Barovier & Toso Lighting History:
The history of Barovier & Toso:
Barovier&Toso is the oldest glass company in Italy and possibly the world. Barovier&Toso produces their Murano glass collection on the island of Murano. Murano, like many other islands, is a place of mystery and marvel. The history of Barovier&Toso dates back to as far as 1295 and numerous museum collections include some of their finest glass work. The Murano glass company has perfected the ancient art of glass manufacturing which has made Murano world famous over the centuries. After all this time, the company is still firmly under family control: Giovanni Toso is the current president of the company and his focus is to blend the masterful old glass blowing techniques with new modern styles. The Italian glass company produces a wide range of hand made Venetian glass items such as Murano crystal glasses, hand blown Murano glass art, classic and contemporary lighting including Murano chandeliers, crystal chandeliers, pendant lights, table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces and other Murano lamps. The Barovier&Toso contemporary lighting collection is perfect for any home decor and custom designed glass chandeliers can be made upon request for public buildings.
Most historians identify the beginning of the Murano glass blowing tradition at around the end of the 10th century, more precisely in 982. Domenico Fiolarious is mentioned in an official document as a glass blower on the small island of Murano that was part of the young Republic of Venice, the Serenissima, which was then establishing its commercial and political power that was to last for centuries.
In the 13th Century: In 1291, a law made by the Doge ordered that all glass furnaces be moved from Venice to the island of Murano. This was the beginning of a tradition that has been maintained to this day. Ever since then, when we say glass, we think of Murano glass, a product whose exceptional quality is famous throughout the world. Mouth-blown, hand-shaped, Murano glass is reputed for its filigree, its mosaics and for Millefiori Murrina.
In 1295, Jacobellus Barovier formed the Barovier Murano glass company. He was the founder of the Barovier family dynasty which, century after century, generation after generation has perpetuated its unique Murano glass-blowing techniques. The Baroviers were creators as well as craftsmen. The business from the Barovier's continued to flourish throughout the centuries.
In the 15th Century: In 1450, Angelo Barovier (1405-1460) invented Venetian crystal glass. With his nephew, Anzoletto Barovier (1470-1541), he was a major actor of the 16th century, the golden age of Venetian culture, one of the most refined in Europe. The Murano glass industry reached its splendor at that time; abandoning the thick layers of enamel that had characterized the glass of the 15th century in favor of a lighter, more transparent type of glass.
In the 17th Century: The Baroviers's family business continues to expand. Around the end of the 16th century, there are three different Barovier families who each have their own glass factory.
These three workshops each have their own furnace in Murano. In order to avoid confusion, each Barovier owner of each furnace uses his own crest: an angel, a bell and a star, three distinct trade-marks.
In the 18th Century: The Barovier art developed along with Murano glass techniques. The 18th century was characterised by colorful glass and stronger, more elaborate decorative patterns. In spite of the difficulties caused to the glass industry by the decline of the Venetian Republic, the Baroviers remained in Murano. In 1797, Venice was defeated by Napoleon Bonaparte and French troops occupied the Serenissima.
In the 19th Century: The French occupation was followed by that of the Austrian which lasted through the greater part of the 19th century. The glass making industry declined progressively. In spite of this, the Baroviers fought to maintain their furnace. In 1866, Angelo Barovier was appointed to the position of Camerlengo (treasurer) of the Council of Murano. He was a master glass-maker and the owner of a shop displaying the angel trademark.
In 1878, Giovanni, Antonio and Benvenuto Barovier, former master glass-blowers at Salviati, took over the management of their firm. Known as the Artisti Barovier (Barovier artists), they brought new life to the firm and were determined to adapt to the new era of the glass industry.
In the 20th Century: In 1918, William Baume, the grandson of Louis Victor and watchmaker Paul Mercier became business partners
with the Barovier heirs. In 1919, the company name was changed to Vetreria Artistica Barovier & Co. Managed by Ercole Barovier, aged thirty, the firm began an exceptionally creative and successful period. Ercole Barovier was tireless in his research into glass techniques, particularly into the colours that could be achieved. He created approximately twenty thousand models, registered numerous patents. He received the title of "Cavaliere del Lavoro", the highest honour that can be conferred on an entrepreneur in Italy. This 'consecrated' him as one of the greatest designers of his day.
In 1936, the company changed its name to Barovier&Toso, and Ercole Barovier became Chairman of the company.
In 1974, Angelo Barovier, Ercole's son, became the company CEO.
In the following years, Barovier&Toso begins a radical re-organization process.
In the 21st Century: Another generational changeover took place in 2003 when Giovanni Toso becomes the President of the company.
Barovier & Toso received wide acclaim for the Taif chandelier which was created for the home of the Saudi king in the eponymous city of Taif, from whence comes the name. Angelo Barovier, who conceived the design, rethought the image of the traditional Murano chandelier, preserving the value of blown glass while incorporating new languages. An amalgam, then, of tradition and creativity, of memory and innovation, from which blossoms the time-tested equilibrium of the classical.
Barovier & Toso Taif Chandelier in Black
Barovier & Toso Taif Chandelier in White