Gorgeous handblown Empoli green glass vase. Approx 12” high
When most people think of Italian glass, they think of the many manufacturers based on the Venetian island of Murano. But there is another area of Italy with a long history of glass production - the town of Empoli, in the Tuscany region, near Florence. There is evidence of glassware being produced in Empoli as far back as the thirteenth century. There are two main types of Empoli glass - "Verde" and "Cased". Verde (Italian for green) glass takes its name from the traditional green colour of Empoli glass, which was a result of the content of local sand used for glass production. Empoli manufacturers that produced Verde glassware include Vetrerie E. Taddei & C., Vetreria Etrusca, Vetreria Toso Bagnoli, CLAVE, and Vetrerie Empolesi. Later, cased glass became popular in Empoli, which consists of brightly coloured glass cased in a layer of clear glass, sometimes also having an internal layer of opaque white "Lattimo" glass. Some Empoli producers of cased glass are STELVIA, Cristalleria Fratelli Betti, Cristalleria Arno, CIVE, and SAVIA. There was, and still are, a large amount of manufacturers in the Empoli area involved in glass production, and it can often be difficult to identify designs by a particular maker, as any labels usually bore the name of importers, or simply read "Made in Italy". Companies that imported glass from Empoli include Alrose, Rossini, Guildcraft, Vimax, Enesco and Hans Geismar.