Category Archives: Murano Glass Questions

We receive many Murano Glass questions from our customers asking about autheticity, replacement parts, repair, and lots of other things. Read our answers to your pressing Murano Glass questions here. We at GlassOfVenice help you choose, buy, and enjoy top quality authentic Murano Glass.

How can I find a spare part for my Murano Glass item?

Continuing with our series of Murano Glass Q&A we’d like to cover a question we get often, which is whether we can help get a spare part for Murano Glass item. Most often this question concerns Murano glass watches and Venetian chandeliers.

Let us start by saying that generally Murano Glass masters do not create spare parts. In the case of Murano Glass chandeliers, it may be possible to obtain a spare part only from the glass factory where you purchased your chandelier. For this reason as well as for quality and service assurance, if you do go to Venice and Murano and decide to purchase a chandelier there, we highly recommend purchasing only from a reputable factory on Murano. Please remember to make a note of the factory’s name, the owners/salesperson’s names and contact information, and keep this info along with your proof of purchase in a safe place in case a delivery fails, the chandelier arrives damaged or not as expected, or you need a spare part years down the road. Alternatively, you can purchase one of our Venetian chandeliers and we will work with the glass makers to provide the required spare part for you should you need it later on.

As for Murano Glass watches, the most sought-after parts are the millefiori-decorated crystal and the leather strap or the bangle. Unfortunately, it is not possible to replace the millefiori crystal, if yours broke the only option is to buy a new watch. Same goes for the bangle bracelet. The strap, however, can be replaced, and we’ll be happy to look into the strap replacement requests for our customers.

To get a quality piece of artistic Murano Glass, please see our wide selection of authentic Murano Glass at www.GlassOfVenice.com

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I returned from Venice and realized I should have bought more Murano glass there. What can I do now?

While visiting Venice, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the quantity and variety of Murano glass offered for sale all over the city. However, once the tourists return home and start wearing or displaying their beautiful Murano glass purchases, they instantly get many complements and questions about these items, prompting them to think that they should have purchased more Murano glass items both for themselves and as gifts. Then they realize that Murano glass is not widely available around them, and wonder “is it too late to buy more?” Fortunately, the answer is “no, it is not too late”.

While outside of Venice there are not many stores specializing in genuine Murano glass, and counterfeits are abound, one can still find a good selection of genuine Murano glass products even after they leave Italy by going on line. Sites like GlassOfVenice.com feature a full line of authentic Murano glass jewelry, accessories, and home décor imported directly from Venice and offered at very reasonable prices.

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I have a beautiful glass item. Is it Murano glass?

As with many works of art, it is not always easy to determine whether a particular glass item is authentic Murano glass, and it is even harder to attribute it to a particular master. Over the centuries, there were so many trends and techniques in Murano glass that the spectrum of possibilities of what a genuine Murano glass item may look like is very wide. From imitations of classical antiquity to enameled glass, glass made to look like chalcedony or other semi-precious stones, glass with filigree and engravings, Murano masters made miracles out of glass for 800 years. These days, one can only come across Murano glassware from the Middle Ages in museums such as the famous Glass Museum in Murano. However, Murano glass from more recent times such as 19th and 20th century, often made by famous masters, can often be found in ordinary people’s possessions.

If you come across an item that you think may be Murano glass, first of all look for any labels, etchings, stamps or signs stating the origin of the item or name of the glass-making company. If you find any, and it contains names like Salviati, Seguso, Barovier, Toso, Moretti, Mandruzzato, Venini, Zanetti, Nason, Signoretto, Barbini, Bianconi, Cenedese or words like “Vetro Murano”, “Vetreria Artistica….Murano”, “Maestri Vetrai Murano” or similar, you are probably holding a genuine Murano glass article. If there are no labels or etchings, identification is more complicated and has to be made on the basis of the look and glassmaking technique alone. The best approach in this case is to take several high quality photos of your article from various viewpoints and send them to experts for identification and attribution. GlassOfVenice.com has been dealing with Murano glass for many years and can help you with such requests for free.

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What is the difference between Murano glass and any other glass?

Murano glass is glass in a chemical sense of the word. However, Murano glass is as different from, say, the glass in your window panes, as Rembrandt paintings are different from an empty canvas. Murano glass is created only on the island of Murano, located within the borders of the city of Venice in Northern Italy. This glass is made from silica, soda, lime and potassium melted together in a special furnace at a temperature of 1500°C to reach a liquid state. Gold or silver foil are often added to the glass mixture, along with such minerals as copper for sparkles, zinc for white color, cobalt for blue, manganese for violet, and so on. The mixture is then mouth-blown and/or hand-crafted by master glassmakers using special techniques and basic tools, many of which have been developed in the Middle Ages and changed little since then. This method of glass-making results in unique creations with rich coloring and beautiful, sometimes surreal, patterns and shapes, deserving to be called “works of art”. Even though beautiful glassware has also been created in other places around the world, none of the glassware still being produced has such rich history and so much artistic value as Murano glass.

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I had a favorite Murano glass item and it broke. Can it be fixed?

Murano glass is hand-crafted by masters working the heated-up liquefied glass mass using special centuries-old techniques, and then cooling it down till it solidifies to form a specific pattern within a certain shape. For this reason, when an article made of Murano glass breaks, it is not possible to fix it except for gluing it together. Gluing may work if the item has a smooth break line and broke into only two or three pieces as opposed to many small ones.

If, based on the above conditions, you feel that it may be possible to glue the item back together, first of all you need to buy the right glue. We recommend using E-6000® glue for Murano glass, or any glass for that matter. This is a very strong waterproof and flexible adhesive once it dries. The only downside is its long drying time- make sure to let it dry for 24 to 72 hours after application. With this glue, apply a thin coat to both glass surfaces that you need to attach, wait ten minutes and strongly press the surfaces together. Then put the item aside and let dry. Make sure you use this glue only in an area that has adequate ventilation.

If your Murano glass broke in such a way that it can’t be glued together, or if it just cracked inside its frame (like may be the case with Millefiori pendants), your best option may be to try to find a replacement. Regardless of whether the Murano glass item was modern or vintage, purchased recently or long ago, there are companies specializing in Murano glass that will be willing to work with you to find a replacement. GlassOfVenice.com is one such company, which accepts custom requests and is often able to deliver the specified products.

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How do I know if a Murano Glass item is genuine?

How can I be sure that I am buying a genuine work of Venetian masters, a piece of authentic Murano Glass? This question is by far the most common one among those we receive. And this does not come as a surprise to us, since so many counterfeits have flooded the market in recent years, especially with the advent of the World Wide Web. Most Murano Glass lovers appreciate this glass not only for its beauty but also for its historic, artistic, and sentimental value. So understandably they want to be sure they are buying the real thing, handmade by the masters and artists in Venice, rather than some cheap imitation. Here our top 5 expert tips to ensure you are buying authentic Murano Glass, be in a store or online.

Tips to Identify Authentic Murano Glass

1. Look at the item itself (or its photos if buying online)

Authentic Murano Millefiori Bowl

Does the item appear to be hand-made with slightly uneven surface or texture, or, perhaps, tiny bubbles inside the glass? If two of the same item stand next to each other on a store shelf are they identical or can you spot small differences? If it’s the latter, you are on the right track, as there can never be two completely identical authentic Murano Glass pieces. Are the photos clear and professional, high resolution and high definition, showing the surface and texture of the glass? Can the photos be enlarged so you can clearly see the patterns? Are the colors bright and rich? Does the item seem to glow from within? Does the description say “Murano Glass” (and not “Murano-style” or similar)? Does it talk about real 24K gold or genuine silver being used during production of the glass? You want to be able to answer YES to ALL of these questions when you are looking for a genuine article. Always look for the evidence of the hand-crafted nature of the items, good photos, rich colors and specific descriptions. Finally, look at the price and research where it fits in comparison to prices other sellers charge for similar objects (make sure the style and size of the objects you compare is similar and technique is the same). Be on alert for prices that are way too low, this may be a sign of a counterfeit.

2. Look for labels, markings or signatures

Authentic Murano Glass Label

Are there any markings, stickers, or engraved signatures on the piece? It helps if there is a label identifying a certain Murano company or a signature of the master glass-maker on the item, and some Murano Glass companies do stamp or sign their work in some way. However, if your piece does not have any markings or labels, it does not automatically mean that it is not genuine. Keep in mind that there is no legal requirement in Italy or beyond that Murano Glass come with some sort of a standard stamp, sticker or any other identifying sign. Different Murano Glass masters choose to mark their glass in different ways, including various stamps, stickers, glass masters’ signatures, while many make no markings at all. While there exists the official Murano Glass Consortium, the membership in it is not compulsory and is fee-based, and at present only a relatively small group of Murano’s  glass-making companies are the members of that consortium, mainly for practical and financial reasons.

3. Look at what else comes with the item

Murano Glass Certificate of Authenticity

Does the seller offer a certificate of authenticity stating the origin and the production process of the item? Does the certificate display any text in Italian language? Are there any brochures supplied by the seller explaining Murano Glass and its historical and artistic significance? Is special packaging offered with the item? Does the packaging look attractive and is it of good quality? If the answer is always YES you are on the right track.

4. Look at the seller

Murano Glass Store

Is the seller reputable? Does it share information about itself? Does it specialize only in Murano Glass or Venetian products and nothing else? Does the seller demonstrate good knowledge of Murano Glass industry, techniques, production process, and history? Does it possess Italian background, education, or extensive travel experience to Italy? Does it offer a generous Return/Exchange policy?

If it’s a website, is it professional-looking? Is there a real business address and phone number listed on the site? Look out for the addresses in Asia or in developing countries as this often is a BIG counterfeit warning sign. Does the seller have a very large assortment of various Murano Glass products? Always try to find the sellers that specialize in and know Murano Glass and beware of the large and faceless web portals selling lots of items unrelated to each other. Does the online seller have lots of things in stock? Can they pick out a piece with specific patterns/colors at your request? If yes, they probably have their own warehouse. If not – they are drop-shippers, which means they have an agreement with other companies to ship to their customers, while never actually seeing the products they sell. Steer clear of those. Are any client testimonials or product reviews readily available on the site? If yes, that often indicates that the seller is confident in the quality of their pieces, even if they get purchased by Murano Glass collectors who often shop at such websites and can easily spot the fakes. Positive answers to these key questions indicate that the seller is likely to sell genuine Murano glass. On the flip-side, if the seller also sells lots of other cheap-looking jewelry and accessories, is known as a large seller of cheap household names, can’t tell you much about Murano or Murano glass, will not consider custom requests, does not seem to have any links to Italy, or has a shady website with little business or product info, you are probably looking at counterfeits.

5. Look at the assortment of Murano glass products the seller offers

Murano Glass Selection

Does the seller offer a wide range of Murano glass products that includes jewelry, home decor items and high-end Murano glass items such as vases, chandeliers, or art glass? Does it offer any Millefiori items? If so, is there a large variety of them and are they of good quality, displaying intricate patterns with many mosaic pieces in them, and rich colors? Millefiori is one of the most difficult and labor-intensive Murano Glass-making techniques and is harder to fake than some other ones. Does the seller offer to work with you on procuring any custom items or items not in their inventory? If yes, that means they have ways of dealing directly with the glass masters. Generally, if you can answer YES to these questions you can be reasonably sure you are dealing with the seller who offers authentic Murano Glass.

Despite the large number of companies that sell fake glassware labeled as Murano, there are many more that proudly carry the real thing. Authentic Murano Glass is worth purchasing, owning and passing to the next generations, or gifting to your loved ones. The beautiful Murano Glass pieces make greatr wedding or anniversary gifts and often become family keepsakes and sentimental objects. It is very possible to find a reputable Murano Glass company and purchase from them confidently. GlassOfVenice.com is one such place, where passion for Venice, its cultural and historic heritage, and its beautiful Murano Glass is at the heart of everything we do. Should you decide to buy from us, or anyone else, just go by this guide to have confidence in your choice. Above all, trust your instinct and common sense when buying Murano Glass. If something tells you “beware”, try to find out as much information as possible from the seller, and if you are still not satisfied, just steer clear from it and look elsewhere.

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