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Author Topic: recommended Books to get started  (Read 7473 times)

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newtothis

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recommended Books to get started
« on: October 14, 2004, 07:41:20 PM »
Hello again!

  Can anyone recommend a few good books to get me started with Murano. I'm thinking glass from the 50's and 60's. Maybe a book that deals with that time period.

Thanks,
Cathy

Offline Bernard C

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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2004, 09:04:07 PM »
Hi Cathy,

How about Benson, Nigel, Glass of the '50s & '60s, Miller's, 2002.   Cheap and cheerful, accurate, and will also help you distinguish between Murano and Scandinavian glass.   I found a Paolo Venini egg timer in this for someone else on this board.

Likewise, but hardback, much bigger and more expensive is Jackson, Lesley, 20th Century Factory Glass, Mitchell Beazley, 2000

I own two of each of these, one I refer to regularly, and another for when the first wears out.

The most obvious specialist book on Murano glass is Barovier Mentasti, Rosa, Venetian Glass 1890-1990, Arsenale, 1992.   You will need to cover a wider period than just the '50s and '60s, as many classic designs from the '20s, '30s and perhaps even earlier are still being made today.

See also my topic Italian Art Glass Signatures for an expensively produced exhibition catalogue that seems to have been remaindered at £18.00.   Excellent value.   You should be able to find this at glass fairs if you can't find one elsewhere.

Like yourself, I would welcome more suggestions.   There is a huge display of books on Murano Glass in the museum shop on the island, but most are, unsurprisingly, written in Italian.   I speak about three words, but with O-level Latin and a reasonable command of English, I find I can just about figure it out in specialist glass books.

Bernard C.  8)
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

Text and Images Copyright 200415 Bernard Cavalot

Anonymous

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recommended Books to get started
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2004, 09:26:42 PM »
Hi Bernard,

 That was me with the egg timer! Got me to thinking about getting some books on Murano glass. Presently I only have books on American glass. I looked into buying the one you stated with the egg timer in it. I'm ordering it. I appreciate all your help.

Cathy

Offline Bernard C

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A different approach
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2004, 07:22:34 AM »
Cathy,

I took the plunge a couple of days ago and bought my first '60s or thereabouts Murano glass.   Three colourful chunky pull-your-arms-out-of-their-sockets lumps.   A pair of triangular sommerso bowls, and a cased ruby vase.   They have to be Murano - they couldn't be anything else.

I intend to photograph them and put them up on this board and perhaps also on "75" to see if anyone can attribute or date them properly. Hopefully that will provide some pointers as to what sources (books, websites, &c) the experts use.

Well, it's worth a try.

Bernard C.  8)

ps.  Books are quite variable in their value to ordinary collecters and dealers like you and me.   In general I find the most useful are those written by dealers like Nigel, closely followed by those by established specialist collectors.   Then exhibition catalogues, and specialist auction catalogues such as those written by Simon Cottle and his team at Sotheby's.   Most auction catalogues are useless for reference purposes.   Books by museum staff are quite variable, as, unfortunately, the more obscure and difficult the subject, the better it looks to their peers on their CVs.   So the entrenched museum system does not encourage them to write books on what we would find useful, although there are several authors from the museum world such as Lesley Jackson who have produced great reference works.

If you are not sure about any book you are thinking of buying, then I suggest you either borrow it from a library first or query it here.
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

Text and Images Copyright 200415 Bernard Cavalot

Anonymous

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recommended Books to get started
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2004, 12:34:09 PM »
Hi Bernard,
  I did order the books... Nigel Bensons Glass of the 50's and 60's and the 20th Century Glass Factory last night. I'm looking forward to getting those and reading them. I have to say I'm very nervous about buying Murano. I have seen quite a bit of glass coming from China and right now I wouldn't be able to tell the difference! Of course, I'm talking about new glass. I only have seen some vintage jaw dropping Murano pieces in an antique store I frequent and I have to say...the glass from China sure doesn't look like it. The pieces I keep looking at every time I go are unbelievable! However, I have my eye on a new piece right now, it's a red and crystal heart shaped sculpture by Murano and I really like it. I'm hoping they will discount it but I'm not holding my breath. They had two cat sculptures there, one standing at least 20" tall and another at about 8". Those sold within days!!! I really wanted to collect vintage but some of the pieces I've seen are really nice.

Is there a way to find out which vintage designs Murano re-made?

Cathy

Offline Bernard C

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recommended Books to get started
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2004, 01:57:07 PM »
Cathy,

I first noticed the current production on Murano of old designs in Nigel's book.   The caption to his Venini "Occhi" vases indicates that the original examples from c.1960 are worth four times the 1990s examples.   So there must be some way of telling them apart.   Unfortunately Nigel does not divulge this rather essential snippet of information.

My experience on Murano indicates that a good number of successful old designs are being made today.   There is nothing wrong with that, after all Edinburgh Crystal must have been making their Thistle pattern glasses and decanters for 150 years or more.   It does, however, leave collectors in rather a difficult situation if they are expected to pay a hefty premium on an "antique" that could have been made only a few weeks before.

I bought my three pieces very cheaply.   This gives me the flexibility to price and sell them as purely attractive, interesting and decorative pieces.   Obviously it would be nice and more profitable if I can get them accurately attributed and charge an appropriate premium to the specialist collector.   But if not, I will not have lost out.   It will be a long time before I am confident enough to pay really serious money for most examples of Murano or Murano-type glass.  ... although I was sorely tempted by a jaw-dropping sommerso vase last week - but that's another story.

Bernard C.  8)
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

Text and Images Copyright 200415 Bernard Cavalot

Offline paradisetrader

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recommended Books to get started
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2004, 08:50:58 PM »
Best Value and overall usefulness : Factory Glass
(but covers more than Murano)

For Murano history, glassmaking techniques, the Italian names of techniques and effects and the names and dates of designers and companies (very complex) : Murano Magic

Most helpful for Identification & Styles: Leslie Pina's Italian Glass Century 20

Also good for styles, techniques, designers and companies (but in less detail and not only Murano): Leslie Pinas's Fifties Glass
Pete

Anonymous

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recommended Books to get started
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2004, 11:35:25 PM »
I'm a little hesitant to get the Leslie pina books because of accuracy. I'm a Blenko collector and the pina books I have on Blenko are full of mis-identification. This makes is hard for new collectors to understand. They tend to think that if it's in the book it must be correct. Is this the case with her other books or do they have the right information in them?

Cathy

Offline Bernard C

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recommended Books to get started
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2004, 06:02:55 AM »
Cathy:

I assume all books are out of date as soon as the author sends the finished work to his or her publisher.   Also the publisher can introduce some interesting errors, like the innovative and most descriptive word "knobberly" in Nigel's book for a style of Whitefriars glass, now in common use (do a search on eBay - there is at least one there now).

I get started with the lightly pencilled notes on my first reading.   It's what the margins are for.

Peter:

Thanks for your recommendations.   I have to buy some books.

Bernard C.  8)
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

Text and Images Copyright 200415 Bernard Cavalot

Offline glasswizard

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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2004, 09:17:35 AM »
Cathy

I have found the Pina books invaluable. Her book on Fratelli Toso has been a wonderful addition to my Library. You will find that almost all books contain errors, that is the nature of research, what is true today becomes an error tomorrow.
As to her books on Blenko, have you heard of her book, "Blenko Catalogs, Then and Now"  That has proved the best for me.

Terry in Iowa

 

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