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Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => Murano & Italy Glass => Topic started by: Pinkspoons on August 23, 2010, 08:24:57 AM

Title: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Pinkspoons on August 23, 2010, 08:24:57 AM
I've been reorganising my bookshelves this weekend gone, and I've realised that I don't have anything in the way of reference for Venetian glass, except for a single exhibition catalogue dealing with the Renaissance through to the 19th Century, and chapters in broad 20th century glass books of questionable reliability.

Are there any good general reference books that folk could recommend? I'll look into more factory/design-specific works when I find a surer footing in this area.
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Pinkspoons on August 26, 2010, 03:23:11 AM
Not even if I ask nicely, pretty please and thank you very much?  ;D

I have enough terrible books dealing with other areas of glass - I don't really want to waste money adding to that particular pile if I can help it.

Ta muchly.
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Ivo on August 26, 2010, 06:17:55 AM
Murano is a bit of an issue. I have quite a large library of Murano books, and they all suffer from the pretense factor: full size full colour photographs of museum pieces, impenetrable text, high cost and bad indexing. I think Leslie Piña books (I do not know the Murano ones!) should cover be more accessible and findable pieces, even if inaccuracies are reported. But most books just have the wrong price/information ratio. IMHO, of course.
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Pinkspoons on August 26, 2010, 08:59:03 AM
Oh, I know the perils of generalist books - the same caveat as 'jack of all trades, master of none'.

I've only one Piña book - Smoke & Ice - and I'd probably put it in the useless pile. That said, if I were just starting out in Scandinavian glass it probably would give me a decent idea of what to expect.

I'll see if I can acquire an inexpensive Piña or two - cheers, Ivo.
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: TxSilver on August 26, 2010, 01:12:36 PM
When you first asked, I thought of Leslie Pina's Italian Glass Century 20. It is a good Murano primer. I've not noticed any real problems with it. I thought you might be looking for something more scholarly and researched. If you're looking for descriptions of techniques, Rosa Barovier Mentasti's Venetian Glass or Marc Heiremans Murano Glass, Themes and Variation are probably best.
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Pinkspoons on August 26, 2010, 03:05:07 PM
Oh, no, I wanted something really quite basic and general. I know next to nothing about Italian glass, which is a bit silly when you consider its influence on 20th Century design, and just wanted a few semi-reliable texts with which to start learning the essentials. I've got more books on American glass than I have for Italian, and I don't even buy American glass!  ::) ;D

I've already looked into getting Themes & Variations - it seems to be quite a well-respected title. I'll keep an eye out for the Barovier Mentasti title too.

Thanks for the suggestions.  :)
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: langhaugh on August 27, 2010, 06:25:47 AM
Nothing much  to add, more to confirm. I see Pina as being most useful when you are starting to collect lower end  Murano, but it doesn't lead you to anywhere near an understanding of Murano, or the techniques.  The Heiremans and Mentasti explain Murano style and techniques with illustrations from high end glass, but you can see those same techniques in lower end pieces.

Having shown my preference, I have to add that, rather than make a choice, I'd buy all three, or at least Heiremans and Pina (and then buy Mentasti a week later).

Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: TxSilver on September 05, 2010, 02:17:23 AM
I was looking through my books tonight and realized I had made a mistake. A better general reference book is Marino Barovier's Venetian Art Glass, instead of Menstasi's book. Both are good, but I consider Marino's book to be more useful. It is organized by companies and similarities. It is confusing when the title of so many books are much the same.
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Pinkspoons on September 05, 2010, 12:07:46 PM
Well I've not got around to looking properly for books yet, as I've been instead spending all my money on Murano glass.  :-[

I'm not buying *too* blindly, though. I hope. (I'm a sucker for SVd'A and Cenedese scavo glass, aas well as 'Memphis'-inspired 1980s post-modernism, it seems)

But I am taking note of any titles to look out for in the near future, so it's all very much appreciated.
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Artofvenice on September 06, 2010, 08:26:24 AM
I use the Marino Barovier's Venetian Art Glass too. It is well organized and it features some artists and factories infos in the first part.
For historical information my suggestion would be for Luigi Zecchin "Vetro e i vetrai di Murano".

The main problem with most part of the italian Murano books is that they are written by the same group of 4-5 people. they have their favourite artists and they completely forghet al the others.
There is no research for new talents and no way to see published other good glassworks if not produced by the usual big names (Barbini, Seguso, Venini, Tagliapietra etc.). If an exceptional master glassmaker is not part of this "connection", he doesn't exist in any book...

So imho, there isn't a real-reference book about real-contemporary Murano glass.

Alex (
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: TxSilver on September 06, 2010, 01:22:06 PM
I agree with Alex so much. Another problem I see with the books is that there are certain favorite pieces for the companies. Heiremans attempted to correct this problem in his book on Dino Martens by adding the catalog of designs. I consider his book to be the best Murano book published to date because of the superior catalog.

I would very much like to see a book that includes the Ferros, Nasons, Morettis (beyond Carlos) and Zanettis and other people that probably most of us have never heard of. I would also enjoy seeing books on the newer glass (1970s and beyond). I think new books would help to perk the interest of collectors in the work of new artists. The only ones we hear about are those with ties to the old companies or who have caught the interest of the old families (e.g., Ohira).
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Pinkspoons on September 29, 2010, 07:44:48 PM
Well I've finally taken the plunge, and have got Mentasti's Venetian Glass and Barovier's Venetian Art Glass on order - spotted the two for under £45 (inc. P&P) on Amazon, which I was quite happy about.  ;D
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: shineyobjects on October 02, 2010, 12:11:15 PM
I was looking at these books, tell me what you think of them.
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Pinkspoons on October 03, 2010, 11:21:35 AM
Still awaiting their arrival - one of the worst things about buying online, I think.  ;D

I'm contemplating acquiring a factory-specific book for Venini - I've a couple of early Scarpa pieces that I want to know more about. Logic dictates that getting the Catalogue Raisonne 1921-1986 would probably be the best option for a niggly fact-checker like me. Or are there any alternate titles better to invest in?
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: langhaugh on October 04, 2010, 06:09:26 AM
I prefer Franco Deboni, Venini Glass, 2 volumes (with the rest of the info coming from Amazon).
# Hardcover: 528 pages
# Publisher: Umberto Allemandi (August 25, 2007)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 8842215244
# ISBN-13: 978-8842215240
# Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 10 x 2.5 inches
# Shipping Weight: 9.9 pounds

It usually costs a fortune but it does turn up occasionally at a very reasonable price. It has more glass in it and the catalogues are reproduced  in a bigger format than in the Catalog Raisonne.

Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Pinkspoons on October 04, 2010, 09:55:58 AM
Thanks for the recommendation, but drat, I got impatient and ordered the Catalogue Raisonne last night. Still, it wasn't too expensive.

I did, earlier in the year, see a bookseller at a fair offering the 2-volume Deboni title for a really nugatory sum - this was before I became interested in Italian glass. Completely kicking myself now for not getting it. I'll have to see if I can track them down.
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: shineyobjects on October 07, 2010, 12:51:28 AM
Which book


Venetian Art Glass - Marino Borovier

 :sm: Mainly for reference
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: Pinkspoons on October 14, 2010, 03:57:59 PM
Righty, so I've Mentasti's "Venetian Glass" and Barovier's "Venetian Art Glass" - personally, I prefer the former because there's a slightly wider range of factories, and because there's more text to wrap my chops around. But they're both great books, so thanks for the recommendations.

I also cancelled the order for the single-volume Venini book and tracked down the bookseller with the two-volume tome. I got it for less than the single one. A great title with great images and the catalogue reprints should come in very handy. Unfortunately, it's a bit sketchy on the particular Scarpa pieces I wanted to better identify - so they may be appearing on here shortly.  :angel:
Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: kendrav on April 09, 2014, 01:44:43 PM
I noticed that this is an old thread and I was wondering if there are any new books that one would recommend.  I did not want to start another thread asking the same question.  :)
I did look up the one's already mentioned.
I'm looking to buy a all around reference book on the lower end of Murano glass. 
What is your go tooo book to simply look up an item to get an idea of what it is and what it *maybe* worth?  (I have been given the job of selling off a collection---> and I don't want to misrepresent an item)
These books seem to be pretty pricey and I don't have the money to buy them all.   :'(

Also I would like a book that goes into the different makers and techniques.

I may dive in more deeply later (as I seem to have caught the Murano bug) but right now I just need some help with identifying some of the pieces I have. 

This forum has been so very helpful but I don't want to keep flooding it with my ID questions.  :-\

Title: Re: Murano Reference Books
Post by: ardy on April 13, 2014, 05:02:08 AM
Hi Pinkspoons. I picked up a generalist book from Amazon UK. It was very reasonable >$20 and it is a very small approx 7" x 5" size, but has a fair amount of glass in it for a small book. I would give you more details about name and writer but we have just moved and all is chaos..

I bought it because all my books are packed away and I don't want to wade through 1000 books looking for my glass ref books.