Pauly & C. - Compagnia Venezia Murano
Pauly & C. - Compagnia Venezia Murano is a Venetian
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 company that produces glass art
Glass art
Studio glass or glass sculpture is the modern use of glass as an artistic medium to produce sculptures or three-dimensional artworks. Specific approaches include working glass at room temperature cold working, stained glass, working glass in a torch flame , glass beadmaking, glass casting, glass...

, most notably Roman murrine, mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

s and chandelier
A chandelier is a branched decorative ceiling-mounted light fixture with two or more arms bearing lights. Chandeliers are often ornate, containing dozens of lamps and complex arrays of glass or crystal prisms to illuminate a room with refracted light...


The company was formed in 1919 by a merger of Pauly & C (founded 1902) and the Compagnia di Venezia e Murano (founded 1866). It has since expanded in 1932 with the acquisition of MVM Cappellin and in 1990 by the addition of the drawings and back catalogues of Toso Vetri d’Arte. The company maintains retail showrooms as well as exhibiting antiques.

Compagnia di Venezia e Murano

Compagnia di Venezia e Murano began as Salviati &C. in London in 1866 under the direction of Vicenza attorney Antonio Salviati
Antonio Salviati
Antonio Salviati was an Italian glass manufacturer and founder of the Salviati family firm.A native of Vicenza, Salviati was a lawyer who got interested in glasswork after becoming involved in restorations being done on the mosaics of Saint Mark's Cathedral in Venice...

 and with the backing of two British men: archaeologist Austen Henry Layard
Austen Henry Layard
Sir Austen Henry Layard GCB, PC was a British traveller, archaeologist, cuneiformist, art historian, draughtsman, collector, author, politician and diplomat, best known as the excavator of Nimrud.-Family:...

 and antiquarian Sir William Drake. The company was dedicated to using ancient techniques and utilized master glassblowers in its efforts to do so. It called in specialists from other fields like goldsmith
A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals. Since ancient times the techniques of a goldsmith have evolved very little in order to produce items of jewelry of quality standards. In modern times actual goldsmiths are rare...

ing and engraving to ensure authenticity and employed artist Giuseppe Devers to teach the techniques of enamelling and heat-applied glass gilding to company artisans. Archaeologist Layard was particularly interested in the mosaic glass techniques of Roman and pre-Roman artists, and he spent years personally overseeing the work of the company's technicians and glassblowers in attempting to revive those techniques. In 1872, the company was successful, managing to replicate the type of glass commonly known as "murrina" (plural, "murrine").

The company was renamed Venice and Murano Glass and Mosaic Company Limited in 1872, and, in 1877, Layard purchased Salviati's interest so that Salviati could pursue other interests. The company quickly earned a reputation for quality original glass art and reproductions as well as its many mural mosaics in Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 and elsewhere in Europe. In 1878, the murrine produced by Compagnia di Venezia e Murano was included in its exhibit at the International Exhibition in Paris, which was the chief attraction in Italian glass. In its observations of the display, the United States Commission to the Paris exposition commented not only on "Roman murrhine glass", but also particularly on the mural glass mosaics, the "perfection of which" had "engaged the earnest attention of the company." Mosaics produced by the company during the time period are still in existence in diverse areas such as Gonville and Caius College Chapel in Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

; the Church of San Paolo Entro Le Mura in Rome, the Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

, Westminster Cathedral
Westminster Cathedral
Westminster Cathedral in London is the mother church of the Catholic community in England and Wales and the Metropolitan Church and Cathedral of the Archbishop of Westminster...

 in London, Old South Church in Boston the Chamberlain Memorial in Birmingham, Palazzo Barbarigo
Palazzo Barbarigo
Palazzo Barbarigo is a palace in Venice, Italy, situated on the Grand Canal of the city. It was originally built in the 16th century. Today it is one of the more opulent palazzi on the canal, distinguished by its mosaics of Murano glass applied in 1886...

 and the Senate House rooms in the United States. The last specimen, a portrait of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, was produced and donated in 1866.

Through the last years of the 19th century, Compagnia di Venezia e Murano took part in many other displays. Prior to the 1878 exhibition in Paris, it had shown at the Maritime Exhibition in Naples and the Trieste Exhibition in 1871 and at the International Exhibition in Vienna in 1873, where it won 13 prizes for decorative arts. It unveiled a new focus in 1881 with the display of the first of its glass phoenixes at the National Exhibition in Milan. It exported several thousand works for display at the World's Columbian Exposition
World's Columbian Exposition
The World's Columbian Exposition was a World's Fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. Chicago bested New York City; Washington, D.C.; and St...

 in Chicago in 1893, also setting up a kiln
A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber, or oven, in which a controlled temperature regime is produced. Uses include the hardening, burning or drying of materials...

 so that the public could observe the company's glass blowing techniques. In 1895, it exhibited at the first Venice Biennale
Venice Biennale
The Venice Biennale is a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years in Venice, Italy. The Venice Film Festival is part of it. So too is the Venice Biennale of Architecture, which is held in even years...

 (an event at which it would also feature later), with artisan Vincenzo Moretti taking prizes and artisan Attilio Spaccarelli earning special note for his engraving.

1900 saw a change in the company when its British owners sold their interest to a businessman from Venice named Tosolini, who was the owner of shops in St. Mark's Square. Under Tosoloni's ownership, the company stopped production in 1909, though it continued commercial distribution at St. Mark's Square.

Merger with Pauly & C

Pauly & C was formed in 1903 by Emilio Pauly, Alessandro Hirscber Hellman, Vittorio Emanuele Toldo and Ernesto Graziadei, opening showrooms in Palazzo Trevisan Cappello, which would remain the headquarters of the company until its closure in 2007 for restoration. In 1919, Pauly & C. and Compagnia di Venezia e Murano were both purchased by the Milan Società Anonima Sanitaria, which resold them the following year to Gaetano Ceschina of Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

. The newly merged company, retitled to its present name, continued display in its previous locations of St. Mark's Square and the Palazzo Trevisan Cappello. In 1925, the merged company resumed production of glassworks on Murano and began exhibiting again at the Monza Tirennale.

Post-merger growth and development

The company grew in 1933 with the acquisition of Maestri Vetrai Muranesi Cappellin, or MVM Cappellin, a glass company formed in 1925 by Paolo Venini
Venini were a British guitar band formed in late 1998. They were formed by guitarist and violinist Russell Senior after his departure from Pulp, and also featured Debbie Lime , Nick Eastwood , Rob Barton , as well as help from Danny Hunt . Charlie Collins of Clock DVA was a part time member on...

 and Giacomo Cappellin, which transferred to them rights to the works and designs of the MVM Cappellin artists such as Vittorio Zecchin and Carlo Scarpa
Carlo Scarpa
Carlo Scarpa , was an Italian architect, influenced by the materials, landscape, and the history of Venetian culture, and Japan. Scarpa was also a glass and furniture designer of note....

. The company expanded into commissioned chandeliers, with notable pieces from the period being placed in such locations as the Palazzo del Quirinale
Quirinal Palace
The Quirinal Palace is a historical building in Rome, Italy, the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the tallest of the seven hills of Rome...

 in Rome; the Vatican Palace, and the Royal Palace in Copenhagen
Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard ; in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's...

. More recently, interior lighting has been designed for such places as the Palazzo Bezzi in Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

 and the Al Assawi family palace. In 1990, the company again expanded with the acquisition of Toso Vetri d’Arte glassworks.


Ceschina sold his interest in the company in 1963 to the Barbon family, who retained it until 1976, when they sold to Andrea Boscaro. Boscaro owned the company for almost 30 years before 2005.

Artistic associations

The company has a long history of association with international artisans. In the period following the second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the company undertook long-term associations with master glassblowers Anzolo Fuga and Alfredo Barbini
Alfredo Barbini
Alfredo Barbini, a glass artist born in 1912 on the islands of Murano in the lagoon of Venice, Italy, was one of Murano's leading figures of the twentieth century...

, engraver Francesco Andolfato and painter Enzo Scarpa. Shorter associations include sculptor Napoleone Martinuzzi in the 1960s, painter Libero Vitali in 1971, architect Franz Prati between 1996 and 1997, and fashion designer Romeo Gigli
Romeo Gigli
Romeo Gigli is an Italian fashion designer. He was born in Castel Bolognese.He rose to fame in 1986, and influenced other designers with what the Los Angeles Times described as "soft look, body-hugging dresses with draped bubble skirts"....

 in 1997. In the later 1990s, the company also featured exclusive designs by Heinz Oestergaard
Heinz Oestergaard
Heinz Oestergaard was a German fashion designer.He was considered one of the leading German fashion designer of the postwar period. After wins in Berlin, where he designed clothes for with Zarah Leander and Maria Schell...

, Maria Teresa Lorella Gnutti and Berit Johansson, whose association with the company persisted. Since the turn of the century, associations have included Venetian sculptor Livio de Marchi and Chinese artist Xiao Fan Ru.

Museum display

Glass art produced by Pauly & C. - Compagnia Venezia Murano is on display in a number of museums. Among them:
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum
    Victoria and Albert Museum
    The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

     in London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    , UK
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Metropolitan Museum of Art
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

     in New York
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

    , USA
  • The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
    Stanford University
    The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

    , California
  • The Corning Museum of Glass
    Corning Museum of Glass
    The Corning Museum of Glass, in Corning, New York, explores every facet of glass, including art, history, culture, science and technology, craft, and design....

     in New York, USA
  • The Museo del Vetro, Murano, Venice, Italy

External links

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