The Murano glass Chandeliers we present in our catalogue are available in a large variety of finishes. Colours, dimensions and designs can generally all be customised. Please contact us for expert advice on your next commission.
Murano glass chandeliers hail from the island of Murano, the famous Venetian island. The heritage of the Venetian chandelier is interwoven with the history of Venetian glass, and more importantly with that of the Venetian glassmakers.
The production of Venetian glass dates back to the early 13th century. It was renowned as the most beautiful and purest glass in the world. The earliest glass lights were lanterns rather than chandeliers. Venetian glassmakers had always excelled at making truly beautiful and original works of art, and it wasn't long before they used their glass to produce many other products, such as Murano glass mirrors, and, of course, Murano glass chandeliers from the early 1700s.
Historically, these pretty and flirtatious glass chandeliers became popular after the iron, wood and brass era of chandeliers, and instantly brought a new dimension to the chandelier.
Chandeliers hailing from Murano are essentially different from lead crystal chandeliers. They are made of soda crystal, famed for its extraordinary lightness, and possessing a unique property which allows it to be worked for a longer period of time. This has enabled the glass master to produce the amazingly graceful and feminine shapes associated with Murano chandeliers.
Traditionally, a Murano chandelier would feature intricate arabesques of leaves and flowers, and would often also incorporate coloured glass, made possible by the unique soda glass. The soda glass contained a small quality of lime, giving it amazing clarity, and was a complete contrast to all the different types of glass produced in the world at that time.
Murano glassmakers were highly dedicated to the production process. The precision required to twist and shape the chandelier required a massive amount of skill, energy, and time.
The earliest classic example of a Venetian glass chandelier was one produced for Frederick IV of Denmark, who travelled to Murano in 1709, specifically to acquire a chandelier, and by 1718, a chandelier was to be found in his inventory, along with various other Venetian glassware. This particular chandelier still hangs in the royal palace today.
The production of glass in Murano fell in 1797 due to the occupation of the Venetian Republic by the armies of Napoleon. Many of the glassworks closed and the production of the Murano glass chandeliers halted. The mid-19th century saw a revival of Murano glass production , and Venetian and Murano glass and their products became intensely popular once more.