Murano’s Glass Jewelry: All in the Family

Murano glass jewelry, and bead work in particular, can be art in its own right, and often overlooked for vases, chandeliers and other larger pieces.  Beads have a long history  in Murano, being  one of the earliest creations and used for barter throughout the Mediterranean in the days of Marco Polo.  The NY Times wrote the aforementioned article in May this year; one line stood out to me in particular, a quote from one of the owners of Costantini glass beads:

“We wanted to use these beads because we wanted to honor the old tradition but give it a new vision.”

Murnao as a island and industry has many challenges, but I thought this was good advice for bridging Murano’s  rich history while meeting the needs of modern marketplace, where tastes have changed greatly since the 1950’s.

Murano’s Glass Jewelry: All in the Family

Costantini Glass Beads

Murano Glass Auction

Ripley Auctions always have a strong showing for Murano Glass Auctions, – their 25th anniversary auction was held on June 1st 2017, and the catalog is online with estimates and realized prices. Some top notch pieces including works from artists Scarpa, Martinuzzi, Bianconi, & Dino Martens. I’m partial to the Fratelli Toso and Barovier animals. For items that didnt sell, you can enquire about a private sale.

The auction catalog is here:

New Look and Feel for Website!

Now that the ecommerce portion of the website has permanently closed, we have upgraded the Murano Glass Forums to an updated version of Vbulletin and updated the homepage to a blog, where we will post up to date information on anything Murano Glass related, auctions, artists etc. Its a bittersweet, long over decision, but we are putting our best foot forward.

Murano Glass Store

Effective today, June 24, 2017, we have closed the Murano Glass ecommerce portion of the website after almost 15 years.  The Murano Glass Forums are still up and running, and we will occasionally post on  on this blog. Thank you to all our customers and forum members who have contributed to the adventure of running a Murano glass business!

Old Murrine Bowls – Yale Museum

Below are two photos of bowls that caught my eye at the Yale University Art Gallery. At first glance I took them them to be Murano bowls made of Murrine, but apparently it predates  Murano by roughly 1,000 years!  The description of the bowl states it was made between 100BC- 100AD – amazing that something so fragile has survived this long.



The details of the bowl are here:

Tornado in Venice?!

An amazing Video from the Daily Telegraph, showing a tornado in Venice, luckily no one was injured.
The embedded video is in the link below.

The tornado roared through Sant’Erasmo island in Venice’s lagoon on Tuesday, ripping the roofs off at least 12 buildings, media reports said.

A funnel cloud was clearly visible from the centre of the town and from its canals, Youreporter and Venice Municipality video showed.

The tornado caused major damage in several islands off the Venice lagoon, including Sant’Elena and Certosa islands, where many trees were uprooted, reports said.

Dozens of small sailing ships were smashed in the port of Sant’Elena.

No injuries were reported, the Municipality of Venice said.

Vintage Murano Glass Auction – June 9th 2012

From the NY Times:…ne-9.html?_r=1

Frank Toskan, a founder of MAC Cosmetics, spent about two decades amassing his collection of Murano art glass, and on June 9, Wright in Chicago will auction it off.

“It really spans the entire 20th century, right up to some contemporary pieces,” said Richard Wright, the owner of the auction house. “It has a few super-rare, high-flying lots, but also a really uniform quality. They’re perfectly executed, or rare colors, or better than average examples the entire way through.”

The auction will offer more than 150 pieces, including an orange and green intarsio vase by Ercole Barovier for Barovier & Toso from 1963 (estimate: $15,000 to $20,000), left, and a blue rilievi vase by Carlo Scarpa for Venini from 1935 (estimate: $30,000 to $40,000).

Information: (312) 563-0020 or

Vetri Murano numbers

Crossposting from the Forums, we are pleased to announce that Promovetro, the current Murano Glass Consortium ( and successor to the Vietri Murano (VM) program, shared a list of Vetri Murano numbers that they have compiled.

For  readers who are not collectors of vintage Murano glass, Vietri  Murano used a clear plastic label with a specific numbering sequence to identify which member company on the island made a particular piece of glass, to prevent counterfeiting.  Vietri  Murano eventually closed, taking with it all of their documentation and records.  Today, the VM label is a reliable way of identifying vintage glass, but there has been discussion over the years on which number belongs to which company.  Members of the forum have taken the time to research many of the numbers, but holes remained. The information provided by Promovetro will help collectors worldwide.

Below is an example of a Vietri Murano label.

The forum thread about the Vietri Murano numbers is here and the  Murano Label Library has many other labels and signatures.

Chihuly Venetians

A slideshow of some of the most recent work by Murano’s prodigal son, Dale Chihuly, currently exhibiting at  the Foothills Art Center, in Golden, Colorado.  The “Gilded Putti in Leaves with Swan”  and “Translucent Blue Putti Venetian with Gilt Leaves and Dragons” are impressive and seem to be a new,  softer direction that recalls some of the traditional glass themes of Murano.   The vases are a eclectic mix of both old and new styles,   for example a  spiked vase design seen in previous exhibits, but adorned with with a cherub.

The exhibit runs through June 30th.