Posted 6 years ago
This is the oldest piece of Murano in my collection. It was manufactured by the Venice and Murano Co. circa 1898. It measures 5 1/2" h X 6"w and has 8 applied handles. The type of glass is chalcedony, a variegated opaque glass, red in transparency, with multicolored veins, in imitation of semiprecious stones like streaky agate, natural chalcedony, onyx, malachite, etc. It is obtained by mixing scraps of white opaline glass, colored opaline glass and crystal. Once the fusion is ended, a mixture of coloring compounds is added repeatedly, such as nitrate of silver (which also acts in matting), cobalt oxide, potassium dichromate, etc., that are dispersed by stirring the fusion. The streaking, caused by the oxides, is then further enhanced by the curving motion conferred by final blowing. The most ancient known specimens of chalcedony glass date back to the Roman age and were produced in Alexandria, while the first known mention of chalcedony dates to 1460. This type of glass was greatly successful between the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century. Lorenzo Radi brought this glassmaking composition to life once more by presenting it at the Istituto Veneto in 1856, together with other vitreous pastes. I've never seen another early piece, but there are several examples in "Venetian Glass in the 1890s: Salviati at Stanford University" by Carol M. Osborne. Unfortunately, due to the reflective nature of the jar, my pics aren't the best.