Everything took place on an island, an exotic, wondrous place like every island: Murano. There, in 1291 the furnaces of Venice were transferred and there we can find the oldest representative of the family of whom records exist: Jacobello (1295). Around two centuries later, the great master Angelo would leave an unforgettable mark on the history of the Renaissance. A student of Paolo Godi, in around 1450 Angelo invented Venetian crystal: a puff of lightness and transparency in perfect Renaissance style.  In 1878, the Barovier family, still florid, formed a company which was to become famous, “Artisti Barovier” (Barovier Artists): exhibitions and awards, patents and new techniques were the fruit of this prestigious furnace. 


At the end of the First World War, the factory was renovated and renamed “Vetreria Artistica Barovier&C”: it was 1920, the year in which Ercole Barovier, at the age of thirty, began his career as entrepreneur and designer. During the nineteen thirties, forties and sixties the presence of Ercole Barovier as designer was crucial for the company, which in the meantime took the name “Barovier&Toso” thanks a merger with the Toso family, also from Murano with a long history in the glass industry. 


This was the most fruitful period in Ercole Barovier’s career: he invented “heat colouring without fusion” and obtained various patents, many of which have become fundamental, shared methods in the production of Murano glass. After his death, in 1972, a new phase began for Barovier&Toso: to give greater efficiency to a work process which must nonetheless remain tied to tradition. In the 1980s the company became a glassworks that was still “Muranese”, still “artistic” but with completely renewed operational methods, organizational structures and ability to move on the markets. 


With these systems in place, the production process evolved, paying ever greater attention to today’s requirements: artistic glass, classic and contemporary lighting devices, and special lighting for large complexes. The number of designers and artists also grew with the new requirements: Matteo Thun, Ugo Nespolo, Daniela Puppa, Franco Raggi, Luca Scacchetti, Patrizia Scarzella, Marco Mencacci and Rony Plesl, to cite only the most recent. 


As recognition for their centuries of commitment, the Barovier family features in the “Guinness Book of Records” as the oldest family of glaziers; more, the company is the 5th most ancient firm in the world. Since 1987 it has been part of the International Association of “Henokiens”, a prestigious international club with just forty two members the world over. In fact, its requirements are truly extraordinary: the company must have been in existence for two hundred years, the ownership of which must descend directly from the founders.