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Once Upon a Time in a City Called Venice

The History of the Antique Art of Handmade Murano Glass


What are the origins of the antique art of Murano glass? What is the process of the glass making? And what makes Murano glass so unique and renowned all over the world?

The history of Murano glass is deeply intertwined with the history of the Republic of Venice (also known as La Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, The Most Serene Republic of Venice), that was for many centuries a major economic and trading power in the Mediterranean Sea.


Its beginnings are still shrouded in mystery, but its magnificence is known all over the world. The Venetians were renowned navigators who throughout the centuries created a true empire thanks to their commercial supremacy in the Mediterranean Sea. Their intense interest in the import and export of salt, spices, iron, and other products led them to negotiate with nations around the world.  Among the many imports, were minerals such as cobalt and gold, which were used for glass making. It was through this manufacturing that Venice created its vast fortune.

Venetian Glass

The use of previously unavailable components such as cobalt, gold and others which remain unknown even today, led the Venetians to create unique colored artistic glass items. This production stood out from the rest of the world, and has earned them a prominent role in the worldwide production of glass.

The Island of Murano

The intensive glass production became a problem for Venice. The many glass furnaces scattered throughout Venice concerned the population because they frequently caused fires, destroying the largely wooden buildings. To prevent the continued destruction of the city, in the year 1291, the Doge ordered all glassmakers to move to the nearby island of Murano. This decision was revolutionary because:

- The city was saved from the fires. 

- The smoke produced by the glass furnaces never reached Venice despite strong winds. 

- This created a center of innovation. The glassmakers could significantly improve their techniques while jealously guarding these new secrets, and handing them down from generation to generation.

Technical Evolution

Initially Murano Glass had a purely utilitarian purpose, from the XV century this changed, and Venice discovered its true vocation of glass art: the production of glass items for purely aesthetic purpose. Thus there was born a generation of craftsman who began the tradition of Murano Glass Art which we know today.

Murano glass chandeliers, lamps, tables, sculptures, and decors are sought-after elements that give a touch of uniqueness to some of the most lavish villas and luxurious hotels all over the world.

Over the years we have played our part, working with the most exclusive interior designers and private clients worldwide.

Envision Murano glass art illuminating your next project.

To establish what type of Murano glass fits your needs best, reach out to us: click the button below!