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Glass & Glass-Making
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Page 6

Venetian Glass (16th Century)
VENETIAN GLASS (16th century)
lapis lazuli (lazurite stone, also called blue spar).
    Crusaders often brought home specimens, taking care to fill them with earth from the Holy Land, which kept them from breaking and, besides, made them more precious. The famous "Luck of Eden Hall" is one of these.
    The industry suddenly ceased when Tamerlane captured Damascus (about 1370) and took the glass-makers to Samarkand. In after years travelers spoke of the gorgeous glass they saw there. This ware continued to be made in a few places; but it was finally surpassed by the vogue of the new Venetian "cristallo."

Venetian Glass

    Venice had glass-making under artistic control at a very early period. An old writer, Carlo Marin, said that "Venice loved the art of glass-making as the apple of her eye." And he was right. Venice not only took pride in this industry, but it was one important source of her vast wealth.
    The Venetians ceased to make enameled glass after the Arabian style at the beginning of the sixteenth century; for they had learned to make an absolutely colorless and transparent glass, capable of being blown to
Dutch Sea-Green Goblet (Decorated by Anna Visscher.  In the Ryks Museum, Amsterdam)

Decorated by Anna Visscher.
In the Ryks Museum,
the thinness of a wafer and of being worked into every variety of form. Everybody wanted specimens of the thin, airy "metal," blown into lovely shapes and fantastically decorated with flowers, sea-horses and dragons with spreading wings, or exhibiting spiral lines of milk-white, or colored threads.
    The artistic beauty of Venetian glass, made in Murano (an island near Venice), depends entirely on the skill of the glass-blower rather than on that of the enameler, engraver, or cutter. The Murano workmen sought perfection of form, delicacy of color and the fairy lightness of the soap-bubble.
    This exquisite glass was imitated everywhere, until it was pushed aside by Bohemian glass. Murano glass-making was revived in 1856 by Dr. Antonio Salviati, a prominent lawyer of Venice, who gave his time and fortune to the restoration of an art that was not dead, but sleeping.