Author Topic: Murano Clowns, Scorpion Marks, Dating & Fakes  (Read 3431 times)

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Offline Cheryl Sussex

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Murano Clowns, Scorpion Marks, Dating & Fakes
« on: July 02, 2006, 08:33:10 AM »
This is my first posting on this forum, so hello everyone.

I have recently become a collector of Murano glass, mainly clowns. Many of the clowns I purchase have scorpion marks on them. Does anyone know what they mean? Are these marks meaningful or are they marks that just happen during the making process?

Also can anyone advise me upon dating Murano clowns. From my limited knowledge there seems to be a meaning to the shape of the hat and feet with the fashion of design, as to the decade the object was produced. A dealer once told me that the flat feet and pointed hats are a sign of an item that was made in the 1940's. Can anyone verify this for me.

On the subject of fake clowns, ones from Russia, China or Mexico. It does seems that the fakes actually look like crap poorly made clowns. Just a quick one second look and you can instantly tell if you have the real thing or not. Is this the case or am I being too confident? Or the original clown designs being faked so well that an expert can't tell? I'd hate to learn that my growing collection is not the real thing.

If anyone can point me to either a web site with more info or a previous posting on this forum I would be most greatful.


Offline David E

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Murano Clowns, Scorpion Marks, Dating & Fakes
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2006, 09:00:02 AM »
Hi Cheryl and welcome to the GMB.

While I don't collect the clowns, I have sold a few in the past and have pondered the scorpion marks before. In fact  Iwas in touch with someone who reckoned these were an indication of a 'true' Murano make and was actually researching this very point.

They would appear to be a crease made in the glass while being formed, or cooled and the so-called Chinese copies (should they be called 'fakes'?*) were never supposed to exhibit these. Certainly the ones without these marks always appeared to be made with a much brighter glass and therefore looked newer.

Labels are the obvious pointers and you will come across these very occasionally, but these will tell you one way or another. I actually had a 'Womble' clown with label that indicated it was Venetian but, as can be found elsewhere on the board, this does not necessarily indicate it is Muranese, Venetian ,or even Italian! I have a photo of this somewhere and will post it shortly.

I believe Paul (chuggy) has had a few in his time and may be able to offer far more insight than my stumblings :wink:

Certainly worth pursuing though, so perhaps you might like to make a study of it? :D

* I'd call anything 'a fake' where the intention was to deliberately mislead or falsify. However, 'copies' are the sincerest form of flattery in some people's books :wink:
David
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Offline David E

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Murano Clowns, Scorpion Marks, Dating & Fakes
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2006, 09:33:04 AM »
Just 'done a Google' and found the following links:

Shop sites selling clowns, apparently new makes:
http://www.benetto.net/IBS/SimpleCat/Shelf/ASP/Hierarchy/03.html
http://www.mblaisgallery.com/dynamic/artists/Murano_Clowns.asp
http://www.franklinmall.com/murano/murano_art_clowns1.html
http://www.eastglass.com/clowns.htm
http://globalgiftmall.com/murglasclow1.html

I also found two collectors. Might be able to offer help but both only have e-mail addresses and I'd prefer not to publish them - e-mail me for details.

Tracey Opie - another collector featured here:
http://www.cambridgeglassfair.com/exhibitors/interviewarchive/int-opie-tracy.htm
David
► The Curious History of the Bulb Vase ◄
 A new book by Patricia Coccoris

Contact ► Cortex Design ◄ to order any book


Offline Max

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Murano Clowns, Scorpion Marks, Dating & Fakes
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2006, 09:33:27 AM »
The 'scorpion' marks are an accident of production, not a design mark.  When the gob of glass for say, a clown's button is applied, it's cut off with glass shears.  Where the cooler metal hits the glass, it cools quickly, leaving tell tale lines in the surface of the button (or other clown accoutrement).

As for telling a quality piece from another, I'd suggest looking for the details.  The finer it is, maybe with the addition of aventurine, the better (probably) the piece is.   :)
I am not a man


 

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