Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. > Murano & Italy Glass



Hi everyone

Today was in an antique shop where we bought a HUGE Beranek paperweight (the interior looks a bit like golden brocolli lol - but I digress).

The shopkeeper tried to sell us a small vase. According to him, it is Murano millefiori. It was about 4" high, an opaque dark purple (almost black), with millefiori canes all over it, in purple/red/white.

Now, my question is... when I held it, it did not feel like glass at all. It felt more like a fine clay or china piece! Only knew it was glass when I tapped my fingernail against it and it rang, and when I picked it up and held it to srong light, the black parts became dark violet.

Is this normal for opaque millefiori pieces? i.e. to look and feel more like ceramics than glass?


Hi Amanda,

I'm not experienced with that type of Murano (or other) glass. The only example I have of a small vase covered with millefiori canes has a definite look and feel of glass and each cane can be individually felt as a glossy add-on, except in the neck where the strecthing of the glass has joined and smoothed the canes.

But I do have a Scottish paperweight with all over canes that has also been either acid dipped or finely ground such that the surface is completely smooth and "soft" to the touch. If that technique had been applied to a small vase then initial handling may well feel like fine clay or porcelain.

Hello Amanda,
It would be helpful if you have a photo of the piece and you can post it here along with the topic. You can edit your post and include it into it if you can.
For what you are describing it sounds like an older satin type glass piece? am I correct? Whithout a photo it is hard to say, but you might want to look at Fratelli Toso's early pieces.
As far as the feel and look of ceramic? Many glass pieces are made to look like caramic glazes, stone, and some are very think and heavy so it is very hard to say without a photo what you really have.


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