Beautiful Glass Pens From The Italian Island of Murano
Brought into being at the stroke of noon on Friday 25 March in the year 421 and dissolved under force of Napoleon on 12 May 1797, Venice was the most stable and long lived empire in history (thus known as the Most Serene Republic) and the greatest trading empire of all time.
Shipbuilding and protected guilds were the pillars of venetian trade. Among the protected artisans were the glass blowers of Murano, the little island a few minutes by boat from the island of Venice itself. Throughout the Middle Ages, imparting a glassblowing secret to a foreigner was punishable by death. Secrets are jealously guarded even now. Techniques have passed from father to son for over 1000 years, using furnaces whose structures remain unaltered to this day.
Among the great Venetian glass traditions is the glass pen, developed on Murano in 1700 for letter writing and record-keeping. These pens enjoyed wide popularity in the US in the 1920's, before the advent of the fountain pen. Small grooves in the tip act as capillaries to form an ink reservoir. A single dip lasts about a sentence. Writing with a hand-blown pen has a lovely, relaxing rhythm and give the final written page a distinctive personal look.