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Reference Library

Any collection is more rewarding if the collector takes the time to become familiar with the literature surrounding it. No field illustrates this better than Murano glass.

Although nothing can replace the experience of actually viewing and handling a variety of pieces produced by different makers at different times and of discussing them with knowledgeable dealers, few have an opportunity to educate themselves about Murano glass in that way alone. Everyone will become a more appreciative, knowledgeable and confident collector by acquiring and studying a few of the key books in the field. They will learn to recognize some of the products of different glass producers and their legendary entrepreneurs, glassblowers and designers, and they willl understand the key factors affecting the value of individual pieces.

The wide variety of beautiful books on Murano glass is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it means that a great deal of information is available but, on the other hand, it can make it difficult for the newcomer to know where to begin. Here are some suggestions based on my own experience over the past ten years.

Two basic books:

Carl I. Gable

Murano Magic: Complete Guide to Venetian Glass, Its History and Artists

Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2004

The book inspired by this website, designed as an indispensable reference. (Click the title for purchase information.)

"Beautiful, complex and a reference work bound to be a standard, widely quoted for generations to come."
All About Glass

"A fascinating resource for glass collectors of every stripe. . . The best recent source for information on Venetian glass and glassmakers."
Adele Kenny, The Antiquer:  Fine Art & Antiques

"The new definitive reference to Murano--the best we've seen."
West Coast Peddler

Gianfranco Toso

Murano Glass
Verona: Arsenale Editrice, 2000.  Paperbound.

This small and inexpensive paperback by a descendant of one of Murano's legendary glassblowing families gives a richly illustrated history of Venetian glassmaking from its earliest days. It is informative about both the old and the new of Murano and Venice glassmaking. (Click the title for purchase information.)

Other interesting surveys:

Helmut Ricke and Eva Schmitt

Italian Glass, Murano Milan, 1930-1970: The Collection of the Steinberg Foundation
Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1997.

This catalog for the historic 1996-8 exhibitions of the Steinberg Foundation Collection held successively at Düsseldorf, Corning, Sapporo and Tokyo, is an outstanding combination of scholarship and beautiful illustrated examples.

Marc Heiremans

Art Glass from Murano / Glas-Kunst aus Murano, 1910-1970
Stuttgart: Arnoldsche, 1995.

Marina Barovier, Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Attilia Dorigato

Il Vetro alle Biennalli, 1895-1972
Milan: Leonardo Arte, 1995.  Paperbound.

Mostly pictorial. The captions are in Italian, but easy for an English reader to figure out.

Marina Barovier, Attilia Dorigato

Animals in Glass: A Murano Bestiary
Venice: Canal & Stamperia Editrice, 1997.  Paperbound.

Marc Heiremans

20th Century Murano Glass: From Craft to Design
Stuttgart: Arnoldsche, 1997.

Designers and Glassmakers:

Marino Barovie
Carlo Scarpa: Glass of an Architect
Milan: Skira, 1998.

Marina Barovier

Art of the Barovier: Glassmakers in Murano, 1866-1972
Antique Collector's Club, 1993.

Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Anna Venini, editors

Gli Artisti di Venini, per una Storia del Vetro d'Arte Veneziano
Milan: Electa, 1996.

Dino Martens: Muranese Glass Designer, Catalogue of Work
Marc Heiremans
Dino Martens: Muranese Glass Designer, Catalogue of Work
Stuttgart: Arnoldsche, 2000.

Click the title for purchase information.

Venini: Catalogue Raisonne 1921-1986
Anna Venini Diaz de Santillana, ed., Helmut Ricke, Valerio Terraroli, Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Victoria Milne, Maria Novella Benzoni
Venini: Catalogue Raisonné 1921-1986
Milan: Skira Editore, 2000.

19th Century Glass:

Puccio Migliaccio, Attilia Dorigato

Glass for the Table: XIX Century Murano Glass Tableware
Venice: Aresenale Editrice, 2000.

Click the title for purchase information.

Colours of Murano in the XIX Century
Aldo Bova, Rossella Junck, Puccio Migliaccio, editors
Colours of Murano in the XIX Century
Venice: Arsenale Editrice, 2000.

Click the title for purchase information.

Venetian Glass: Confections in Glass, 1855-1914
Sheldon Barr
Venetian Glass: Confections in Glass, 1855-1914
New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998.

Click the title for purchase information.

Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Claudio Gianolla, Rossella Junck, et al.

Dragons, Serpents and Sea Monsters in 19th Century Murano Glass
Venice: Junck & Gianolla, 1997.

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