Since centuries people from all over the world tried to steal the ancient art of Murano glass blowing with less success. The art of making Murano glass is deeply woven into the families of glass blowers living in the island of Murano. These Muranese families are the guardians of the ancient techniques of Murano glass blowing. The secret art of Murano glass creation is passed down from generation to generation within the family. Little kids as young as 12 years old are joining their fathers and grandfathers in the furnace to help them and learn the art of glass blowing. Thus, the ancient secrets and valuable knowledge cannot get in the wrong hands.

What is Murano Glass?

When people talk about Italian art glass or Venetian art glass, they are usually referring to the sculptures, vases, chandeliers and decorative glass objects made in the island of Murano, Italy. Murano is a small island in the lagoon of Venice, where the art of glassmaking has more than 1000 years of tradition. Only glassworks made in the island of Murano can be marketed as Murano glass artworks.

Unfortunately, there are many counterfeit Murano glassworks on the market. These glassworks were not produced in the island of Murano, yet they are marketed as ‘Murano Style’ glassworks to deceive customers. The good news is that once you know the main characteristics of genuine Murano glass, you will be able to judge if the artwork is real or not.

How to identify real Murano Glass?

We at MuranoGlassItaly are passionate about Murano glass and want to help the Muranese families to preserve their traditions. That is why we asked five of our Muranese glass masters to share with us how to identify their artworks. Please, find below the Top 4 characteristics that you need to be aware of when buying Murano glassworks.

Fundamentals

Each chapter can be read individually, but to get the most out of the guide, you should read it from start to finish, take notes, and apply what you’re learning as you go. You can also bookmark the guide and come back to it for reference as needed.

Chapter 1

How To Identify The Real Murano Glass – Top 4 Characteristics (current article)

Chapter 2

How To Shop For Murano Glass In Venice

Chapter 3

7 Things That Affect Murano Glass Prices

1. Look for imperfections

Real Murano glass is handmade, which inherently results in small imperfections. Such imperfections could be for example air bubbles or the Pontil mark:

A. Air bubbles

When the multi-color layering technique is used, the glass master blows the different colored glass separately and then layers them on top of each other. During this process, it is inevitable that small air bubbles are created. In order to avoid bubbles and have clear glass, in locations far from Venice and Italy they use the Lead in the composition. This is a dangerous metal that is not part of the Murano Glass tradition. Using Lead is forbidden in Murano and a crystal which is not 100% clear, is a true sign of authenticity.

B. Pontil mark

Another small imperfection is the Pontil mark. The Pontil mark is a scar that was left behind when the glass master broke the Pontil rod of the finished blown Murano glasswork. The Pontil mark can be found on the bottom of a hand-blown artwork. Touch it with your finger and you can feel that the surface of the Pontil mark is not smooth.

2. Look for proof of origin

Remember that genuine Murano glassworks are only produced in the island of Murano, Italy. Murano is not a brand name, it is a physical location. Based on the signature of the glass master and/or certificate of authenticity you can identify the origin of the glasswork.

A. Signature of the Murano glass master

Look for the signature of the glass master on the artwork. Then go online and check if the glass master is indeed located in Murano, Italy. Furthermore, to make sure that the signature is original, compare it with the signature of the glass master displayed online.

Hand Made Murano Glass Shop

B. Certificate of Origin Sticker

Look for the certificate of origin sticker on the artwork, which certifies that the artwork was made in the island of Murano, Italy. You may find more than one stickers on the artwork as there are different certifications available.

Look for the sticker of the artist, on which either the name of the artist or the name of the atelier is indicated. Then go online and check where the artist is located. Also, compare the sticker found on the artwork to the one displayed online.

تمثال بيكاسو من الزجاج المنفوخ

3. Look for high quality

A. Striking colors

Murano glass blowers are the masters of layering the different colors of the molten glass, which technique is easily identifiable and difficult to replicate with high quality

murano glass lovers sculpture

B. 24-karat gold or 925 silver infusion

Murano glass masters are also famous for infusing their masterpieces with 24-karat gold or 925 silver. Silver and gold infusion is a special technique that is difficult to copy not to mention that quality raw materials are expensive, which makes replication hard.

The Making of Murano Glass Goblets - The SECRET Art of Venetian Glassblowing

4. Buy from a trusted source

A. Visit the island of Murano

Visit the beautiful island of Murano and see how Murano glass is created. Purchase beautiful artwork on the island from a trusted dealer, who guarantees the origin of the glasswork.

B. Buy from a trusted online shop

All artworks displayed in our MuranoGlassItaly Shop are certified Murano glassworks. We only collaborate with artists, who are located on the island of Murano, Italy. Origin is guaranteed.

Visit our website MuranoGlassItaly.com for a wide collection of handmade unique masterpieces!

All our artworks are 100% handmade in Murano, Italy and they are always provided with a Certificate of Authenticity. We will ship the artwork safely to your door step.