Salviati Glass: Bold Fixtures

by Fabian Toulouse

Though not often mentioned, the history of glass is forever interwoven into human history. Any piece about the history of glass, no matter how brief, must begin on the island of Murano, specifically the participation of the Salviati family of Murano. Anyone who has dealt with their quality glass products can vouch for their luminescence and craftsmanship.

Like Venice, Murano is a city spanning an archipelago of islands joined together by a network of canals. Murano inherited glassmaking from its better established and more powerful neighbor, Venice, when the fear of fire forced the of all glassmaking apparatus to the predominantly stone structured archipelago. Around the fourteenth century, glassmakers were among the more respected citizens of the city, which meant they enjoyed incredible power and prestige. To maintain a monopoly, the Venetians forbade the glassblowers of Murano from ever leaving the borders of the republic.

The glassmakers of Murano held a monopoly on luxury glass making, and the techniques birthed there, like milk glass, millefiore glass, and gold glass are still used today. The glazers of Murano have been making glass and mosaics for hundreds of years. Indeed, their handiwork can be viewed as far as Westminister Cathedral, the Council House in Birmingham, and St. David’s Cathedral in Wales.

The founder of the Salviati family business was Antonio Salviati. A former lawyer, he opened his first glass in 1859. Since that time, the Salviati family has become synonymous with fine, decorative glassworks. They were among the first glazers to employ a cadre of workers to mass produce glass for export.

The bounds of their expression have yet to be measured. The Salviati family not sculpts fine art pieces, mosaics, and dining pieces, but they also create stunning light fixtures. The ambiance and decorative quality of any room can be enhanced with a Salviati piece or fixture. From Italy with love and craftsmanship.

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