For more than a thousand years, Murano glass has captured the hearts of artists, royalty, noblemen, politicians, and entrepreneurs from all over the world.
What is Murano glass, exactly?
Murano glass is a type of glass that is world-renowned for its exquisite beauty and quality. Made exclusively on the Venetian island of Murano, this glass is considered a true masterpiece of artistry and craftsmanship that comes in a range of items including Murano glass bowls, mirrors, vases, and lighting fixtures. As a collector or designer, it is crucial to be able to distinguish authentic Murano glass, so that you can be certain you are investing in a genuine work of art. If you know what to look for, you are going to be able to know how to tell if Murano is real.
Here’s how to identify Murano glass to see if it’s the real deal:
1. Look For the Master Glassmaker’s Signature
When it comes to identifying authentic Murano glass, it is important to keep an eye out for signatures or initials on the handblown glass piece, as many skilled artisans and companies in Murano take pride in signing their work, as you can see from the examples below in our Murano Glass “Fazzoletto” Lamp By Venini and our Murano Glass Pagoda Lamps. While signatures or initials on a Murano glass piece can often indicate authenticity, it’s important to note that not all authentic Murano glass pieces will have them. However, if you do come across a signature or mark, it’s a good sign that the piece was made by a master glassblower.
2. Check for Intricate Designs
Murano glass is known for its intricate and detailed designs which are often inspired by nature and feature delicate patterns, swirls, and twists. Take our Murano Glass Aqua “Foglie” Chandelier. The pattern in the glass can help you identify Murano glass pieces that are authentic, as these patterns are difficult to reproduce. Look for designs that are symmetrical and well-balanced, like our Murano Glass Purple Avventurina Lamps, that show no signs of sloppiness or lack of attention to detail.
3. Look for Imperfections
Authentic Murano glass is handmade, and thus, not perfect. Look for slight imperfections, such as small bubbles or irregular shapes, as shown in the examples below. These imperfections are signs that the glass was made by hand and not mass-produced by a machine. For example, our Murano Glass “Rostrate” Vase, shows a few small bubbles through-out the glass.
4. Check the Quality of the Glass
Genuine Murano glass is typically heavy and thick, with a high level of clarity. It’s made with high-quality materials and is thicker, giving it a unique shine and brilliance, like our Vintage Venini Murano Glass Pendant. When you hold a piece of Murano glass up to the light, you should see a brightness and clarity that is not present in ordinary glass.
5. Check for Vibrant Colors
Murano glass is famous for its vibrant colors, which are created using a combination of minerals and metals. The colors are bright and bold and often feature unique patterns and designs. For example, our Murano Glass Green Lamps displays specks of gold within it’s beautiful bright green color. If the colors of the glass appear dull or lackluster, it may not be authentic.
6. Check the Price
Authentic Murano glass is not cheap. Murano glass is always made in Italy, crafted by hand, and made with high-quality materials, which all factors into the price. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of deals like so, as they may be selling low-quality pieces.
7. Buy from a Reputable Dealer
Finally, the best way to ensure authenticity is to buy from a reputable Murano glass dealer. Jean-Marc Fray Antiques is known for its collection of unique and authentic French and Italian vintage finds and antiques. We buy our Murano exclusively from the Venetian island of Murano. When you buy from a trusted dealer, you can be assured that the product is genuine.
In conclusion, authentic Murano glass is a work of art that is both beautiful and valuable. By remembering and following these 7 ways to identify authentic Murano glass, you can ensure that you are getting a genuine piece of history. With the largest collection of European antiques and vintage finds in central Texas, Jean-Marc Fray is the perfect source for authentic Murano glass and other exquisite treasures. We are passionate about preserving the heritage and craftsmanship of Murano glass. Come visit us and our stunning abundance of hand-crafted Murano pieces.