Albarello - technique to produce
Venice; 15th/16th c.
This albarello is a fine example of tradition and invention. An important development in the Murano glass industry was the discovery of Angelo Barovier (member of an old family of glass makers record of which goes back to 1330). At the beginning of the 15th c. he began to add manganese to purify the glass mix and produce fine clear colourless glass which came to be called cristallo because of its likeness to rock crystal.
This new transparent glass began to take precedence over coloured glass and the enamel decoration itself became increasingly transparent allowing the cristallo to dominate. Our albarello is an early example of this development where enamel and gilding have retained their place leaving only the low base undecorated.