How to Identify Murano Glass and Its Iconic Styles

Italy is well-known for its many long-lasting traditions in the arts, fashion,   cuisine, and more. Hand-made Venetian glass is one of those centuries-old traditions that mark the quality and artisan attention to elegant detail that crafters on the Italian island of Murano uphold to this day. To qualify as true Murano glass, it must be made on the island and trademarked by registered officials as Vetro Artistico® Murano. Poppi Italian Leather is a trusted importer of quality Murano glass goods from a selection of family-owned artisan glass makers. Our stunning collection of Murano glass provides a foundational standard for craftsmanship, design, and overall quality that can be judged against any other true Murano glass art.

While our selection of Murano glass is trademarked under Italian law, you may have encountered a piece that you weren’t sure was real Murano quality. Understanding how to identify Murano glass starts with the trademark.

 

Trademark

In 1994, the Veneto Region created the Vetro Artistico® Murano trademark in compliance with Law 70. This trademark (translates as Murano Glass Art®) certifies all glass made on Murano island in accordance to the traditional glass making techniques. A label to signify this trademark is one obvious way you can identify Murano glass, or with other labels that are made with red and gold or blue and gold. There will also be a code unique to the concessionary artisan. Many companies have QR codes or other data matrices that can be identified with certain smartphone apps.

 

Style

Another way to identify real Murano glass is by its style and design. Murano glass makers have a long history of working with different techniques that create unique, highly specific styles. Some of these styles include:

Millefiori style glasses

  • Millefiori: This style uses colored canes of glass placed in clear glass, such as these 8 oz. millefiori beverage glasses. The millefiori technique began in Alexandra, Egypt and has been iconic of Murano glass since the 15th century. It translates literally to “thousand flowers” for its flowery designs.

    Cristallo style crystal bowl

  • Cristallo: The cristallo technique was created by Murano glass expert Angelo Barovier in the 15th century and has since been perfected to be the global standard of high quality crystal glass. Since it was first developed, cristallo glass has been considered the clearest, best quality glass in the industry. Our selection boasts several cristallo pieces such as these hand blown crystal vases or this Lisboa pattern crystal blue vase.
  • Filigrana: This technique offers a wide range of design options. Filigrana uses colored canes in clear glass that are twisted and stretched to create stripes, spirals, and lines moving in opposite directions. This was developed in the 1500s, and today is used to make stunning pieces like this crystal vase, this wine decanter, and this water pitcher.Filigrana style glass decanter

 

There are many other styles used to create traditional, iconic Murano glass pieces in addition to millefiori, cristallo, and filigrana. To learn more about how to identify Murano glass and its styles, contact Poppi Italian Leather at (507) 282-3088 or poppibags@gmail.com. Shop online or visit our store in Rochester, MN, to start your own Murano glass collection today.