I’ve received many questions by email about how to identify authentic Murano glass. So, I decided to expand on my reasoning for how to identify authentic Murano glass chandeliers and provide a little historical background. If you are not too much into history, you can skip this part and jump directly into the second section.
Believe it or not, authentic Murano glass is still hand-made in factories on the island of Murano, about 15 minutes from the beautiful Venice, Italy. Even more, artisans still use a centuries old technique to make Murano glass. It’s one of the reasons why no Murano piece is ever the same. Because they are all hand made and often contain irregularities.
You may wonder why such a famous manufacturers’ hub wasn’t closer to Venice or the richer cities in Italy. The reason is simple. Artisans were moved to the island of Murano to warranty the safety of Italian cities. You see, Murano furnaces use fire and thus, if proper measures are not taken, especially in the 13th century, fires could spread easily.
Although there are several types of Italian chandeliers, only those from the region of Murano are authentic. Here’s how you can tell whether or not they are authentic.
Top 10 Ways to Identify Authentic Murano Glass
Follow these steps to ensure you’re purchasing a genuine Murano glass piece:
- Request the Company Certificate: This document is issued by the Italian Association for Murano manufacturers and is only available to select individuals.
- Examine the Clarity and Weight: Murano glass is famous for its unparalleled clearness and shine, which can’t be compared to regular glass. The weight also differs from generic glass.
- Look for the Pontil Mark: Genuine Murano glass will have a Pontil marking on its base.
- Check for an Engraved Label: The manufacturer’s label should be engraved on the piece itself.
- Conduct Research: Take time to learn about the glass masters and their production models.
- Inspect the Imperfections: Authentic Murano glass is handmade and may contain lines or bubbles, which attest to its quality and uniqueness.
- Beware of Flawless Pieces: If a piece has no lines or bubbles, it’s likely mass-produced and not authentic Murano glass.
- Consider the Price: If a piece’s price tag is significantly lower than the market rate, exercise caution. Authentic Murano glass may be more expensive, but it’s worth the investment.
- Seek Expert Opinions: If you’re uncertain about a piece, don’t hesitate to contact an expert or share pictures for further assistance.
- Factor in Shipping Costs: Genuine Murano pieces are rarely shipped through budget carriers, so expect higher shipping rates for an authentic item.
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