Glass artisans create glassware in a factory on Murano island
Murano Glass artisans create glassware in a factory on Murano island. Photo courtesy of

Murano Glass is one of the world’s oldest surviving industries. While glass-making was known to humans even as far back as ancient Egypt, the production of glass in Venice was established on the heels of the craft developed in ancient Rome.

Fleeing from the barbarians, the Romans who settled in Venice established glass-making furnaces and used local silica and soda to create their first glass vessels. After the industry got established on Murano island by the government decree in 1291, the local glass furnaces have been working full force despite the difficulties brought by wars, floods, and competition.

However, this time it’s different. The Murano Glass industry has encountered the perfect storm created by the horrible flood of Venice in 2019, the global Covid-19 pandemic, and the enormous increase in gas prices brought on by the war in Ukraine and the transformation to renewable energy. This gas problem may just be the last straw to break the back of the ancient industry.

Murano Glass furnaces are notoriously gas-hungry. They have to burn at 1500 degrees Celsius and cannot be turned on and off daily. It takes about a week to ignite a furnace and bring it to the stable high temperature required for glass-making. This process costs tens of thousands of euros. Therefore, the furnaces are normally only extinguished for one month a year, august, when the local glass artisans traditionally take a break amid the summer heat.

The Glass Factories Are Shutting Down.

However, since February of 2022, many of the artisans we at GlassOfVenice work with had to extinguish their furnaces for varying periods of time, from a month to what looks like a permanent shutdown for some. This is because they cannot continue production with the current gas prices unless they increase their own prices to the point where customers will stop buying Murano Glass from them.

To put it all in perspective, he price of gas in Murano jumped over a thousand percentage points from 0.20 euro per cubic meter in September of 2021 to up to 3 euros per cubic meter after the start of the war in Ukraine. This translates into an unthinkable jump in the annual gas bill from about 20,000 euros to over 300,000 euros on average for a Murano Glass factory. This estimate is based on the data from Consorzio Promovetro Murano trade organization, which says there are about 100 factories on Murano and their combined gas usage is 10 to 11 million cubic meters in a normal year.

Almost as bad as the increase in prices is the uncertainty that the glass factories face. Prices jump wildly from month to month and no gas supplier is willing to renew Murano factories’ expiring gas contracts at fixed price. Because of this, it is impossible to plan production. Some Murano business owners decide to shut down their production entirely while they wait for some stabilization and subsidies from the government. Others shut down some furnaces resulting in limitations to the variety of their glassware and other restrictions in the glass-making process.

Smaller Artisans Also Face Uncertain Future.

Even smaller Murano Glass workshops and individual artisans working with a torch instead of large furnaces are feeling the pain. Such glass makers use much less gas but the torches require oxygen to operate, which also increased in price. In addition, they are faced with a shortage of glass canes.

Many smaller Murano artisans use lampworking method of glass-making. This means they use glass canes, which they heat up under the torch, then blow and shape into jewelry, ornaments, and figurines.

These canes in all designs and colors are produced by Effetre – the icon of Venetian glass-making and the only maker of glass canes on Murano island. However, Effetre, which operates multiple large furnaces, has also stopped production almost completely due to the gas price increases, since their business has also become unsustainable almost overnight.

The situation is really dire for all glass artisans on Murano. Among Glass Of Venice’s 30+ suppliers of varying sizes, 10 have stopped production at various points in the last 6 months and 4 have not reopened. All are waiting for promised subsidies from the government and from UNESCO, however, those are temporary patches on a growing wound and are slow to arrive.

The Murano Glass industry is an incredibly important part of our cultural heritage, it is a venerable human achievement that needs to be sustained and protected. Moreover, it is a vital part of the economy of Venice and Murano, helping them stay living breathing cities rather than Disneyland-like destinations. It is our hope that Murano Glass will stay resilient in the face of this new adversity and will prosper once again.


Is Venetian Glass The Same As Murano Glass?

Murano Glass crafted by glass masters in Murano, Italy. Photo credit:

Is Venetian Glass the same as Murano Glass? Yes, and both mean handmade glassware made in Murano, an island in Venice, Italy. Many of GlassOfVenice customers ask whether Murano Glass and Venetian Glass are the same things. Why is there a confusion about the proper name? The explanation requires a brief excursion into the history of Murano Glass.

So why are both names in use and how can we be sure they mean the same thing?

Murano Glass has its origins in the Venetian Lagoon. Murano Glass is an ancient craft that has its origins in ancient Egypt, then it reached new significance in the Roman Empire and after its fall the center of glassmaking emerged in the Venetian Lagoon. In the 1960s archeologists unearthed the foundations of an 8th century AD glass factory in the Venetian Lagoon on the island of Torcello. At that time Torcello was the center of life in the Venetian Lagoon, and remained so until Venice grew in importance and assumed that role.

Later Venice became the center of glass-making, and Murano island was a part of Venice. More and more glass factories and workshops started to open in Venice. By the 12th century the local glass artisans (called Fiolari) became members of an official trade guild called Arte Fiolara, or glass blowing guild. This is how the glass from the Venetian Lagoon became known as Venetian Glass. However, many of the glass furnaces registered in the city of Venice were in fact situated on Murano island. Murano in fact was initially an administrative part of Venice but won its independence from Venice in 1278.

In 1291 the Great Council of Venice decreed that all furnaces in the city of Venice had to be demolished due to the risk of fires. But the decree allowed furnace construction elsewhere in the Venetian Lagoon. Murano was already at that time an independent adminstrative center in the Venetian Lagoon. Because of this, starting in 1291 all Murano glass-making moved to Murano island, where working furnaces already existed. Of course, since then the glassware from this region received the name of Murano Glass. Eventually glass-making was again allowed in Venice. In later centuries many factories existed in the historical center of Venice as well as on Murano island.

The confusion in the proper naming of Murano glassware still exists today. The reason is that Murano island is currently administratively again a part of Venice. It lost its independence from Venice in1924. Hence, all glass made in Murano is technically today glass made in Venice. Both terms, Murano Glass and Venetian Glass, can be used interchangeably but the term Murano Glass is more commonly used by artists, collectors, sellers, regulatory bodies, and even museums. Handmade glassware from the Venetian lagoon is authentic if it is handcrafted on Murano island according the ancient techniques and traditions of the craft.

Murano Glass artisans creating glassware at a glass-making factory in Murano, Italy. Photo credit:

At we believe that it is important to understand the roots of Murano Glass and its rich history in order to truly understand the unique value and historical significance of Murano Glass Art. Learn more about Murano Glass on our blog and in our special Murano Glass portal.


Why Is Murano Glass So Expensive?

Why is Murano Glas so expensive? See how Murano Glass bowl is handmade by an artisan in Murano Italy.
Murano Glass bowl is being made by an artisan in Murano, Italy. Photo credit:

Why is Murano Glass so expensive? Firstly, Murano Glass is expensive because it is an art. Blown art glass is made by hand in Murano, Italy using only basic tools, special furnaces, and techniques that come from ancient times.

Italian artists and artisans need decades of hands-on experience in order to craft the high-quality glassware valued by collectors and art aficionados. Add to this the high prices of raw materials, which often include 24K gold and .925 silver, and you will realize why Murano Glass prices are much higher than factory-made glassware from China.

So what determines the prices of Murano Glass pieces? Why does Murano Glass seem expensive compared to factory-made knock-offs? Here are the 5 reasons why Murano Glass is expensive:

  1. The special skills the artisans need to create Murano Glass and the small number of qualified Murano Glass artisans. There are many Murano Glass techniques that master artisans may use, such as Millefiori, Avventurina, Sommerso, and Filigrana. Each master typically specializes in only one or two techniques. These are complicated techniques and many pieces take hours and several artisans to make, which leads to a high price tag.
  2. The source materials get more expensive each year. Some colors require the incorporation of metals such as cobalt, silver, or gold. In many cases, Murano pieces have special shimmer, which is achieved by layering glass with 24-karat gold or .925 sterling silver. Needless to say, the precious and semi-precious metals command high prices that keep on increasing over time.
  3. The high expense of operating furnaces. While artisans typically craft Murano Glass jewelry using only a small flame, they need to use special furnaces for larger pieces such as tumblers, bowls, vases, sculptures, and chandeliers. Murano Glass factories making those items have one or more furnaces (“fornace” in Italian). These furnaces take a long time to bring into proper operating condition, they cannot be extinguished overnight, and use high volumes of expensive gas. In addition, during the pandemic times, many restrictions hit the operation of factories in Murano very hard. Blowing glass in a confined space is an inherently risky activity during a pandemic.
  4. The high rents for store owners in Venice, Italy. Murano Glass sellers in Venice need to pay high rents for the premium real estate. Their storefronts line the busiest alleyways and squares (or rather “campo’s” or the “piazza” in the case of Piazza San Marco) in Venice. In addition, because Venice’s floods are frequent and sometimes severe, the insurance costs for both space and merchandise run high. Restoration after floods takes time and effort, decreasing revenues. Therefore, as strange as it is, often you will pay more for the same item in a Venetian store than you would to an online seller.
  5. The customs charges and shipping fees for sellers abroad. They make Murano Glass only in Venice, Italy. Therefore, all sellers outside of Italy need to import it. Importing comes with high costs made up of customs fees for each item dictated by the country of the importer and the shipping fees that can make up as much as 20-30% of the price. It is expensive to ship and insure fragile and heavy glassware across countries and continents. The price of Murano Glass reflects this.
Why is Murano Glass so expensive? Artisans make Murano Glass vase by hand in Murano Italy
Murano Glass artisans creating a vase at a glass-making factory in Murano, Italy. Photo credit:

After you take these factors into account, you will better understand why Murano Glass commands high prices. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot find an authentic piece at a reasonable price. Small Murano jewelry is typically much cheaper than larger creations. Yet the look you can create with Murano Glass jewelry will be elegant and unique. A set of bright cufflinks, a lovely handmade Murano Glass pendant, a pair of shimmering earrings, or a gold leaf-lined statement ring are all you need to channel Venetian charm and Italian craftsmanship without breaking the bank.

At we have the world’s largest collection of authentic Murano Glass jewelry and accessories so that you can find a piece that brings out your personal uniqueness. Here you will also find the perfect gift for an elegant woman or man who loves Italy and appreciates the artisan traditions of Murano and beyond.


Is Murano Glass Valuable?

Murano Glass Is Valuable - Salviati, Toso, Moretti. Murano Glass Museum, Venice
Murano Glass By Salviati, Toso, Moretti, 19th Century. Murano Glass Museum, Venice.

Is Murano Glass valuable? You may wonder – is that Murano piece my grandmother left me special? Yes, many authentic Murano Glass pieces have appraised value of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Depending on who made them and when, which technique was used, and how rare a piece is, it may be a highly valuable special work of art, or it may be considered a valuable antique.

So why is Murano Glass valuable? And where does its value come from? In this article we will go over the main characteristics that define the price of a Murano Glass piece.

Murano Glass Value Is Defined By Several Factors.

  1. The master or the glassworks that created the piece. Many masters of Murano Glass attained worldwide fame for the special artistic value of their pieces. This list includes Paolo Venini, Alfredo Barbini, Archimede and Livio Seguso, Carlo Scarpa, Vittorio Zecchin, Lino Tagliapetra, Carlo Moretti, Fulvio Bianconi and many other prominent Venetian glass artists. Their signed works, as well as the works marked with the stamps of the most prestigious Murano Glass companies, such as Barovier and Toso, Fratelli Toso, Venini, Moretti, Formia, Gambaro e Poggi, Simone Cenedese, Alessandro Mandruzzato, command high values and top prices on the antique market.
  2. The craftsmanship and the technique. Certain techniques of Murano glass-making are very complex and require incredible skill and precision along with artistic talent. Filigrana, Reticello, and Zanfirico are some of the rarest and most valued Murano Glass techniques. They involve heating, stretching, and twisting glass canes into elaborate lace-like designs. Millefiori (or Murrina in Italian) is another one, where tiny pieces of glass canes with designs inside are fused together into quilt-like patterns.
  3. The age and condition. Murano Glass is first and foremost, an art. Thus, like all artworks, Murano Glass pieces become more valuable with age. Every period of Murano Glassmaking has a unique appeal. The most valuable pieces are the ones that survived from the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th century Venice. Many of these are in museums, while others are carefully kept in private collections. Artworks from the 20th century are easier to come across, with mid-century works making up the majority of this century’s Murano Art Glass heritage. Specialized antique online marketplaces, auction houses, and serious Murano Glass sellers such as offer authentic mid-century Murano Glass. Here you can find many vintage Murano masterpieces at competitive prices.
Murano Glass Art By Carlo Scarpa, 20th Century Vintage Glass.

Valuable Murano Glass For Your Home.

Murano Glass is certainly valuable, due to its very long history, and constant artistic innovation based upon ancient methods of craftsmanship. It is also a recognized art form displayed in museums worldwide. Specifically, you can find many Murano Glass items in the most famous museums of the world, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Getty Villa to The British Museum, The Louvre, Murano Glass Museum in Murano, and other prominent collections.

But you can admire a Murano vase, sculpture, or mirror without a trip to a famous museum, Displaying a valuable piece of Murano Glass in your home is possible without breaking the bank. Check out the Vintage Glass Collection where Glass Of Venice offers valuable pieces by Formia, Loredano Rossin, Seguso Vetri d’Arte, Licio Zanetti, Salviati, and others. These unique artworks are true heirlooms to keep in your family and pass on to future generations.


Why Is Murano Glass So Special?

What is so special about Murano Glass by
Murano Glass master at work in a glass factory in Venice, Italy. Photo credit:

What is so special about Murano Glass and why is it so famous?

Murano Glass is special because it is an art form that exists on Murano island in Venice, Italy for over a thousand years. Murano Glass is so famous because it is handmade by highly skilled master artisans. Each item they create is a work of art. Owning a Murano Glass piece signifies not only having class but also being a part of a long Venetian tradition and knowing how to enjoy the finer things in life.

Here are the three main things that make Murano Glass so special:

1. Murano Glass has a long history.

Practiced in Venice at least from the 8th century, Murano Glass became one of the Venetian republic’s key industries by the 1200s and all glass-making factories were moved from Venice to Murano in 1291. Since then, Murano Glass art became famous and popular far beyond the shores of the Venetian republic. It was favored by monarchs, nobility, and successful merchants for its radiance, translucency, and feather-light weight.

Murano Island Old Map Murano Glass History
Old map of Murano island. Photo credit:

2. Murano Glass is an art.

Murano Glass initially was simply a craft that required skilled hands and involved a repeatable process. Today Murano Glass is a recognized art form. Many Murano master glassmakers made the name for themselves in the art world by being bold and daring. They are known for realizing the emerging art trends of their time in glass form, or by collaborating with other artists across the art spectrum. World-famous last names such as Salviati, Toso, Barovier, Zecchin, Capellin, Seguso, Scarpa, Bianconi, Martinuzzi, Barbini, Zanetti, Rosin, and many others make up the hall of fame of Murano Glass Art.

Murano Glass Art In Museum In Venice
Murano Glass on display in a museum in Venice, Italy. Photo credit:

3. Authentic Murano Glass is valuable.

Unlike many other decorative pieces that are mass-produced today, every authentic Murano Glass piece is an original creation made by hand according to the ancient tradition. This means many things. First, each piece reflects the heart and soul of the artist. Second, it embodies the unique beauty and radiance of Venice. Finally, beyond the monetary value, it has sentimental value that cannot be measured.

If you are thinking about selling your Murano Glass piece down the road, there is a large market of Vintage Murano Glass both on specialty Murano Glass sites like GlassOfVenice and on specialty art and vintage marketplaces such as and, as well as on various auction houses’ websites.

Murano Glass Is Valuable
Murano Glass in Correr Museum in Venice, Corning Museum in Corning NY, and Metropolitan Museum in New York City. Photo credit:

In this article, our experts tried to help you understand why Murano Glass is so famous and special. Here we try to give you a bit more background on that.

In short, Murano Glass items are made in small factories and workshops on Murano island entirely by hand. The glassmaking process has changed little over the centuries and the master glassmaker uses only very basic tools to create Venetian glassware.

Today Murano Glass is a recognized art form, with its own famous names. It is also a vanishing craft, which is protected by UNESCO. By granting such protection, UNESCO confirms that it’s an important part of the history of growth and development of humanity, and a significant component of the world heritage.

People who have been to Venice, Italy instantly fall in love with Murano Glass after browsing small boutiques and large galleries that fill up the island of Murano and Venice itself. If you buy your own Murano Glass artwork, whether in a store in Venice or online, please know that it is not merely a piece of jewelry or a vase. It is a way to get closer to the beating heart of Venice that is as strong today as it was a thousand years ago.


How To Tell Real Murano Glass – 5 Tips For The Buyer

How to tell real Murano Glass - 5 tips from Glass Of Venice

How to tell real Murano Glass? Geography is the key. Murano Glass is only made on Murano Island in Venice, Italy. Then it’s the look. This glassware has special features like rich colors and uneven shapes. You need to analyze the colors, imperfections, labels, store reputation, and seller’s knowledge of Murano Glass to determine authenticity.

Here are the five tips for the buyer to recognize original Murano Glass.

  1. Authentic Murano Glass has rich colors and often real gold or silver specks inside. The color shades vary from item to item.

    When Murano artisans make glassware, they use various minerals to give color to the glass. As the glass mass gets heated, the minerals melt and create color such as blue from cobalt or red from gold, green from iron, or pink from manganese. Often the colors get layered on top of each other in a special technique called Sommerso.

    In addition, the masters often use thin sheets of gold or silver that get added to the glass mass and create a layer of gold or silver sparkles inside the glass.

    In a special demonstration of mastery, the artisan may create glassware that looks like a bright quilt of mosaic-like pieces, the ancient Roman technique known as Millefiori or Murrina.

    Murano Glass Millefiori Vase Gold
  2. An authentic Murano Glass object has an imperfect shape, or other small imperfections, or size and shape variations.

    When masters create Murano Glass by hand, they do not use exact measurements or machines to create perfect shapes or perfect polish. Therefore, most Murano Glass pieces may come out slightly asymmetrical.

    Most blown glass pieces will have bottoms with somewhat rough pontil marks where the glass piece was taken off the stick. Sometimes there would also be bubbles of air captured inside the glass.

    Two items of the same model may vary in terms of shape, size, color shade, or pattern. This is the result of a very manual ancient process, where artisans use only basic tools. The masters take pride in following the techniques and traditions of their fathers and grandfathers, with no modern technology or conveyor belts.

    Making Murano Glass Vase in Venice Italy
  3. Authentic Murano Glass often (but not always) has labels with the name of the workshop and the signature of the master. Also look for certificates of authenticity.

    If you see phrases like “Vetro Eseguito Secondo La Tecnica Dei Maestri Di Murano” beware: the item is a fake. The words mean “glass created following the technique of Murano masters”. As such, the item is not the glassware made by Murano masters but merely an imitation. Watch out for words like “crystal” because Murano Glass is not crystal.

    If you see the Promovetro (Murano Glass Consortium) sign on the piece with a QR code, like the one on the photo of the bowl below, the piece is authentic. If you see the name of the factory on the label, research where they are located. If they are outside of Venice and Murano, they are not selling authentic Murano Glass.

    Murano Glass Bowl with the signature of master glassblower
  4. Authentic Murano Glass is typically sold in physical stores or on websites, which feature a large selection of high-end art glass items.

    Look at the product selection in a store where you plan to make a purchase, whether physical or online. If the store sells large gorgeous vases, sculptures, and recognizable typically Venetian pieces such as gondolas, clowns, Goldonian ladies and gentlemen, Millefiori glassware, as well as elaborate Venetian chandeliers, most likely this store carries genuine Murano Glass.

    Murano Glass store in Venice Italy
  5. Authentic Murano Glass sellers usually know the world of Murano Glass very well and are able to answer all your questions fully and honestly.

    If you are unsure and can’t decide on the purchase, make a conversation with the seller or contact them by e-mail, chat, or phone. Ask them about the piece, its technique, and the glass-making process, and question them about Murano and Venice.

    If their level of knowledge is low and they can’t explain much about the piece, it’s likely that they don’t sell real Murano Glass. If the store is open about its procurement process and answers all your questions in an open and friendly manner, they are most likely selling real original Murano Glass.

    Master Holding Murano Glass Birds Figurine in Murano Italy

About The Author is an official original Murano Glass importer and seller and has been in business since 2008. Glass Of Venice works directly with over 40 different Murano Glass artisans, workshops, and factories in Venice. The staff visits the artisans often to maintain close relationships, curate collections, and review new creations.


Where to Buy Murano Glass in the UK

Our customers from the UK frequently ask us where to buy Murano Glass in the UK. We can recommend several options for finding and buying authentic Murano Glass for UK residents, including Glass Of Venice website and Amazon.

Where to buy Murano Glass in the UK. Physical stores are few.
Murano Glass store on Murano island, Venice, Italy

In looking for the best options to buy Murano Glass in the UK you need to weigh the following considerations:

Is It Authentic?

Make sure the glassware you are purchasing is authentic. This means it was made by hand in one of the established workshops on Murano island using the traditional methods and techniques. Please read our blog article to know how to make sure the piece you want to purchase is genuine Murano Glass. Unfortunately, many fake Murano pieces sold today are made in China. This is especially important if you are shopping at marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay, where lots of fakes are peddled as authentic Murano Glass.

What Is The Price?

The prices of genuine Murano Glass pieces vary widely. You may pay just a few British pounds for a pair of small Murano earrings or thousands of pounds for art glass pieces such as vases and sculptures. Lighting fixtures such as chandeliers may cost you several thousand pounds depending on the size. We advise you to comparison shop online and see what the prices are for comparable Murano Glass pieces. In addition, fakes are typically surprisingly cheap. Hence if you see a piece that is too cheap to be true, it’s probably fake. Read our article to understand how much Murano Glass should cost and how to pay the right price for the piece that you like.

Is There A Large Assortment?

There are a number of Murano Glass online stores. Most of them specialize in certain types of pieces, such as only vases and sculptures, only chandeliers and other lighting fixtures, or only jewellery. Find and compare several websites that carry the items that you want. Your best bet is to seek out a site that carries the full range of Murano Glass. Such sites will have the most extensive connections with the artisans and often the most experience shipping the items and the best prices.

How Much Is Shipping?

Because you are in the United Kingdom, you need to shop at an online store that ships to the UK. More over, look for reasonable shipping fees and coverage for any shipping-related damages. Once you add all the items to your shopping cart, start going through the checkout to see how much the shipping fees will be, and compare them to other sellers.

In addition, make sure that the seller will replace the items free of charge should they arrive damaged. Glass is fragile and it is very possible that your item may not be adequately packaged or may break from rough handling by the carrier. Also make sure you understand return policies of the seller and buy from those where return is easy and not overly expensive from the UK. At we ship to the UK every day and we always replace any items that arrive damaged promptly and free of charge.

Where is the seller based?

While the majority of online sellers of Murano Glass are based in Italy, there are a few including Glass Of Venice that are in the U.S. Some are in the U.K. The quality of customer service and communication, and of the buying and shipping processes will often be better when you shop from the US or UK online stores.

While the Italian stores are closest to the artisans, they will often have difficult replacement and return conditions and long lead times due to not having items in stock. At we keep all items in stock and ship everything within 24 business hours from purchase.

If you buy from Amazon or eBay ascertain first what seller you are actually dealing with and where they are based. Do not rely on the marketplace itself to take care of all the issues that may arise with your purchase.


If you are in the UK you have many options for buying Murano Glass and having it quickly delivered to your doorstep. Research the sellers, compare the prices, and find the pieces you like online. Good luck with your Murano Glass shopping!