Murano Paperweight Project

updated 7 Oct 2012

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This project aims to help collectors identify Murano paperweights. The three questions that it is intended to help with are:

  • is it a Murano paperweight?
  • when was it made?
  • by whom was it made?

The project presents images of Murano paperweights from various makers and various dates, using labelled Murano weights where possible.  Please click on the image for a larger picture. If you have a labelled (or known to be Murano weight) and know approximately when it was made, we would be happy to include images here.

Identifying Murano paperweights is not a straightforward task. It is not possible to make a positive attribution of a Murano paperweight just because it has Murano canes or carries a Murano label. Paperweight makers outside Murano have used Murano canes at times - for example, Liskeard Glass and Royal Brierley in the UK, and Jim Hart in the USA. So identifying a Murano cane in a paperweight does not guarantee it came from Murano, let alone which factory. (The 'false friend' problem). Secondly, neither a Murano label nor the fact the paperweight was bought in Murano guarantees that it was made there. Significant numbers of Chinese weights have been sold in Murano / Burano / Venice in the last few years, some bearing Murano labels or ones intended to sound Italian - eg Verruci Bregogna. (The 'grey import' problem). Examples of 'false friends' and 'grey imports' are included for reference.

Further complications when trying to attribute paperweights to a particular manufacturer are that:

  • only a small number of Murano factories produce millefiori canes, wheras a much larger number produce paperweights, having bought the canes.
  • many labels are those of importers or wholesalers rather than the original makers.

And then there are the lampwork designs.....

I am grateful to the following for their contributions: Anita Caudle, Simone Simmons, Blubear Galleries, bidsbestbuys, Dave Webber, samuelcollection , Erhard Maroschek, tjones2sr, abinger2, Sophie Boyron, Wolf Selentag, Jackie Lindsay, stlouisredbirds, ...

Click on a maker's name or category below to be taken to a page showing examples of the paperweights

Unassigned images
Fratelli Toso
Ferro & Lazzarini
Tre Fiori / 3 Fiori
False friends
Antica Murrina
Aureliano Toso
Millefiori Factory
Grey imports
Archimede Seguso Eugenio Ferro Tagliapietra Galliano Ferro Venini / Cenedese

Useful links and resources:

Allan Port's website
Verre D'Art
Millefiori Factory Murano

Examples of Murano labels (sadly without any item images):