Murano Glass is only made on Murano Island in Venice, Italy. But the problem is that there is no requirement for universal markings of authentic Murano Glass. Therefore, questions abound and everybody wants to know how to identify authentic Murano Glass and avoid counterfeits. Here are the top five tips from Glass Of Venice – the recognized expert in genuine Murano Glass.
- 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 by hand, they use various minerals to give color to the glass mass. As the glass mass gets heated, the minerals melt and give transparent glass specific colors, 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.
- Authentic Murano Glass has imperfect shape, or other small imperfections, or size and shape variations. When masters craft 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, with bottoms that have somewhat rough pontil marks where the glass piece is taken off the stick, and sometimes there would be bubbles captured inside the glass. Two items of the same model may vary in terms of shape, size, color shade, or pattern. This is all thanks to a very manual ancient process where only basic tools are used and where the masters take pride in following the techniques and traditions of their fathers and grandfathers, with no modern technology or conveyor belts.
- Authentic Murano Glass often (but not always) has labels with the name of the workshop and the signature of the master and comes with certificates of authenticity. If you see phrases like “Vetro Eseguito Secondo La Tecnica Dei Maestri Di Murano” beware: this is a fake. The words mean “glass created following the technique of Murano masters”, meaning this is not glassware made by Murano masters. Watch out for words like “crystal” because Murano Glass is not crystal. When 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.
- Authentic Murano Glass is typically sold in physical stores or on the websites, which feature a large selection of high-end art glass items. If you see large gorgeous colorful vases, sculptures, and recognizable expensive typically Venetian pieces such as gondolas, lovers, Moores, clowns, Goldonian ladies and gentlemen, Millefiori glassware, as well as beautiful chandeliers, most likely this store carries genuine Murano Glass from a number of highly skilled masters and factories.
- 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 before purchasing, make a conversation with the seller or contact them by e-mail, chat, or phone, and ask them about the master or factory that made your piece, about the seller’s buying process, ask which types of factories they deal with, how often they visit Murano, and request assurances of authenticity. If the seller can answer all your questions in an open and friendly manner and give you as much information on their pieces and artisans as you desire, they are most likely selling real original Murano Glass.
Any other questions? Want to know how to buy an original Murano Glass creation hand-made in Murano, Italy? Shop with us or Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have been in genuine Murano Glass import and distribution business since 2008 and are happy to share our knowledge, expertise, and love of Murano Glass with you! Happy shopping!