Cheap Chinese Imports Copy Murano GlassBy Mark Chervenka
Cheap Chinese Imports Copy Murano Glass
Inexpensive 8-inch vases imitating mid-20th century styles from Murano, Italy have been exported in large quantities from China.
The Chinese copies, priced $8-$12 from several American reproduction wholesalers, are made primarily with twisted opaque glass ribbons in clear glass bodies. New pieces are blown and handworked in techniques roughly similar to those used by glass makers in Murano, Italy. But there are important exceptions.
All the ribbons in the Chinese pieces, for example, are solid-colored opaque glass. There are no ribbons of latticinio, or net-like, pierced-glass ribbons. Neither are any of the Chinese ribbons intertwined with a second ribbon. None of the samples we purchased or saw offered has any gold or silver inclusions as many, but not all, similar Murano pieces
Another important difference and probably the most obvious, is the rough pontils on the Chinese vases. Virtually without exception, similar pieces made in Murano have polished or at least ground pontils.
Many of the new Chinese pieces we examined have unusually thick top rims with a distinct bulge running along the circumference of the mouth. Some necks and a few bodies are also noticeably slanted or leaning towards one side. Similar originals are almost always perfectly symmetrical.