If you attend auctions or sales that include glass jewelry, animals or other pieces of glass art, you are bound to hear the name “Murano” quite a few times. Just because a piece is lovely, well formed and colorful does not mean it is Murano glass. Newer fakes are harder to spot, but there are ways to tell look-alike Murano glass from the real thing.
Some auctioneers and buyers alike think that if glass has a label that says “Murano Style” or “Made in Italy”, that it is Murano Glass. This is not necessarily true. In some cases, a Murano label will be applied to a glass piece that is not Murano, to get a higher price for the item.
Check Murano catalogs – old and new alike – to determine if the piece you are questioning is an authentic one. You can also post a picture on the Rowan forum and get help in identifying your piece from the experts.
Each factory does use its own labels, and they change throughout the years. Paper labels were used until the 1970s, and the design of each label can be a clue as to the piece’s age.
You will find good pictures of different Murano labels in the “Murano Label Library” in the Fossilfly forums, according to Antiques and Auction News.
In some – but not all – cases, glass designers will sign their glass pieces. The signatures should never be identical, since they are hand signed. Some sellers will use a carbide-tipped pen to scratch a signature into a generic piece of glass. This occurs mainly with vintage pieces.
Newer Murano glass pieces should always be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. The Fossilfly forums have threads that detail fake signatures, and these are an important resource you can use to see how fake signatures differ from those that are authentic.