Italian Art Glass

Glass sculptures and art made in Italy are often known for its bright, vibrant colours, complex designs, and skilled craftsmanship. There are many different types and styles of Italian art glass available to choose from.

What types of Italian art glass are there?

While art glass from Italy is often considered to be mostly decorative in nature, such as art pieces and sculptures, some pieces can be used for other purposes. You will find that glass can be transformed into the following functional pieces:

  • Bowls
  • Vases
  • Chandeliers
  • Lamps
  • Beads
What is Murano glass?

Murano glass is a specific type of glass that is made in the Italian city of Murano. While other art glass that is made in Italy may have a similar look and style as Murano glass pieces, the sculptures and art are not considered to be Murano glass unless it was made in the city.

What materials are used to make Murano glass?

This type of art glass is made of 70% silica sand and 30% other substances for fluxes and stabilizers. The materials that make up fluxes allow the glass to be melted and worked with at lower temperatures. This means that the art piece will be free from bubbles. The stabilizers prevent the piece from combining with water when it is cooled down. Murano glass may also have a variety of different minerals and chemical derivatives to give the otherwise clear glass a range of colours.

How can you identify Murano glass?

Because other art glass from Italy can look similar, determining if art is from Murano can be a bit difficult. However, there are four main ways to determine if the art you are looking at is the real deal:

  • Trademark: Modern Murano work may have markings that say Vetro Artistico Murano. This mark ensures that the artwork was made correctly and that it was, in fact, made in the city. This mark was designed to distinguish real work from counterfeits.
  • Signatures: Master art glass makers often sign their artwork as the material is cooling. If it appears that the signature was scratched into the surface, the item may not be authentic. The placement of the signature may also be a clue, though this can vary by artist.
  • Age: Art that is made after 1980 should come with a certificate from the factory it was made at. It should be noted that art made before 1980 will likely not have an accompanying certificate.