Sorrento, the native land of the magnificent Inlay music boxes is an incredibly scenic town which is draped over the rocky hills overlooking the Gulf of Naples. The town with its modern civilization is rife with centuries old ruins of temples and palaces. These ancient relics have a lot of stories and legends to share with its visitors.
Sorrento is a picturesque tourist spot where you can enjoy the beauty of nature with its incredible manifestations in the form of the narrow but peaceful beaches with its fabulous Mediterranean sun and mind-boggling blue sea. The tourists find these as the very representations of heaven on earth...… read more
Murano Island lies in the picturesque Venetian lagoon. This island has been celebrates as the center of world’s most creative glass works from the 13th century. This is a group of seven islands. These islands are connected with each other by means of bridges, which are incredibly artistic structures.
You can travel to Murano by means of vaporetto or water bus services from the main island of Venice. To travel through the Grand Canal during the Christmas season can be a memorable experience. The canal can be partially frozen on very cold days and the pieces of ice floating along provide a beautiful scene...… read more
Music boxes are excellent gift items as well as collectibles. A music box is often a trinket box, water globe or rotating figurine. Music is produced when the trinket box is opened or the water globe or the figurine is rotated using keys.
The mechanism of the music box is simple. When the keyed up mechanism is released, a rotating drum with pre-designed notches pluck the teeth of a metal comb to produce a pre-set tune. This music notes often have different movements...… read more
Murano Island is a beautiful and more or less isolated island in the Adriatic Sea and is a part of Venice. Venice was once known for its glass blowing industry. The old Venice comprising wooden buildings was not too suited for the extremely high temperature of the glass furnaces. This fact forced the authorities to find another place for their ancient art. The island of Murano was sufficiently away from the main land and so it was selected. The furnaces and the artisans were shifted to the island in 1291.
The industry flourished well and soon Murano glass articles conquered the world. The 15th and 16th century were said to be the golden era of Murano glass industry. From the 17th century it began to lose its glory mainly because of the competition from glass industry in other countries like China.
In the 18th century there came a savior for this declining industry in the person of Antonio Salviati, a lawyer by profession. It so happened that he was involved in the restoration of the mosaic in St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice. This got him interested in the glass art. So in 1959 he founded a business in the same line with a partner, Lorenzo Radi. Soon the firm gathered international fame and it was commissioned for working the mosaic of none less than Westminster Abbey. This gave Salviati great confidence and decided to extend his interest to other glass articles...… read more
Giovanni Ponti aka Gio Ponti was an Italian designer who did not stop at designing one thing. He designed everything from table ware to large sophisticated buildings. He also wielded his pen in writing poems and articles in magazines. As if he was not satisfied with any of these activities, he served as a professor in many institutions inspiring the younger generation to be as active as himself. According to his daughter, he was a man who packed 60 hours’ work in 24 hours.
This incredibly talented man was born in Milan Italy in 1891. He started his career with ceramics art even if he had a degree in architecture. Soon he diverted his attention to his learned profession of architecture...… read more
Shopping in Germany can be a completely different experience for people who are used to shop till late at night. The shopping hours in Germany are very limited. What’s more, in most cases you may find your credit and debit cards useless, as there are not many places you can use them for shopping. It is better to equip yourself with an ample amount of ready cash.
However, these are not reasons enough to ward you off shopping for some of the truly German products which you cannot get anywhere else. There are many characteristic items that you may want to buy. But look out for imitations. There are no restrictions in the German markets as to how genuine the products must be. All items...… read more
Italy, that part of Europe which extends deep into the Mediterranean and which is shaped like the stiletto heeled lady’s leg, is as unique as its shape. It is a land that has witnessed many great events in history. Rome with the abode of The Pop is a much celebrated part of Italy. Venice with its incredible constructions in water is a much sought after tourist destination. The magnificent museums, monuments and remains of great antique constructions make Italy an interesting destination for history buffs.
Italy holds a major part of human history in its museums, antique buildings and gardens. Italy has the most number of world heritage sites. The country teems with tourists year round. The magnificent sights and pleasant climate is not the only attractions that draw people all over the world to Italian shores.
Italy is one of the world’s most renowned shopping destinations. The leather goods, designer products, exquisite Murano glass articles, Sorrento Music boxes, intricate Burano laces and porcelain goods are some of the must-buys in Italy. The Italian cuisine is another world over attraction.
When you travel abroad it usually becomes mandatory to bring back small little curios for relatives and friends. So here is a souvenir shopping guide for you.
When you buy a souvenir, it is very important to make sure that you buy genuine products. Today’s markets being flooded with counterfeit products, you should look for the characteristic marks and certificates of authenticity before buying a souvenir...… read more
Summer is the season for brightly colored marigolds, chrysanthemums and asters etc. Summer is also a time for entertaining friends and family. So you may be throwing more parties in this season than any other. Parties mean decoration. You cannot risk your house looking less than decorated.
Flowers are indispensable for hall and room decoration. The banquet table, the side tables, tables in the foyers – they all need to be decorated with flowers in beautiful vases. It is essential to select suitable vases for each of these tables. The beauty of the table depends invariably on the choice of the vases and flower arrangements.
There is a vast collection of décor vases with the 1001shops. Each of them is created with great care and artistry. You can select the vases that go with your interior and fill them with the flowers of your choice.
Now arranging fresh flowers in the vase is quite good but the disadvantage is that you will have to take a lot of efforts to keep them fresh. But if you can get artificial flowers that look life-like, it would be a blessing. You can arrange those days ahead and concentrate on other aspects of the party.
Here are some bright ideas for your summer party décor...… read more
Summer is the season of warmth and sunlight. This is the season when the whole earth and its inhabitants come alive. The holidays begin. This is the time to soak up the sunlight for a whole year. The outdoor activities flourish everywhere.
This is the season for concerts, parties and festivals. This is the glam-up time. The ladies flit around in colorful clothes and ornaments. Do you find it difficult to choose the suitable ornaments for special occasions? Here is a guide for you...… read more
Dino Martens was basically a painter. He was born in Venice in the year 1894. He learned art in Accademia di Belle Arti. He moved to the island of Murano in his youth. He worked with many of the then luminaries in glass blowing as a designer. But it was only for a short time.
His paintings were very famous at that time because it was very innovative and had adapted a new style, Novecento. The paintings were exhibited in the Venice Biennale between 1924 and 1930.
After the Second World War the art forms of every kind exhibited a marked change. They adopted a new brightness which was symbolic of hope and life. Dino Martens who had returned from the war in Africa joined Aureliano Toso in his Decorativi Rag Aureliano Toso in 1939...… read more
Glass making in America has begun as early as the beginning of the 17th century. It was the emigrants who started to make glass in America. But the industry could not thrive till the 19th century because of various reasons. According to recorded history it was a group of eight Germans who started making glass in America. The first glass factory is said to have been establish in Jamestown in Virginia.
Window glass and bottles were the items that were produced at that time. Then table ware began to be produced. Throughout the 18th and 19th century glass industry went on without much momentum. But glass blowing gained great impetus from the beginning of the 20th century with the coming of people like Frank and john Fenton. Tiffany and Steuben were other luminaries in the world of American glass blowing...… read more
The Venetian Island of Murano is called the glass capital of the world because it was on this island the incredibly beautiful and delicate art of Blowing and shaping glass evolved. This age-old art was propagated through the works of the ancient glass maestros of the island. While most of the predecessors of these artisans have discarded the traditional art in order to pursue other professions, a few members of the present generation preserved the passion in their hearts. Davide Salvadore is one of such people.
Davide Salvadore was born in the Island of Murano in the year 1953. He was initiated into the glass works at a very tender age by his grandfather. He learned the techniques of building kilns and blowing glass under his grandfather. The young Davide nursed a strong passion for the traditional art...… read more
The Corning Museum of glass has taken upon itself the responsibility of educating the world about one of the antique arts – the art of glass blowing. It is engaged in spreading all the multifaceted aspects of glass art throughout the world – its history, art, science and techniques. The Museum has put together a number of programs for this purpose.
Hundreds of glass art enthusiasts visit the museum everyday and acquire firsthand knowledge of the history and techniques of the art through many live shows and hands on experiences. The museum authorities conduct these programs wherever that can – on the streets, in cruises and of course, inside the museum...… read more
Graduations are always the highlights of young lives. The sense of achievement a young person feels deserves to be applauded and supported by his or her elders and parents.
Sending a suitable gift with congratulations and wishes will go a long way in encouraging the young person along his/her life’s path. While choosing a present for a fresh graduate you have to take many aspects into consideration.
When the said graduate is a young woman or a girl, ornaments and perfumes are the most common choices. A Murano glass bead necklace will be much appreciated by any young lady. The individually crafted glass beads lend the necklace an ethereal beauty. Gifting the young lady with a bottle of her favorite perfume also will be much appreciated. If the perfume is bottled in one of those magnificent Murano glass bottles, the effect will be doubled...… read more
Dale Chihuly is one of the iconic glass artists of modern America. He is much acclaimed for his large installations and sculptures. Chihuly enjoys the much coveted popularity all over the world and his creations have found their way into almost all the internationally renowned museums and exhibitions.
This living legend was born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington. His formal education was disrupted many a time, mainly because of his lack of interest. Born with an artistic temperament, Chihuly could not sustain his academic studies for much long. After gaining his secondary school graduation, he left scholastic pursuits to join the University of Washington to study interior design. Even if he started to learn glass woks in 1961, he was not very satisfied with it...… read more
How do you tell your dad how much you love him for standing by you through thick and thin? This is one of those occasions when mere words fail miserably to convey the idea. The best way is to present him with something tangible, something to show him that you know his mind, his interests and hobbies.
It gladdens the heart of a father to know that his progeny has noticed things about him, while demanding his attention and support in every matter; the son or daughter loves him enough to know his likes and dislikes. So make sure that you choose a suitable gift for your father on this father’s day. It is the special day for you to pamper your dad for once, instead of getting pampered by him...… read more
Inlay is an ancient decorative art. It involves inserting pieces of various materials into a base surface to form designs. The result can be highly picturesque and dazzling. This ancient technique is used to make decorative objects, furniture and floorings.
The materials for inlaying are many. Wood, metal, ivory, camel bone and even pearls and shells are used for this art. As any other ancient handicraft, the origin of this art also lies shrouded in the mist of history. However, this art is said to have an Islamic origin. Some say that it originated with the Iranian signet makers. There are evidences of the Egyptians using this art from a very early age in the history.
This is an art that calls for a high level of patience and artistry. The designs are first drawn on the material that is used for the inlay, be it wood, metal, or shell. The cutting out of these designs from the whole material is a very cumbersome task. A delicate saw called coping saw is used for this...… read more
Sorrento, Italy is famous for exquisite wooden music boxes. The Sorrento artisans started using the old-world art of inlay in their carpentry as early as 13th century. They produced beautiful chests and cabinets which earned a place of their own in the inventory of world art pieces.
They used exotic woods that naturally exhibited a plethora of designs by virtue of the characteristic grains present in their hard wood. The Sorrento artists added very intricate inlay works to this natural beauty to produce stunningly beautiful wooden articles...… read more
A teacher is a person who is invested with the noble mission of molding a generation. He/She is given a place even above God in many cultures. This is because a teacher is the person who opens the mind’s eye of a child, enabling it to see the world in the right light.
Apart from teaching subject to a child, a teacher shapes its personality and makes it possible for it to live a life of goodness. The influence of teachers begins from the kindergarten class and it prevails throughout the life of a person. As years pass, one may meet with a number of teachers at various levels. But the effect of good teachers eventually becomes the sum total of a person’s life.
So it is only appropriate to allot a day on which the teachers all over the world receive the honor and love from their students. For a good teacher, the students are often a grade above their own biological children. He stand to accumulate a wealth of students as his/her career advances.
Different countries celebrate teachers’ day on different dates. But October 5th is declared as the international teachers’ day. There are many countries which celebrate teachers’ day on October 5th. But in USA, the first full week in May is considered to be the teachers’ week. Whole of this week is dedicated to honoring teachers. The Tuesday of this week is often celebrated as the teachers’ day.
It is on this day the students remember the person who has influenced his/ her life equipping him/her well for facing the world. So on this day they would do well in finding time to honor their teachers. A teacher is sure to treasure a token of love from his/her students.
So how do you select a suitable present for a teacher? You can select jewelry for a lady teacher. There are also quite a few unisex gifts you can select from our inventory. Table décor items, home décor items, or some personalized gifts that suits the personality of your favorite teacher can be chosen as a teachers’ day gift...… read more
Graduation after completing a particular course is an occasion of celebration and congratulation. While it is a day of festivities for the graduate, commemorating an accomplishment, it is equally festive for friends and relatives who would like to share the sense of triumph. That is where gifts are relevant.
While speeches and parties are delightfully pertinent, gifts and mementoes are things that would bring back the live memories of those happy occasions even after many years. So gifting a student on his/her graduation is a highly significant deed.
While choosing the gifts for the occasion one should take many aspects into consideration. It should be an apt gift. You can choose gifts like something related to the graduate’s future aspirations, study table décor articles, photo frames etc...… read more
“The hand that rocks the cradle (moulds) the world”. A slight adaptation of the adage is not at all out of place when we think of the wonderful human being who has given us unconditional love from the time we began as a cluster of cells in her womb. There is no way we can repay all the sacrifice she has taken upon herself for our welfare. To allot one day to remember her and honor her is scarcely enough. At the same time we must take it as a day on which we express our love to her in some tangible way.
Mothers’ day came into existence as a result of the efforts of one daughter to honor her mother and to extend the honor to all the mothers the world over. It was Anna Jarvis who decided that the mothers of the world deserve special consideration by her children at least for a day in a year.
So the practice of making the mother happy on the mothers’ day became a must. You can take your mother to dinners and on tours or to any activity she loves. But giving her a token of your love is imperative. How to choose an apt gift for the person who has gifted life to you? Here are some ideas that may help...… read more
Son of God was born on earth, lived like an ordinary man and died on the cross bearing the burden of mankind’s sin. Thereafter, He rose from the dead on the third day, defeating death and evil. God’s promise to man was thus fulfilled. This holy sacrifice is celebrated through the Christian festival of Easter.
Easter has its origin in a pagan festival that was celebrated before the advent of Christianity. This was originally a festival dedicated to the Saxon Goddess of fertility and spring, Eostre. When Christianity replaced the paganism, these festivals had to be stopped. But it was not easy to stop an occasion of merriment and celebration that was celebrated for centuries. The easiest way was to convert these festivals into a Christian one with a Christian relevance.
Since this festival was conducted to celebrate harvest and the coming of spring it happened after the spring equinox. The death of Christ also was recorded after the Jewish festival of Passover which somewhat coincided with the time of the pagan festival. So Easter was celebrated every year on the Sunday after the first full moon after March21.
Easter rituals start from Ash Wednesday which is 46 days before Easter. The lent starts from that day and the Christians observe the lent till Easter. Easter days include the Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday. It is said in The Bible that Christ had his last supper with his disciples on the Thursday night and was betrayed by Jude during the small hours of Good Friday. He was crucified on Friday. So Friday and Saturday are observed as days of sorrow by the Christians. Then on the third day, which is Easter Sunday, he resurrects and ascends to heaven. This day is now celebrated all over the world as the day of triumph of good over evil. It brings the message of peace and hope to mankind...… read more
Passover is Jewish festival that is celebrated from the 15th of the month of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It is a seven day festival. This is the most significant festival for the Jews, because it memorializes the liberation of the children of Israel from the slavery of Egyptians, under the leadership of Moses.
It is also celebrated as a spring festival. Before the ravage of the Temple of Israel the Israelites used to offer the first harvest of barley in the temple. This is because barley is the first crop that gets ready for harvest.
The story of this liberation which is termed as “The Exodus” in The Bible is a saga of Israelites’ struggle for freedom. God had ordered the Pharaoh to liberate his people from slavery in order to enable them to worship him. Pharaoh was not ready to oblige Him and God declared the visitation of ten plagues on the Egyptians.
Even after the ninth plague, the pharaoh refused to free the Israelites and God sent the final and the most serious one. The 10th plague caused the death of all the 1st born of Egypt. The Israelites were instructed to mark their doors with the blood of the sacrificed lamb, so that the angel of death could recognize them and pass over without harming them. This is why the festival is named ‘Passover’.
The first day of the Passover commences at the evening of the 14th and ends at the evening of the 15th. On the previous day the Jewish households conduct a thorough cleaning of their houses and clean them of every bit of leaven bread or chametz. This chametz is burned as a ritual before the commencing of Passover. It was said that while leaving Egypt, the Israelites were in a hurry and they did not get time to leaven the dough before baking bread. So it is forbidden to eat leaven food during the seven days of the Passover...… read more
Pate-de-verre is said to be a glass art which was in practice three thousand years ago in Egypt. There are evidences that show that this technique was used in Rome and China also thousands of years ago. But then the art was lost and forgotten. This incredible art was revived in France during the Art Nouveau period by various artists. The Daum Nancy glass was the most important among them.
This is a highly complicated and time consuming artistic work. At the same time this allows slow gradation of colors and exact color placement in glass work.
The literal translation of the word ‘pate-de-verre’ is ‘paste of glass’. Glass of different colors is ground to a consistency of sugar or slightly smoother or slightly rougher. These are called ‘frits’. These frits are used with a binder called gum Arabica and made into a paste. This paste is used for creating artistic pieces.
The first step is to make models. Usually wax is used to make the models. The model is then surrounded by plaster. This is termed as investment. When the investment sets the wax is melted away to form the negative mold. This negative mold is used to make the pate-de-verre objects... … read more
Limoges is a city in the West-central France. The famous Limoges porcelain boxes are made in the factories situated in and around this city. Porcelain was not known to the West till Marco Polo visited China.
China had the monopoly of importing porcelain to other countries all over the world. The articles were even referred to as ‘china ware. Marquise de Pompadour is said to have imported porcelain from China during the first half of the 18th century.
It made history when a type of white clay was discovered in the town of Yrieixin near Limoges in the latter half of the 18th century. This clay proved to be the Kaolin clay used in porcelain making. Excavation around the area yielded rich deposits of kaolin and feldspar which are used in the making of porcelain. This was the beginning of an industry that strode the world markets with the production of lovely Limoges porcelain boxes...… read more
Rene Lalique was a Jeweler, born in 1860 in Aÿ-en-Champagne in France. He started his career from an early age of 16. His extreme enthusiasm and illustriousness soon made him an expert. He established his own establishment in Alsace, namely ‘Lalique factory’ in 1921.
He concentrated on jewel making in the beginning and was appreciated for bringing in a revolution in the jewelry making art. He had made exquisite jewelry for many celebrities and famed throughout France as ‘the inventor of modern jewelry’. In due course Lalique became a brand and represented the ultimate French Luxury.
He established many factories at various places but the Alsace Lalique factory is the only one of its kind now. It produces extremely beautiful lalique glass objects. Rene Lalique had derived inspiration from three important themes – women, flora and fauna. Even now the tradition is carried out by the lalique glass works.
The creation of lalique glass involves a long process comprising as many as 40 steps. It is lead based glass. The artisans pour molten glass into molds and when the mold is cooled the glass object is taken out. This is also known as ‘pressed glass’. It takes the expertise of several technicians who are specialized in various stages of glass making to complete a lalique glass art piece...… read more
The Daum Glass was a family concern that started in 1878. The interesting fact about Daum glass is that the family that owned the concern was neither glass blowers nor artists. They were hard core business men with extreme entrepreneurial skills. The founder Jean Daum was a notary from Bitchi. He was also a business man who had lent financial help to one of the glass factories, ‘Verrerie Sainte Catherine’, in Nancy, France.
Nancy was a town on the French- German border. After the French- German war the many French families who found themselves on the German territory shifted to the border town of Nancy. They were mostly business men. The Daum family was one of them.
When the owners of Verrerie Sainte Catherine were not able to repay their debt to Jean Daum, he took over the company in 1878. He named it ‘Verrerie de Nancy’. His two sons managed the factory with a lot of incredibly stringent economical measures.
Since these people were not artists, their first glass produces were not extraordinary. They were clear glass table ware with golden rims. But they were able to market the same with incredible dexterity that these items soon became noticed and still are collector’s items.
They hired some of the cleverest artists and designers like Henri Berge, Almaric Walter, Charles Schneider and Jacques Gruber to help them in designing their ware. These artists were not able to make a stamp of themselves on the articles. Instead, all the articles produced in the Daum concern were stamped ‘Daum Nancy’...… read more
Venice, the group of islands in the calm and magnificent Adriatic Sea, is often associated with beauty and romance. The beautiful cities and towns with buildings in water is a wonder for the whole world. For the same reason, it is one of the principal tourist hubs of Europe.
A tour through this scenic country will provide you with the experience of a life time. When you visit a country it is only natural to get gifts and souvenirs for your people at home. While buying presents is an integral part of tourism, it is often very difficult to choose gifts and presents which suit everybody. Here is an advisory which will help you to choose authentic Venetian gifts for various people.
Gifts for ladies
Authentic Murano Glass Necklaces
It is absolutely certain that you will have a few dear ladies to please. She may be your mother, wife, sister, daughter or girlfriend. Young ladies and teenage girls will be euphoric to have jewelry that accessorizes their dresses, especially party dresses.
The magnificent multi colored cascade necklace is a beauty. It is available in different colors and you can select the one, which you think, will suit her. The cascade of handmade Murano glass beads of different size will make her the center of attraction at any party.
The black and silver necklace
with matching earrings is one of those ornaments that will fill your lady with ecstasy. It will shimmer around her neck snugly to lend her face a unique glow...… read more
The two weeks ending with the Ash Wednesday is the time for extensive celebration and entertainment all over the world. But the Venetian carnival is iconic in all aspects. It is a fusion event that blends tradition, culture and merrymaking. This annual event is rated as one of the top 10 carnivals of the world.
Venetian carnival is a real experience for visitors. The streets will be bursting at the seams with masked and costumed revelers. The carnival of Venice is not a single event. The 10 days of festivities include many other breathtaking events...… read more
Mardi Gras or ‘Fat Tuesday’ is a celebration that livens up the season after Christmas. It is celebrated on the previous day of Ash Wednesday. The lent-period of 40 days starts on Ash Wednesday. Thereafter consumption of meat is prohibited in Christianity. So the Tuesday happens to be the last day for binge eating and revelry for a long time.
So together with eating and drinking people began to have a day for general merriment. Mardi Gras carnival thus became popular in many parts of the world. The spectacular parades with dressed up participants and fantabulous floats became the in-thing on Mardi Gras...… read more
Murano glass articles are extremely expensive items. They even valued above their prices, because of the unique tradition behind each of the Murano glass objects.
All glass articles are made by blowing molten glass and shaping them. Once broken, these cannot be repaired to its former splendor. One can only hope for a replacement. It is the same with Murano glass articles also. The works of the Murano glass artisans cannot be brought back to their original elegance, once they are cracked of broken.
But if the breakage is clean and the number of pieces is only two or three, you can attempt a glue fixing. To achieve this, you must look for a special glue used in sticking glass. This must be waterproof. At present the glue used for this purpose is E-6000. This is water proof. Even if it takes a long time to dry, it is worth it under the circumstance...… read more
The history of glass blowing has its beginning somewhere in the 1st century BC. Then the art grew increasingly through the centuries that followed. In the beginning, glass blowing was done for producing utility articles. Throughout the time of the Roman supremacy, the glass blowers made mainly table ware, bottles, and vases. But from the time the Murano glass industry flourished, glass blowing grew into other dimensions. It began to acquire the characteristics of an art.
Murano glass masters are mainly responsible for giving glass art the present status as a difficult but much coveted art form. Many Universities
and Art schools have included glass blowing in their curriculum. Many people take up glass blowing as a career on account of the great demand for glass blowers in various industries. They are often referred to as scientific blowers. But there are a lot others who consider it as a creative art. They create blown glass articles for museums and their own art galleries...… read more
Sorrento is a small town located in the picturesque Bay of Naples in Italy. Bay of Naples is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Sorrento has a hand in making Bay of Naples famous. The Limoncello and the inlaid music boxes are the two things that instrumental in putting Sorrento on the tourist maps.
Limoncello is a digestive made from lemon rinds and the inlaid music boxes of Sorrento are trinket boxes that produce automatic music when they are opened. But the music boxes earned their p
lace in the list of the much sought-after gift articles by virtue of the han
dmade inlays on them. These inlaid designs range from simple floral designs to elaborate scenic designs. The colorful designs will attract you if you are an aesthetically tempered person. But they will hold you in awe when you know that the fabulous colors are not painted but made piece by piece by the artisan using wood veneers of different colors, without changing their nature-given colors...… read more
Glass blowing is said to have originated in Syria, as early as the 1st century AD. The blowpipe is the principal tool of a glass master. He dips it in the molten glass and blows through the pipe, which makes the molten glass to form a bubble like structure. This blown glass is handled by the assistant of the master, with a pair of flexible tongs called ‘borsella’. The red hot glass can be shaped using this tongs.
The Venetian glass was much admired by the world from very early times. The glass industry has its origin in Venice, in the 8th century AD. The quality of the Venetian glass and the superior workmanship of the Venetian artists earned great name for Venetian glass artifacts all over the world. While glass furnaces thrived in the mainland of Venice, the city faced a new threat. The super hot furnaces were considered to be potential danger to the wooden buildings of Venice.
So the authorities found a way to isolate the glass furnaces from the main island. In 1291 the glass industry was shifted wholesale to the island of Murano. The authorities saw to it that the industry was isolated completely from the rest of the world. This was done with an intention of preserving the glass blowing techniques of Murano, thus maintaining the monopoly of Venice in the glass industry of the world...… read more
Galliano Ferro one of the greatest glass masters of the 20th century founded the Vetreria Artistica Galliano Ferro in 1955. The aim of this great establishment was to reintroduce the classic splendor of Murano light fittings. Almost all the much celebrated designs of ancient Murano chandeliers were reproduced in this furnace without missing any of its antique grandeur. The declared motto of the furnace is “Galliano Ferro from renaissance to liberty style”. True to this motto, the company was and still is able to contribute substantially to the chandelier designs in general.
Galliano Ferro made it a point to use the traditional tools and furnaces to replicate the centuries old designs. The company had many of the greatest designers of the century in its creative force. People like Ezio Rizzetto and Vinicio Vianello were well-known in the glass art industry at that time. The presence of these and a few others like them was able to elevate Vetreria Artistica Galliano Ferro to the zenith.
Reproducing ancient designs was not the only agenda of the well-venerated team of glass experts in Vetreria Artistica Galliano Ferro. They also produced innumerable original and innovative designs in Light fixtures. There was a unique assimilation of antiquity and modernity in their designs, which fetched them much accolade in the world over.
Giorgio Ferro, the son of Galliano Ferro was the main designer in his father’s new concern from 1955. In 1972 he took the reins of the company and remained the principal designer. He produced many original designs drawing inspiration from the old masters. He created numerous modern designs of his own simultaneously.
In 2001, Giorgio Ferro’s son Alvis took over as the artistic head of the company. The Vetreria Artistica Galliano Ferro is now headed by Paola and Lisa Ferro...… read more
Murano glass industry is centuries old. Its antiquity is its uniqueness. The incredibly beautiful glass objects that are produced in Murano is a class of their own, as it is next to impossible to replicate them. While the Murano glass articles are greatly admired all over the world, the Murano glass animals are treasured by the collectors.
The Murano glass maestros have a unique skill in duplicating the animal world in the most meticulous way. Their candid postures often make these glass animals adorable. The minute details of their morphology are duplicated with great care and panache by the great masters of Murano. They use the traditional techniques like calcedonia, murrine etc. to fabricate these figurines, besides the clear glass miniatures...… read more
Venice is the land of magnificent carnivals. The Venetian masquerade is known for its mysterious nature and the element of surprise waiting for you at every bend. You can visit Venice in February and experience a series of masquerade parties.
The masquerade events of 2017 start on 11th February and goes on to the 28th.Thesemagnificent Venetian affairs are held in various palaces and hotels. They offer innumerable surprises to the partying crowd. Youmaymeet Casanovahimself during these masquerades. The gastronomy is fabulous during this period in Venice. You get to taste some of the exotic wines of Italy during the wine tasting events in the parties... … read more
The Centuries old glass art of Murano Island is a subject of marvel throughout the world. The clarity of the glass, the amazing blowing and coloring techniques, unique shapes – every aspect of the Murano glass articles hold the world in awe.
The Murano glass artists have the art handed down to them by generations of dedicated glass blowers. The art had been nourished by the tireless efforts of innovators of each century and now the Murano glass products grace the very top position in the glass art industry.
Murano glass artisans are a set of extremely resourceful craftsmen who are bestowed with both skill and imagination. As a result, their creations swathe a wide range of subjects. You can find articles that can be used for a large number of occasions. They can be used as décor objects, table wares, and collectibles. This is why they are considered to be excellent gift articles.
There are Murano glass products which can be gifted to people of all ages and interests. There are articles which suit all genders. These articles are fit to be presents for all occasions, be it festivals or personal interests... … read more
Beaujolais Nouveau is a festival that celebrates new wine of the year in the Beaujolais region of Limoges. This unique festival occurs on the third Thursday of November. The grapes are harvested during the latter half of October. The new barrels of wine are opened at midnight of the New Beaujolais festival. Under the French law the new wine should be given out just after midnight...… read more
The month of November is very festive throughout Italy. This is the month in which the new wine barrels are opened and new wines are enjoyed. This is the month of the ripe chestnuts. The first half of the month is marked by the Festa di San Martino or Festival of Saint Martin. November 11 is celebrated as the St. Martin’s festival. The days around this time will be usually warm and nice and ideal for celebrations and feasts.
People in many parts of Italy celebrate this event with great gastronomic extravaganzas. The friends and relatives gather in the evenings to enjoy sumptuous dinners. Grilled pork is the main dish served. Tasting of new wine and enjoying the early chestnuts are other high lights of this celebration...… read more
Murano glass industry is an ever favorite attraction to tourists. A tour through the glass furnaces is often appreciated by the visitors. This December the Executive Service Network is organizing a showcasing program during the last two weeks of the year, named ‘Tra Sogno e Magia’ or ‘Between Dream & Magic’ to selected guests of Executive Service Network and the Miami based House of Murano...… read more
The winter activities in Sorrento Starts in November and goes on till January. This is the time of festivities in Sorrento and Amalfi coast. The Tasso Square in Sorrento is the eye of the whirlwind activities during the winter season. The square itself is not all that impressive when you consider its size. All the same, it is jam packed with numerous restaurants and shopping centers...… read more
Children themselves are precious gifts from God. But there is no child who would not like gifts. ‘The brown paper packages tied up with strings’ happen to be at the top of every child’s list of favorite things. It is always a pleasure to see the dear little face light up.
Search for a suitable present for your child in 1001shops.com. We have an exhaustive list of ‘child things’. We know the heart of a child through and through. Browse through our site to find gift articles for children of both the genders and all ages... … read more
Exchanging gifts is an integral part of human relationships. They help you to declare your feelings for your partner without being exceedingly voluble about it. The messages conveyed through gifts are often very powerful. You can always surprise the man in your life with such a gift.
You need not worry your pretty head searching for suitable gift ideas. You only have to browse through our site. It contains a good number of fabulous gift ideas. When you think of gifting a man, you should know about his special interests...… read more
Gifts are more vociferous than words. That is why it is very important to know exactly what to gift the people who count the most in your life. Getting a gift from your sweet lady is as pleasurable as giving her one. But the opening of the package should give pleasure to the recipient. Imagine your beautiful lady opening her present to find something uninteresting! That will be the end of the world.But browsing through the on line gift shop of 1001shops.com will give you innumerable gift ideas that will suit the very special interests of your sweet heart. Our collection comprises articles that are suitable for people of all ages...… read more
Oktoberfest is a festival that celebrates the most popular liquor in the world – the beer. This festival has undoubtedly originated in Germany, where beer and everything about it are celebrated. Drinking copious amount of beer is the way how the Germans celebrate anything and everything. So it does not come as a surprise that they made the wedding of one of their Princes, Prince Ludwig of Bavaria an occasion for revelry.
The Oktoberfest started in 1810 when the Bavarian Prince, Prince Ludwig conducted a huge celebration in connection with his marriage to Princess Therese. The beer literally flowed through the streets of Bavaria. The highlight of the event was a horse race. People enjoyed the occasion so thoroughly that they made this a yearly event and the world’s biggest beer festival stared here.
It was only natural that the German immigrants all over the world began to celebrate this and so Oktoberfest now is a worldwide event now. The German immigrants of America started to celebrate Halloween from the first half of the 20th century. Almost all the states in USA celebrate this beer festival with a verve that is no less than that of their German counterparts. The enthusiasm caught on with the establishment of microbreweries in America. Thereafter authentic German breweries entered the scene to make the festival more authentic...… read more
The crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria got married to Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. He wanted to share the happiness with his countrymen and invited all of them to a large feast conducted in a large field outside the city gates. Thousands of Bavarians attended it. Food and beer were consumed in large quantities. A horserace also was conducted. In short, people enjoyed themselves beyond measure and the next year, they repeated the event. Thereafter, it became an important volksfestival in Germany. It is now an important feature of the Bavarian culture.
The beer consumed during the Oktoberfest is of a special quality. Now the fest is a 16-day celebration that starts sometime during the second half of September till the first week of October. Every year new features are being added to the festivities of the Oktoberfest. New tournaments, games and agricultural shows are included in this festival...… read more
Livio Seguso was born in 1930 in Murano. Like all the other renowned Murano glass artists, he was also interested in glass blowing and shaping from a very early age. The glass is a difficult medium to tame but most of the Murano-born glass artists took up the challenge of taming this medium and have recognized the unlimited possibilities of the medium.
Livio was not an exception. He started his career by acquiring an in-depth knowledge of glass. This was easy for him as Murano was a fertile ground that nourished anybody who is interested in glass architecture. Livio Seguso started his glass art career under the famous glass master, Alfredo Barbini. Having received a sound initial training, young Livio began to experiment with the medium to express unprecedented skill in the art... … read more
Halloween is a word derived from the expression ‘All Hallows Eve’. This festival which is celebrated with the weirdest rituals is said to have its roots in the Celtic festival of ‘Samhain’. This is a festival that marked the end of autumn and the beginning of winter. This is a time that finds the end of the current year’s harvest and calls for a celebration. The Druids used to build huge community bon-fires and burnt crops and sacrificed animals as offerings to their deities. They re-kindled their hearth fires from the fire from this bon-fire.
Since winter is a time when life is not very active, the time is also associated with death. They believed that it is the time when the worlds of the living and the dead temporarily overlap each other. So it is only natural to expect visitors from the other world on the eve of November 1st, which is the winter month. So people believed that the spirits walk the earth in various forms. There are benevolent spirits and evil ones. People leave food for the benevolent ones, which are often believed to be the spirits of their dead relatives. But at the same time the evil ones are feared... … read more
Lucio Bubacco is a name that is associated with innovative and original glass works of the current context in the history of glass architecture. He was born in the legendary island of Murano in the year 1957 as the son of Severino Bubacco, an expert glass master. The island of Murano has acquired legendary proportions in the glass industry because of the original techniques that are developed in the glass blowing industry.
Lucio Bubacco who was born in this island was naturally involved in shaping glass from a very early age. He began by making small animal figures that are incorporated into lamp works. He got a license for glass artists at the comparatively young age of 15. He got the fabulous opportunity of travelling a lot with his father. Their travel outside Murano gave him a chance to see and learn diverse approaches to glass from the experts in France and America.
It was not glass which received his creative efforts in the beginning. As a young artist, he went through a phase of working with other easier media like clay. But ultimately he returned to glass which is his ancestors’ medium and began to work wonders in it. He was able to understand glass because of his childhood haunts in the glass furnaces of his father’s contemporaries...… read more
Fabio Fornasier transformed the traditional Murano chandeliers into excellent works of art that emerged from the conventional structures to something ultramodern. He had a passion for experimentation with glass, which resulted in a new generation of chandeliers. Some of his innovative chandeliers use oil from vials for lighting. Later, Fornasier fitted them with low voltage bulbs. In both cases the chandeliers exhibited a unique elegance and class.
Fabio Fornasier was born in Venice on 16th August 1963. He began to take an unusual interest in shaping glass from a very tender age. Watching his father Luigi Fornasier at work filled young Fabio with wonder. His only ambition was to be able to shape glass as expertly as his father. He pursued the art relentlessly and after many a frustrating effort he was able to tame glass according to his will...… read more
Davide Salvadore was born in 1953 in the glass island of Murano. He was born into a glass makering family, which provided him with ample opportunities to be associated with glass blowing from a very young age. His grandfather Antonio Salvadore was his inspiration in glass making. He mastered the techniques of kiln and furnace making also from his family’s furnaces.
His first real tryst with the glass blowing was when he joined the furnace of the famous glass master, Loredano Rosin. He worked with this team for four years. There after he worked with many small and big glass companies of Murano. The companies included the famous glass houses like Vennini, Barovier& Toso etc. This increased his expertise in the art.
In 1978 he began to make glass beads for his mother’s jewelry shop and got a chance to be associated with the fashion world. He began to work with many fashion-jewelry designers which earned him great name in the field...… read more
Lattimo glass is said to have existed from the time of Romans. Initially it was used for enamel works on gold and silver. But from the 15th century, in 1450 to be exact, lattimo glass was produced by the artisans of Murano. It was created as an imitation to Chinese porcelain, which was imported to Venice from China. So the lattimo glass was also called ‘porcellano’.
The lattimo glass was produced by opaquing the clear glass with the help of lead and tin oxides. The molten form of the impure glass is treated with bleach and then to one of the many opaquing agents. The process gives a vibrant milky white color to the glass.
Besides the lead and tin oxides, lead and arsenic oxide or bone ashes also were used for matting clear glass... … read more
This glass art which provides an explosion of colors and exquisite designs on glass is an ancient one. It is said to have existed even 4000 years ago in the Middle East. However, it gained popularity when the Venetian glass blowers reinvented it in the 16th century.
The murrine is a name given to the cross section of glass rods containing mutlicolored designs that give them a magnificent look. There are three ways you can make these rods with designs in them. All of them are time consuming and laborious processes. But the beauty of the finished products makes it worth the while.
Using a pliable mold, the artist makes an image which he plans to put in the glass rod. This is the positive. Then this positive is covered with a heat resistant material to produce a mold. This mold is then filled with the molten glass of the required color. Thereafter it is heated in a furnace. The glass positive is then taken out and when it is still half molten, the positive is rolled in molten clear glass to fill all the gaps and form a rod. This rod is then stretched to the required thinness and sliced crosswise to make identical cross sections. These murrine can be used to make other glass articles like vases and vessels...… read more
The glass blowing industry of Venice is well-known from the 8th century. The Roman occupation, the contact with the Byzantine art and connection w ith various countries in the East made Venetian glass artists experts in the field. Thus glass art thrived in the main land of Venice till the 13th century and then threatened by the high temperature kilns of the glass furnaces, the whole industry was shifted lock, stock and barrel to the island of Murano, which is sufficiently away from the mainland.
Isolated from the rest of the world by a highly restrictive law, the glass blowing guild began to concentrate on their skills and through constant experimentation, evolved quite a few innovative techniques that contributed greatly to the glass art of the world.
Sommerso glass was one of those techniques that produced glass articles which were and still continues to be breathtakingly beautiful. The technique involves an authentic knowledge about various color combinations. It also involves an extremely high level of dexterity in glass blowing and layering...… read more
‘ Stein’ is a misnomer when you consider the real meaning of this word of German origin. The word ‘stein’ is a short form of the German word ‘Steinzeugkrug’, meaning ‘stone jug’. Now the word stein is used for any kind of vessels that are used to drink beer from. It can be made of silver, pewter, porcelain, wood, pottery, glass or it can be stoneware itself.
The initial beer steins were mugs without lids. But the great black plague that affected Europe in the 14th century forced the Europeans to be extra careful about hygiene. The hoards of flies that infested Europe during the fag end of the 14th century made it necessary for them to cover all the things that are to be consumed. This included beer also and by 1500 a law was passed to the effect that the beer steins should possess lids. This is the origin of lidded beer steins.
T he Germans’ partiality towards the beer is world famous. So are their beer steins. It was a mark of prestige for a German to possess a personal beer stein. Most of them used pewter steins and the well-to-do citizens used silver steins. The people of economically lower class used wooden containers or earthenware to drink their beer... … read more
Antonio Salviati, a lawyer from Vicenza, made his dramatic entrance into the arena of Murano glass industry, in 1859. His concern about the near degradation of the mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica and keen enthusiasm for business made him divert from his original profession of a lawyer and turn to glass art. Since he was not well versed in the art of glassmaking, he decided to associate himself with some of the veteran glass artists of Murano. This happened just when the Murano glass industry was suffering a low patch during the 18th century.
Salviati got a star Murano glass artist in the person of Lorenzo Radi. Radi was a glass artisan who had invented a fabulous enamel mosaic technique. He also developed a method to apply them. Radi’s enamel mosaic was more colourful and extra durable. The duo established their first venture in 1859...… read more
Ferro Toso & C. is a glass manufacturing company which is actually started as early as 1880 by Francesco Ferro. The company was named Francesco Ferro & Figlio. The company functioned under this name till 1901. In 1901 Francesco Ferro died and Ferdinando Ferro joined with Luigi and Giovanni Toso and reorganized the company as Ferro Toso & C.
During the World War I it was difficult to function in Murano. So the company was transferred to Naples during the time. In Naples it functioned under the name Vitrum Società Anonima Industrie Artistiche Riunite Ferro Toso. When the animosity developed during the World War was over, the company returned to Murano once again in 1918. Then the name of the company was changed to S.A.I.A.R. Ferro Toso & C.
Thereafter the company worked under this name till 1936. When Luigi Toso died in 1933, his three sons managed the concern. In 1936 Ercole Barovier joined the team and the company was turned into Ferro Toso Barovier Vetreria Artistiche Reunite S. In 1939 the company was reirganized as Barovier and Toso & C.
The company has a long and excellent tradition started by Francesco Toso. After the inception of the company in 1880, it started to produce glassware with a modern flare from 1895. In short, the company was one of the pioneers in the glass industry that brought modernity into the art...… read more
Cappellin Vennini &C was a famous Murano glass company founded by two illustrious gentlemen in 1921. Giacomo Cappellin was an art dealer who was born in Venice and Paolo Vennini was a lawyer from Milan. They founded the company with Vittorio Zecchin as the art director. The art director was a true muranese glass artist who believed in blending tradition with the contemporary trends. So the company started with an intention to keep the glass blowing traditions of Murano alive and flourishing. But unfortunately in 1925 the founders Cappellin and Vennini parted ways.
Giacomo Cappellin started a different art glass concern named MVM Cappellin & C. Vittorio Zecchin chose to stay with Cappellin as the art director. All the same, the company went bankrupt in 1932 and was closed down. Thereafter Cappellin shifted to Parris. There he manufactured perfume bottles. Giacomo Cappellin died in 1968...… read more
The Island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon has one of the most ancient churches, the Church of Santa Maria e San Donato. There are incredible legends associated with the church. The historians are divided as to the origin and the person who had founded this magnificent edifice which celebrates an old world artistic excellence.
It is said that the church was established in the 7th century and rebuilt more than once after that. It is recorded that the latest renovation was conducted in 1140. But many are of opinion that parts of it were rebuilt several times after that...… read more
This 11 day long film festival is conducted in Lido, Venice every year from late August to early September. This renowned film festival is conducted as the part of the Venice Biennale. The Venice Biennale was founded by Venetian City Council in 1895. Later, in 1932 the Count Giuseppe Volpi founded this international film festival (Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia).
The festival, when started, was not a competitive event. But the competitions started from its second edition two years later. Later it began to be a yearly event from 1935. The festival soon gained great acclaim all over the world and the number of participating countries began to increase rapidly. Even if the event suffered a minor setback during the Second World War years, it soon revived. From the year 1979 onwards the festival took up a modern image under the directorship of Carlo Lizzani...… read more
Sorrento being a sea side locality, their autumn festival is to do with fish and the sea. Blue fish festival, as the name indicates, deals with the varieties of fish known as the blue fish. This category of fish includes fish varieties like mackerel, sardines and anchovies. These used to be low-cost fish and so termed as poor man’s fish.
The blue fish festival takes place in September. The festival is all about fishing and excellent culinary efforts by the villagers. The whole locality and the visitors take part in this festival, by going fishing and preparing fish dishes. This unique festival usually takes place in the most beautiful beach in Sorrento called Marina Grande...… read more
Sorrento music boxes are the hot favorite of the collectors all over the world. We are proud to offer you a variety of most stunning music boxes. These authentic music boxes are procured by us from the traditional artisans of Sorrento. They are the original handmade wonders from Italy... … read more
It was not for nothing the island of Murano is called the glass capital of the world. The superior-most glass art pieces were produced on the island for centuries. Most of the important families were and even now, are involved in this wonderful heritage art.
Luciano Vistosi took birth in one of those families that have been engaged in the art for a very long time. He was born into a glass blowing family of Murano in 1931. Like any other youngster in such families, he was absorbed into the family’s business from a very young age. That is how and where he had learned about the techniques and the nuances of the art.
After getting a rich know-how of glass blowing from his family, Luciano set out to make his own special mark in the world of glass art. He started to conduct intensive and extensive experiments with this not-so-easy-to-tame medium – glass. He paid special attention to the quality of glass he was working with. Nothing but the top quality glass found a place in his furnace. Being a left-hander, posed great difficulties for him, as almost all the existing tools were meant for right-handed workers. So Luciano had to make a few amendments to them to suit his style... … read more
Glass falls into different categories depending on its make, and qualities. It can have many combinations and so it does not have a fixed boiling or melting point. The main ingredient of glass is silica. Commercially, silica (sand), lime stone and soda ash are melted together in a furnace at an extremely high temperature of about 1700o Celsius. It takes many days for the silica to melt and form a jelly like substance which is glass.
This glass is separated and processed according to the requirement. This processing produces different types of glass. These categories of glass vary in their composition and properties. The basic use of glass is to provide transparency. But in the modern contexts glass is used for decoration, solar control, acoustics, security and architecture. Utensil manufacture is another use of glass...… read more
The garden of Villa Rufolo in Ravello, near Amalfi is a place of enchantment. The incredible construction juts 15 meters high from a rock formation, which serves as the world’s most bewitching stage. The blue sea and the mountains bearing small towns form the most spectacular backdrop for the stage.
This is where the most popular summer musical event in the Amalfi area takes place every year. The Ravello music festival is one of the oldest music festivals in Italy. The music festival kicks off during July and continues till September. Innumerable musical bands from all over the world come to perform in this prestigious festival. The venues include both indoor and outdoor spaces... … read more
Pino Signoretto who was born in 1944, in the small Venetian town of Favaro Veneto is one of the stars of modern Murano glass art. He started his glass blowing training very early in his life. In 1954 he entered the glass blowing furnace as an apprentice to a chandelier maker. From then on Pino Signoretto’s great career in glass art went on to great heights, earning him great name and fame.
Signoretto joined great masters like Alfredo Barbini and Livio Seguso very early inhiscareer. From these iconic masters Pino Signoretto acquired immense skill and techniques. For him, the period from 1956 to 1978 was the time of experimentation and gaining expertise under great glass maestros. In 1978 he was confident enough to open his own establishment in Murano.
He is an expert in shaping molten glass when it is still hot. The people who have experienced watching him at work say that it is a pleasure to watch him shaping glass with great dexterity and flair. The specialty of Signoretto glass lies in the fact that it assimilats the art and architecture of a number of world renowned artists like Dal Pezzo, Pomodoro and Vitali. This gives the Signoretto pieces great style and aesthetic value...… read more
The history of Murano glass began, when the industry was shifted from the main land to the small Island of Murano in 1291. The glass artisans enjoyed great privileges during those days. Several families were engaged in the ancient art. The innovative spirit in the Murano artisans soon produced unique varieties of glass art.
Seguso was one of the earliest families that distinguished themselves in the excellent art of glass blowing and glass craft. They were named among the reckonable glass dynasties from 1397 onwards. They owned one of the largest furnaces in Murano. The family produced some of the most unique glass art pieces which have earned them an esteemed position in the world of glass art. Currently their products adorn quite a number of museums of consequence all over the world. The family’s name appears in the ‘Libro d’Oro’ or The Golden book of Murano.
For centuries, the family has been engaged in producing ‘objets d'art’ for the royalties all over the world. Their artistic work has graced even the Pope’s abode. Besides these, Seguso glass has been included in the components of the décor schemes of many word famous spaces and interiors...… read more
The Barbini family was involved in glass making from 17th century onwards. They were outstanding glass blowers and bead makers. Alfredo Barbini was born in 1912 in Murano. He got his glass art training from Abate Zanetti, the ancient school of glass blowing. He was an expert glass blower at the age of 12 and started his glass blowing career under Ferro Toso in 1925.
At the age of 17 he joined Cristalleria di Venezia e Murano as their master glass blower. In 1932 he joined Zecchin- Martinuzzi firm. His experience with the great Napoleone Martinuzzi enhanced his techniques and workmanship. The foundation to his great expertise in sculpting with solid glass was laid at this stage. In 1937 he became a partner at V.A.M.S.A. There he continued with his experiments in thick glass sculpting. In 1948 he participated in Venice Biennale and his collection of sculptures in corroso glass such as Torso and Collasso won great accolade for him.
In 1950 Alfredo Barbini was able to establish his own glass blowing furnace called Vetreria Alfredo Barbini. The establishment was reorganized and named as Alfredo Barbini S.r.l. Even then, his research with solid glass sculpting was continued without a hitch. As a result a series of unique glass art pieces were produced in the 1960s. Vetri Pesanti, Pesci and Tulipani are all glowing examples of the same. He worked as the Artistic Director of the firm for quite a long time, till he died in 2007...… read more
Dads are pillars of strength for everybody – somebody you can look up to, somebody who stands by you when difficulties arise, somebody who makes your anxieties seem trivial, somebody you can run to when you need support. How do you show him that you appreciate everything he has done and will be doing for you? One way of doing it is to gift him with something relevant.
To select a suitable gift for your dad is a difficult task. You need to understand him through and through. You should know his favorite sports, music, films and dress. You should look into his repertoire of belongings and know if he needs something more. Above all, when he gets the gift he should be able to realize how well you know him and his needs.
However, here is a list of things that you can preset to your father...… read more
Dino Marten, born in the year 1894, was an Italian artist of excellent prowess in painting and designing. He presented his paintings in the Venice biennale from 1924 to 1930. His paintings diverted from traditional ones and exhibited a character of their own. He learned his art from Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia.
In 1939 he joined the Auriliano Toso glass works. Here he was able to express his art using the very difficult medium of glass. He worked as a designer in Auriliano Toso till 1960. During these years he combined his artistic vision with the age-old glass blowing know-how of the Murano maestros. He was able to give a new dimension to murano glass designs.
His works were mostly to do with vases and small vessels. His work consisted of polychromatic designs. He experimented with the aventurine technique with copper and gold flakes. Zanfirico was another Murano technique which was given a new face by Dino Marten. The created unique murrines and fused the same with his characteristic vases...… read more
“Music is the universal language of mankind”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
But in this world, the people who can enjoy music are more, compared to those who can create it. That means music has to be taken all over the world, so that everyone can enjoy it, irrespective of the geographical, national, cultural or linguistic differences.
There are travelling performers who take their music to every nook and corner of the world. But this does not suit the people who like to enjoy music in private. This is where the mechanical music is relevant. Music can be stored and transported and could be played with the help of some mechanical devices.
From time immemorial man has tried to produce music and store it in various ways. He had found ways and means to produce music without the actual involvement of the musician from very ancient times. The barrel organ could be played by turning a handle. A preset musical notes could be played thus. This music could be taken to streets or dancehalls for public enjoyment...… read more
Bavaria celebrates its May Day with an exuberant community event. It is called ‘May pole raising’. As the name indicates it involves raising a long pole, which sometimes reaches a height of 90 meters. This highly laborious work is done manually by a group of able-bodied men. No machinery is used in this. Raising a separate Maypole is each locality started only in the 16th century...… read more
Venice is a country that springs innumerable surprises on you when you set to study about it. It is very difficult to believe that it is a country that was established by a set of frightened men who continually ran from the mainland to save themselves from innumerable invasions. For a time the 118 islands that form the present Venice served as occasional refuge for people of the mainland. But during the first half of the 5th century, when the Roman Empire fell, there was great chaos and these people decided to build a city for themselves, to escape from it. As a result, a fabulous city was erected in the marshy lagoon of the Adriatic Sea. So it was at the noon of 25th March, 421 AD Venice was born.
Venice is a wonder as far as the people of the world are concerned. Its incredible engineering strategies, the numerous islands in a net work of canals, the wonderful bridges that connect its people across the several canals, the culture, the fabulous art, the delicately beautiful Murano glass objects and the flimsy elegance of the Burano laces – all of them fill the world’s mind with wonder.
To build a city in the marshy lagoon was not an easy job. All the same, they built it and the buildings still exist. These buildings were set on wooden platforms which were held by strong wooden piles that were driven deep into the marshes. These piles were long and strong enough to go down to the strong clay underneath the silt of the mashes...… read more
Limoges is now the capital of the Limousin provinces in France. It is situated on the right bank of River Vienne. The city of Limoges is almost in the center of France and south-west of Paris. Limoges is known from Middle Ages for its exquisite enamel works. But the city has a long and ancient history.
Limoges was an ancient city which was the abode of a Gallic tribe called ‘Lemovices. The city of Limoges was founded by the Romans in 10th century BC. It was Emperor Augustus who founded the city and so it was called Augustoritum. It was a much developed Roman establishment with an organized government and its own currency.
The city was constructed in the typical Roman fashion. It had a square plan with two main streets crossing in the center. It could also boast of a proper amphitheater. Later the name Augustoritum was replaced by ‘Limoges’ after the original inhabitants of the area.
Christianity came to Limoges by the middle of the 3rd century AD. St. Martial and his two companions were instrumental in this. But the area was scarcely occupied because of the constant skirmishes between the inhabitants of the area and other Germanic tribes. In the beginning, the people of Limoges settled down at a place which could be easily fortified. Later, by the 9th century another community came into existence around the tomb of St. Martial and at the same time ‘The Abbey of St. Martial’ was built there. A third settlement came up near the residence of the Viscount...… read more
Producing music mechanically or without the direct involvement of human hands has been a fascination to man from a very early age. The earliest mention of such a mechanism has been recorded in 875 AD. The instrument was called a water organ. It was a hydraulically operated device.
Thereafter many other small and big developments in the field occurred. But it was in the 16th century significant developments were made. In 1502 a mechanical musical instrument called ‘barrel organ’ was introduced. This produced pipe music. It was operated by turning a handle. The handle turned a barrel which was fixed with pegs. These pegs opened valves to produce different preset pitches to produce a preset tune. This was an instrument mainly used by street musicians of the time...… read more
Intarsia is a special wood work technique that involves cutting wooden pieces and sticking them together on a surface to form images. This is a kind of inlay technique almost similar to marquetry. The difference between marquetry and intarsia is that the intarsia work gives the image an illusion of depth to give it an almost three dimensional appearance.
This technique is said to have originated somewhere in the North African Arab territories as early as the 7th century. The Egyptians created extremely picturesque mosaic works using wood veneers of various species of wood. It was termed as ‘Parquetry’. This exotic art found its way to the Byzantine art and sculpture. The art occupied a prominent place throughout the golden era of the Byzantine art...… read more
The history of Murano glass industry starts in 1291, when the glass blowing industry was shifted wholesale to the small island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon, away from the main land of Venice. There, isolated from the rest of the world, the art flourished to an incredible level. The master glass artists devoted their time and energy solely to the techniques of glass art and invented techniques that produced hitherto non-existent and spectacular glass objects.
Four years after the shifting of the industry to the island of Murano, in 1295 a master glassblower named Jacobellus Barovier founded the Barovier glass works. They were specialized in high quality Venetian glass. The glass blowing techniques were constantly subjected to research and experiments under him...… read more
Luigi Benzoni is a Venetian artist. He was born in the Province of Bergamo in 1956. He moved to Venice at a very young age. By 1976 he was able to start his business in Venice. He had studied architecture and specialized in the history of art. This inspired him to experiment with various media of art.
He started the exhibition of his work in Venice and abroad in the first half of the 70s. He had started his career as an artist who used oil paint as his medium. Later he started experimenting with glass, porcelain and even bronze. Most importantly he was able to combine his painting skills and sculpting skills to produce incredibly novel structures...… read more
The origin of the automatic music boxes can be traced back to man’s enthusiasm to create automated things. He started with making automated birds and animals. The Greeks were the ones who were enthusiastic about making mechanical animals and birds. From there, man’ attention was diverted to the production of automatic musical instruments.
During the 15th century there was a musical instrument called ‘carillon’. It was a tower of bells which was rung by a player to produce very pleasing rhythms. He did it by striking the bells with a hammer. Later, in the 13th century a clever carillon player in Flanders created a wooden cylinder with pins on it. They controlled some components which were connected to the hammers that struck the bells.
The spacing of the pins determined the rhythm. By changing the position of the pins one could change the rhythm. This mechanism is the now known forerunner of the present sophisticated musical boxes.
Later the music was produced and controlled by metallic drums with pins on them and a metal comb. The teeth of these metal combs are pre-tuned. While the drums rotate the pins pluck the teeth of the comb producing music. The cylinder is attached to springs which could be wound up.
However, the credit of producing the first miniature music box rests with a watch maker from Geneva. He was Louis Favre. Thereafter, in the 18th century production of musical snuff boxes began. They were called ‘carillons à musique’. They were so small that they could be carried in a gentle man’s coat pocket...… read more
This is the most popular mask. It is worn to project a gentle manly and heroic character.
The mask is usually white, worn with a black hat. This whole face mask is with a beak like extension at the chin. This enables you to talk, eat and drink.
This is a typical male carnival mask.
This is also a man’s mask with an extension at the chin.
This is a white mask worn with a long cloak.
This mask can be worn for any party and your identity will be unrevealed while chatting and mingling with the people you like.
This is a pretty womanly mask. This projects a high born lady image.
This is a full mask which is heavily decorated in gold and silver. The mask has all the facial features intact.
You can wear this for partying and carnival...… read more
Masks and masquerades are a part of Venetian life from time immemorial. When and why they started wearing masks is a matter which is subjected to speculations. But the masks were worn by the venetians from time of the great Republic.
Venetians enjoyed a high standard of living from ancient times. Trade and commerce flourished in Venice giving each of its citizens its great benefits. The masks were worn on a daily basis. May be there was a need to maintain anonymity while transactions conducted in a very small place. So the masks were worn so that anybody can go about meeting anyone without revealing their identity and more importantly their social status.
This gave an equal footing to everyone and an equal chance of success to every Venetian. But as everything else, this practice began to deteriorate and deviate from its actual purpose. People found it fit to engage in not-so-innocent activities wearing masks. As a result, society began to get corrupted. People began to be engaged in gambling and other clandestine activities. So the masks were banned in Venice in the 13th century.… read more
Murano glass articles are valued globally, as much for its iconic value as for its excellent features and expert craftsmanship. The Murano glass artisans create a variety of products. They include chandeliers, sculptures, jewelry, goblets and vases. They find a supreme place in the collections of hobbyists all over the world.
If you own some of these fabulous glass articles, it is vital that you know how to take care of them and clean them periodically to preserve their original brilliance.
Cleaning Murano glass chandeliers
The Venetian artisans produced fabulous chandeliers and exported them to other countries from 10th century onwards. When the glass blowing industry got shifted to the island of Murano, it acquired newer dimensions and began to expand. The chandeliers produced by the Murano artisans were incredibly elaborate and perfect in minute details.
If you own a Murano glass chandelier, you know how elaborate they are. The delicately formed and dangled pieces are magnificent in every detail. When you attempt cleaning it, you will have to be careful not to cause the pieces rub against each other. This may cause scratches on the pieces and the optical clarity will be compromised.… read more
The authentic Murano glass articles contain 18 – 24 karat gold and sterling silver and they will be mentioned in the product description. This means you can be sure the article is genuine.
Once you are satisfied with the labels and the like, you may inspect the article itself and the other articles displayed by the dealer. The Murano glass is made of quality glass and it will usually possess a luminosity that comes from within. Inspect the similar articles. If they are Murano articles they will be slightly different from one another. As the Murano articles are individually blown, no two articles resemble in all respects.
The colors and lines on the genuine Murano articles will be vivid and rich. The Murano glass artisans are meticulous in crafting the minutest details of the articles. The imperfections in the features will show you that it is not a Murano piece.
As the Murano glass articles are individually blown, they will have a mark at the bottom of the product. This mark is called ‘pontil mark’. This is made by the rod which is used by the artisans to hold the articles while he shapes it. This is a sure sign that the article is hand blown... … read more
On entering the famous Berengo Studio in Venice, you get the shock of your life, when you see an exquisite blood red murano glass chandelier lying shattered on the floor and some stuffed ravens picking on the debris. Then you glance around the studio to see a bunch of unconventional shapes around you. It finally dawns on you that somebody is trying to convey a message through this shattered chandelier. That somebody is Adriano Berengo, the founder of the Berengo fine arts. He is conveying the unmistakable message that the Murano glass art is going to resurrect from the ashes (debris) of this shattered chandelier which symbolizes the near extinction of the art.
Venice is a country which has occupied an important position in the map of the world from the 8th century as the center of incredibly artistic glass works. From the 13th century its fame soared to unprecedented heights due to the Island of Murano, which was exclusively allotted to the glass blowing industry. The murano glass arts flourished through the centuries that followed. Going through a number of ups and downs, by the end of 20th century, murano glass industry began to suffer...… read more
If you are a beer aficionado, you can’t probably afford to miss the spring beer fest in Germany. It is termed as ‘Starkbier’ fest. ‘Stark’ in German means ‘strong’. So this is the festival of ‘strong beers’. This fest has a 500 year old history.
The Christian monks are supposed to observe a 40-day fast during lent. This obviously is very exhausting. So Brother Barnabas with his fellow Paulaner monks, found a way to circumvent this highly exhausting fasting rule, which says that they cannot eat. In 1651 they brewed a special beer with added malt and grains. This made the beer stronger by way of its solid content but not much in the alcoholic content. The monks called it ‘Salvatore’ meaning ‘savior’. This strong beer is also called ‘Flüssiges Brot’ or liquid bread...… read more
Have you heard of a three month long carnival? It happens in Limoux, France. The carnival of Limoux is known as the longest carnival in the world. It extends through the weekends of January, February and March, till the Night of the Blanquette.
This is a 400 year old celebration, the origin of which can be traced back to the celebration of the millers in the 14th century. At that time, the millers conducted a small celebration when they were released from an obligation to pay taxes to the Dominican priory at Prouille. They conducted processions through the streets with the accompaniment of musicians throwing sugared almonds and flour. At present they throw confetti instead of flour.
The carnival began to be conducted regularly from the 1600s in Limoux. There is more to this traditional carnival than just dance and merrymaking. The processions and other activities in the carnival are governed by a discipline of ancient customs. It also helps to preserve one of the ancient French dialects called ‘Occitan’. The songs and plays will be in Occitan language... … read more
March 8th is now celebrated as International woman’s day all over the world. This day is meant for giving women enough confidence to carry on with their fight against discrimination, which still exists in some parts of the world. It emphasizes women’s right to have equal rights with men.
In Italy this day has been declared as a public holiday. It is called “Festa della Donna”. Myriads of activities and celebrations take place all over Italy on March 8th. Even if the status of women is not really low in Italy, on March 8th women enthusiastically gather together conducting various functions to celebrate their achievements in various fields. This is a day for upholding their social, economic and political triumphs.… read more
Sorrento is a beautiful town which is stretched on the side of a beautiful hill facing the blue waters of the Mediterranean. This is a peaceful tourist spot mostly covered with lime and orange groves.
The wood craft of Sorrento is centuries old. The craftsmen of Sorrento are trained in the art of marquetry and inlay. They use special wood veneers to create magnificent pictures with incredible details. The history of the marquetry is dated back to the era of the pharaohs in Egypt. It is an ancient art. The artisans of Sorrento are the modern experts in the art. They use this technique to create large wall panels, furniture and boxes...… read more
Lucio Bubacco is the son of Murano in all its senses. He was born in 1957 in Murano as the son of a proficient glass blower. This means that he was involved in murano glass works almost from birth. He travelled extensively with his father and every journey was a expedition through the superior glass art of the world as well as that of Murano.
He started his glass works as a boy with another old glass blower. Playing with glass, he began to craft small articles like animals. But his work was always inspired by the anatomy of his subject. At the age of 14 he completed a work using the ‘Lume’ technique. The uniqueness of his work was that he was inspired by some of the old world artistic ideas from the Greek, Byzantine arts.
He was greatly influenced by the renaissance art also. But whatever he made exhibited an unparalleled anatomic excellence. Human body held his fascination beyond measure. Together with it, he was influenced by the fantastic world presented by the Hellenic civilization and other civilizations before Christ. As a result, his creations contained an abundance of fantastic beings, angels, devils and gods...… read more
A malfi, with its beaches and the mountain towns and lime and orange groves is a paradise on earth. February is pleasantly warm in Amalfi and therefore the festivities begin. Poised on the threshold of spring, the people and the atmosphere begin to get a special spark. That is when some of the local youngsters as early as 1999, thought of celebrating the end of the cold winter and the coming of spring.
They made the streets of Amalfi colorful with all kinds of festivities, concerts and processions. What started as a local spring celebration later took up incredible dimensions and now it is one of the most colorful February events in Italy. The weather, together with the fabulous beaches, attract a large number of tourists to Amalfi during the month of February. Now the Grand carnival that starts at the end of January is the main attraction.
A present, the preparations for the 43rd Grand Carnival of Amalfi is in progress. It is scheduled from 31st January to 14th February.
The first event is the opening of the synthetic ice skating rink in the waterfront. It is mainly for the enjoyment of children. It will stay open till 14th February. On the 31st of January the Carnival for Children opens. Various shows and performances are roped in to mark the occasion. Children also get a chance to showcase their talents on this occasion...… read more
On February 14th, while the whole world celebrates Valentine’s Day, the people of Sorrento are consumed in a kind of religious fervor. They celebrate the feast of their patron saint, St. Antony Abbot. He died on February 14th 626 AD.
This is a two-day celebration that starts with people visiting the statue of the saint in the Basilica from the morning of the 13th and ends at the midnight of the 14th. People of Sorrento commemorate the death of their Patron with complete dedication and piety.
It is said that the Basilica which bears his name now was built by St. Antony himself, helped by Saint Catellus, on the instruction of Archangel Michael. At that time St. Antony was a monk. Now this basilica stands as one of the most venerated architectural wonders of the world. Hundreds of tourists visit the Basilica every year.
A host of legends that prove the miracles performed by the Patron Saint exists in Sorrento. People are ready to recite any number of them to you when you visit the place.… read more
The Nason Moretti glass works was founded in 1925 by the Nason brothers. Their aim was to produce top quality tableware and home accessories. The Moretti family joined the firm in 1950s. Both families were engaged in glass blowing for years. It was a merger of excellent skills of two master traditions. Carl Moretti’s works are exhibited in some of the important glass museums of the world.
In 1955 Umberto Nason took up a novel project of producing special kinds of bowls and glassware. This fetched the prestigious Golden Compass Award for the establishment. Thus Nason Moretti glassware became world famous
Nason Moretti is a highly esteemed name in the Italian glassware. They produce a wide range of drinking glasses. Their products include both stemmed-ware and drinking glasses without stems.
The unique style of the hand blown glass ware betrays an expertise which is perfected through centuries. They make these glass objects using the traditional Murano techniques. Since they are blown individually, they are incredibly delicate and light...… read more
Sorrento and its wood work tradition
Sorrento is famous for its wood work for generations. The marquetry and inlay art belong to the age old tradition in Sorrento. For generations these people work using special kinds of wood to create great art.
The art of hand crafted inlays is a hereditary art in Sorrento. The technique of using veneers from different colored wood is a wonderful art. They create colorful inlays without using any artificial coloring agent. Instead, they use wood veneers with different colors. Maple, burl elm, white poplar, briar and rosewood are some of the special wood they use...… read more
Murano glass articles are the favorites of collectors all over the world. But it is important for the collectible to be a true Murano glass piece. There are a few furnaces that are authorized by the Veneto Regional Law to use the certifying mark. Fornace Mian is one of them.
This Murano glass industry is a 20th century addition to the Murano glass blowing tradition. It was established by Alfio Mian in 1962. He was a master in the art and very much dedicated to the traditional art of Murano. He started the furnace in a very small way, with two artisans. But the dedication of these men and their commitment to the art soon gained their establishment name and fame...… read more
This is a family owned business. The main production is Jewelry for women. The beads are hand-made. The expertise of the artists makes these beads excellent specimens. The entire Jewelry making – from the making of beads to crafting jewelry from them – is supervised by the family.
The innovative designs are evolved but the glass work is essentially rooted in the age-old Murano tradition. The designs of Esse2 are original and extremely creative.… read more
Venini Murano Glass Company was founded in the beginning of the 20th century by a lawyer from Milan, Paolo Venini and an antique dealer, Giacomo Cappellin from Venice. The company was established in 1921 with Vittorio Zacchin, a painter, as the art director. The company was named Cappellin Venini &C.
But in 1925, a difference of opinion between the founders led to the withdrawal of Cappellin from the association. So Venini re-established the company as Venini & C. in 1925. After a minor set-back in the beginning, Venini was successful in setting up his organization admirably. The design department of the firm was backed up by many design kings like Napoleon Martinuzzi, Tommaso Buzzi and others.… read more
King-Werk German beer steins strive to preserve the centuries-old German beer stein craft in its genuinely archaic shapes and designs. The factory is situated at Hohr-Grenzhausen in Westerwald. Germany. This part of Germany is known for its top quality clay deposits. This clay deposits have produced a pottery culture in the area right from the 1st century A.D. Now the area is known all over the word for the traditional German Stein manufacturing.
There are many renowned beer stein makers around the area. King-Werk happens to be one of the largest beer stein manufacturers around. The company was founded by two gentlemen named, Friedrich Wuerfel and Edmund Mueller in 1949. From then on, they had started to produce beer steins that conform to the standards of ‘Ceramic of world reputation’. The German version of the phrase goes, ‘Keramik Internationaler Geltung’. The company made an acronym of this phrase to create a trade mark for their venture and the trade mark ‘KING’ came into existence. The trade mark now stands for quality and authenticity. The name was proved extremely meaningful by their ensuing productions.… read more
Italy being the abode of the Pope, the head of Roman Catholicism, celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ with great religious fervor. The celebration starts eight days before Christmas with special Novenas in churches. Virgin Mary is greatly revered and songs are sung in the homes of carpenters to honor St. Joseph. The Italians avoid meat for 24 hours before Christmas to purify their bodies before Christmas. They are that religious!
December 8th, which is celebrated as the Day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, marks the onset of the Italian Christmas celebrations. The streets and the houses are decorated and the Christmas markets turn up all over the country.… read more
Christmas has a deep religious significance as far as the French are concerned. France conforms mostly to the Catholic traditions in celebrating the birth of the Immaculate Child. It is almost a month long celebration filled with color and music and sumptuous food.
St. Nicholas Day
Christmas mood is set, right from the end of November when Christmas markets begin to appear in the country. On 6th of December with the St. Nicholas day, the festivities start in earnest. Colorful light decorations begin to be erected along the streets and buildings. Churches begin to echo with Christmas songs. This continues till 6th January, the12th day of Christmas...… read more
Christmas in Germany is a time for celebration and gift exchange, as it is everywhere else in the world. Christmas celebrations and the related rituals and traditions vary greatly in various parts of Germany.
The Christmas season commences four Sundays before Christmas. This is called ‘advent’. The advent as the name denotes the beginning of the celebrations. Each family makes an advent wreath using the seasonal greens. This wreath is further decorated with colorful ribbons and other decorations. Four candles are placed on the wreath and one is lighted on the first Sunday and an addition candle will be directed each of the ensuing Sundays till Christmas. In some regions the family gathers around the wreath while lighting candles and sing carols.
Advent calendar is also made. This is mainly to help children count down. The calendar is usually made with windows that are covered, so that the children can open them each day and claim the goodies in them...… read more
Murano is a beautiful island off cost Venice. It is nicknamed as the glass capital of the world because of the wonderful glass creations by the artisans of the island. All their celebrations are naturally, connected with glass blowing and glass architecture. Christmas is no exception. The people of Murano celebrate their age old tradition of glass art during Christmas. The festivities include glass articles in most of its stages.
St. Nicholas Day or Natale di Vetro
C hristmas starts in Murano with the St. Nicholas day. St. Nicholas, being the patron saint of the glass blowers, is highly venerated by the Muranese population. So a special mass is conducted in his name at the Chiesa di San Pietro Martire. The St. Nicholas Day is also called Natale di Vetro or Glass Christmas. As the name indicates, this is the day on which the glass artists of Murano display their glass architecture skills to the natives and tourists alike. They all get together to present an impressive exhibition of Glass works...… read more
Christmas is celebrated all over the world with great religious fervor. It is also a time of festivity and collective enjoyment. There are a lot of traditional activities that are almost the same all over the world. Having said that, it is also true that these traditions vary considerably to suit the cultural differences of different localities.
The Christmas tree, Santa Clause and his gifts, Christmas dinner and the nativity scene crafting are some of those traditions followed almost everywhere in the world. Christmas carol singers go about singing carols all over the world. They collect money and use it for charity purposes.
In most European countries Christmas starts well before the Christmas day. Countries like France and Holland starts their Christmas day celebrations from December 6th, St. Nicholas day; countries like Italy and Germany start their Christmas four weeks before the Christmas Day, and they call it Advent. Spain commences the festivities from the feast of Immaculate Conception of Mary on the 8th of December while Sweden starts the celebrations from 13th December, which is the St. Lucia’s day.
The midnight mass and the extravagant Christmas feast are also popular traditions which are conducted by various parts of the world with slight variations brought about by the cultural diversities of the regions.
Christmas foods vary from place to place. it again depends on the availability of food materials and special preparations of the locality. It also depends largely on the local culture.
In many Eastern European countries people fast prior to Christmas. On the Christmas Eve, however, they eat an elaborate meatless dinner. This comprises several sea-food dishes. On the Christmas day they eat a luxurious dinner with various fowl roasts. Duck and Turkey are more popular. This is eaten with delicious wine and plenty of vegetable preparations. In Czech Republic they fry carps for Christmas and prepare special Christmas biscuits.
In Finland the Christmas dinner is made of seasonal vegetables. The main dish is ham eaten with mustard or bread. They also have many other side dishes. The other food items that are served are fish, potatoes, casseroles with liver and raisins, rice and carrot. This is washed down with mulled wine with or without alcohol.… read more
It is not easy to sum up the Christmas traditions in USA because of the multicultural nature of the country. Christmas in USA is actually a melting pot of numerous cultures, since the population of the country consists of migrants from all the continents.
So it is a very interesting season in USA. Christmas in USA starts as early as November, when they celebrate the Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday in November. The following Saturday is marked by a colorful and spectacular parade in New York City. The protagonist of the event is Santa Clause himself. He arrives as a herald to the Christmas celebrations.
From then on, the commercial centers are flooded with Christmas decorations, food items and gift articles. As years go by, like everywhere else in the world, Christmas in USA is also becoming highly commercialized.
Another important feature of the Christmas in USA is that it coincides with two other important festivals of two other cultures – Hanukah of the Jews and Kwanza of the Afro-Americans. So this season brims over with merriment, feasting and gift exchange.… read more
Christmas, New Year, Winter Holidays – the season of celebration is at hand. This, as you know, is the gift exchange extravaganza, if I may term it thus. People all over the world are thinking day and night about the appropriate gifts for various people in their lives. Well? Aren’t you?
The challenge here is selecting the gift that will suit the person and your relationship with him or her – your parents, spouse, children, siblings, nephews and nieces, friends….the list is long.
But, you need not worry, with 1001 shops at your service. We have gift items that suit all kinds of relationships, ages and genders. All you have to do is to find time to browse through our exhaustive catalogs. … read more
Christmas in France starts with Advent. It begins on a Sunday four weeks before Christmas. That means they will get four Sundays before Christmas. An advent calendar is set up on the first Sunday to help the children to count down the days till Christmas day. They have to open a window on the calendar on each day.
An advent wreath is also made using fir tree or pine tree branches. These trees are used because they do not shed their leaves during winter. So they represent hope and eternal life during the Christmas season. Four candles are placed on the wreath. They will be lighted on Sundays, one on the first Sunday, two on the second Sunday and so on. On the fourth Sunday all the four candles will be lit. The wreath is decorated using flowers, ribbons and other Christmas decoration.
Nativity scenes are an integrated part of Christmas. The churches usually put up large nativity scenes using life-sized figures of the holy family, shepherds and the cattle. Some churches go to the extent of creating live nativity scenes using actors and live animals. But smaller nativity scenes are installed in houses with small figurines called ‘santons’. In France these figurines are handcrafted with clay.… read more
The Italian Christmas is special in its simple and sober nature. While everywhere else in the world, Christmas is a time for feverish commercial activities, Italy celebrates its Christmas in a highly religious way. It is a time for prayer, get-togethers, gift exchanges and most importantly Nativity scenes or ‘presepe’.
The Christmas celebrations start in Italy from 8th December, which is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The construction of nativity scenes starts from then on. Unlike the usual nativity scenes all over the world, Italian nativity scenes incorporate all the possible day-to-day life scenes in the nativity. Apart from the holy family, magi, shepherds and their cattle, all the natural scenes like fields, houses etc. are also included. The nativity is sometimes arranged in a tall pyramid form. The upper shelves will be occupied by gifts and other decorations.… read more
In Germany, Christmas festivities start a month before Christmas. It starts with the Advent, which falls on the first of four Sundays preceding Christmas. The Christmas mood sets in from that day. Many traditional activities are connected to Christmas in Germany. There were many customs and ceremonies connected to Christmas in the past but the modern celebrations commenced only by the middle of the 19th century.
It starts from lighting the Advent wreath on the first Advent Sunday. This is a wreath, usually made of fir tree branches, with four candles representing four Sundays before Christmas. One added candle will be lit on each Sunday, completing the lighting of four candles on the fourth Sunday. This is the official beginning of the festivities and preparations for German Christmas. … read more
The word ‘Hanukkah’ means ‘dedication’. Even though the eight-day festival is known as festival of lights, it is actually associated with a difficult period in the history of Jews, after which they had to cleanse and rededicate their holy temple to God.
I n 168 B.C. the Syrian Greek leader, Antiochus Epiphanes, a tyrant, conquered Israel and persecuted the Jews and forced them to convert into Hellenistic culture. He defiled their temple and offered the Jews two choices – convert or die. He established various idols of the Greek Gods in the temple and one of himself to be bowed before by the Jews.
The oppressed Jews sought to fight an unequal battle with the huge Syrian army. The five sons of the Priest Mattathias led the fight and won the battle miraculously. The Jews routed the Syrians and preserved their religion. But then they had to clean the temple desecrated by the Syrians. After cleaning the temple they prepared to rededicate it to God by lighting the eternal lamp. Only one jar of clean olive oil was left and it would keep the lamp lighted only for a day. The new oil had to be produced with religious rituals. It took eight days for it. To their surprise, the lamp kept burning for eight days, till they could produce more oil.… read more
Thanksgiving is observed in America on the fourth Thursday of November every year. This is a national holiday. Now it is an occasion for celebration and feasting in America. This is the day meant for thanking Almighty God for the good harvest of the year and the year that is coming to a close without any mishaps or unpleasantness.
Thanksgiving festivals are known in various countries and communities from very early times. It was observed among Greeks, Egyptians and Romans after harvest. It was often celebrated with sumptuous feasts.… read more
Thewalt German beer steins have an impressive heritage of 117 years behind them. The company was first established as a joint venture of two great masters – Albert Jacob Thewalt and Jean Paulus, in the year 1882. The company was named ‘Paulus & Thewalt’.
But by 1893 Thewalt decided to start his own venture. That was the beginning of a more-than-a century old business. The family business was loyally continued by the old master’s son Albert Johann Thewalt and the third generation business was headed by the grandson Albert Jakob Thewalt.… read more
Fratelli Toso was founded by six brothers, as a glass blowing furnace of small stature in 1854. At that time, they concentrated more on trivial things like pharmacy jars. That was the age when Murano glass industry had suffered greatly through the Napoleonic war and the fall of the Venetian republic. So it was a time the industry was in the process of recuperation.
Many traditional Murano glass techniques were lost during this period. It was Abbot Vencenzo Zanetti who had helped the brothers to re-invent some of the old techniques of the island. So Fratelli Toso began their 150+ years of glass blowing journey in style, by producing a magnificent chandelier for the Museo del Vetro of Murano. Thereafter, the company announced their indelible presence in the scenario, by taking part in all the prestigious glass exhibitions and shows...… read more
You buy gifts for people you love in order to show them how much you love them. At the same time buying suitable gifts is always a challenge. You will have to conduct a full-fledged research on the person before gifting him or her with something.
Buying those traditional and ‘clichéd’ gifts is now outdated and extremely boring. But at the same time the gifts should please the receiver. At 1001shop.com, we offer gifts for all ages and interests. The original continental pieces we offer are guaranteed to please you.
Gifts for special occasions – Birthdays, Wedding anniversaries, Graduation, Wedding, House warming, Baby shower, Bridal shower…..… read more
Arte di Murano was the brain child of a young entrepreneur, Alphonso Morgillo, who was vastly influenced by the ancient glass blowing culture of Murano. He also serves as the current president of the company.
He was committed to carry on the fabulous glass tradition of Murano in its original splendor and started the company as a production center for chandeliers. But a highly effective corporate business culture speeded up the development of the company. Now the company produces all sorts of exquisite glass objects like vases, mirrors, glass sculptures, fancy goods and table wares, besides producing classic and designer light fixtures.
The use of high quality materials to manufacture excellent quality goods has made the Arte di Murano pieces highly popular all over the world. The entire glass components of the articles are manually made by glass maestros who have their roots in the thousand year old tradition of Murano glass blowing. Their expertise is evident in every Arte di Murano articles.… read more
The end of autumn, harvest – the end of a natural cycle of life! Then winter, when all the life seem to disappear, once again preparing for resurrection! So this is an apt time to connect with the dear departed. Halloween is just that occasion. The three day-long observance starts on October 31st.
Origin and evolution of Halloween through centuries
Halloween has its origin in the pagan Celtic festival Samhain pronounced as sah-ween. They celebrated this festival to humor the departed spirits that come to wander on earth during this transitional period between the cyclic life and ultimate death. Winter is often connected with death. The priests called the Druids, lighted sacred bon-fires with many sacrifices and other rituals to please the spirits, thus warding them off from mischief. After that, they will light their hearth with the fire from the holy bon-fire to start a new cycle once again.… read more
Beer is Germany’s drink. Copious amount of beer is consumed daily in Germany. It is said that after the ‘Black Death’ the population became extremely dwindled and the grains were surplus. There started the brewing of world’s most popular drink.
In the beginning of the 16th century Wilhelm V, the duke of Bavaria found it very difficult to meet the great demand of the beverage in his own household. So he was advised to start brewing his own beer for his family. Thus, he founded the Hofbrauhaus in 1589.… read more
Autumn is a wonderful season. While spring is celebrated as the colorful season, you cannot ignore the vibrant colors of the autumn. Even if yellow and orange are more associated with autumn, there are a lot many shades of red, blue and green appear in the autumn. Nature is often embellished with myriads of colors.
Murano artists are great aestheticists. They observe nature closely to enhance their work with the wonderful colors and images from nature. As a result, every category of their work reflects nature in all its glory.… read more
With the holidays fast approaching you must be incessantly thinking and planning for suitable gifts for various people in your lives. It is not easy to choose the best suited presents for everyone. You can take a few tips from us in that case. The 1001shops is at your service. We have a whole lot of gift items that will suit your purpose without a hitch.
Music boxes that enhance the merry mood of Christmas and New Year
The music boxes are small handy containers that can be used to hold jewelry mainly, and alternatively souvenirs and keepsakes. These are beautifully polished and inlaid boxes that produce music when opened. It will be a pleasure for the recipient to open the gift with a soft tune.… read more
Seguso is one of the oldest and most prestigious of the Murano glass furnaces. It is a family concern, established in the early half of the 14th century. It is also one of the largest Murano glass furnaces. The products of this furnace are so perfect and artistically superior that they adorn some of the world famous spaces like royal abodes and even the Pope’s palace.
The artisans of this Murano glass establishment are committed to their work and use their traditional know-how to make some of the most celebrated glass pieces that occupy exalted positions in many a world renowned museum. The techniques used by Seguso are still the centuries old ones. They are still handcrafted to perfection by some of the first rate glass maestros of the world.… read more
Zoeller & Born is one of the very few companies that produce German beer steins with 100% German materials. Their entire work force and artists are German. The advantage is that the chances of digressing from the glorious German tradition of beer stein craft is extremely slim.
This family owned company was cofounded in 1956 by Alois Zoeller and Werner Born. Westwald region of Germany is universally famous for its top quality clay deposits. So naturally this became the ancient center of pottery. This later became an equally renowned center of top quality ceramic products. The Zoller & Born is a company that uses only the quality ensured clay of the Westwald region.
Zoeller & Born produces high quality stoneware on the same line of the ancient German art, using the same techniques. They consider it as their responsibility to preserve the age old tradition and quality of the products. The designer department of Zoeller & Born can boast of highly accomplished designers and artists. They are on constant efforts to produce new stein designs and molds.… read more
Beer has been the most popular beverage in Germany for centuries. So the beer steins are an integral part of the German social life. ‘Beer stein’ is the name given to any beer drinking vessel now. But the name has originated from the word ‘stein’ meaning ‘stone’. So the original beer steins were stone ware.
Before the stone ware was evolved in 1400s, the affluent class used silver or pewter tankards. The people of lesser financial status used earthen ware or wooden mugs. Both these beer-drinking vessels could not be used for long, as the earthen ware was easily breakable and the wooden mugs were highly unhygienic, due to the smell.… read more
The history of Murano glass art goes back to 13th century when the whole glass blowing industry was shifted to the Island of Murano in 1291. The history of the Seguso Viro glass art begins one century later in 1397. This makes the furnace one of the oldest in Murano and hence its authenticity is unrivalled. … read more
Existing Murano glass furnaces are very few in number. One may have a reasonable doubt if the art is slowly getting extinct. But once in a while one is pleasantly surprised when a new furnace takes shape and gets into business.
When in 1984, the master glass blower Alberto Mattiello decided to establish a furnace of his own, it denoted a revival of the ancient glass art of Murano. Alberto was interested in the art at a very small age. He started working on glass when he was just eleven years old.
He started the glass blowing work in 1984 with the name Vetreria Artistica Biemmeci. The glass objects produced in the company was characterized by their lightness and exquisite designs. Mattiello was successful in combining the antique tradition of Murano glass works with modern designs and ideas.
Veteria Artistica Galliano Ferro is a furnace that produces mostly light fixtures and lighting accessories. The establishment was founded by Giorgio Iron in 1955. They produce the glass objects in the same old Murano tradition. The produces are blown individually by master craftsmen who are trained in the original Murano tradition. The specialty of these glass objects is that they are hand crafted without using molds.
This accounts for their unique and perfect shapes. Each piece is blown and shaped with utmost care. This method renders the articles a unique elegance and perfection. These artisans take extreme care to use the same kind of furnaces and tools that were used centuries ago by the master craftsmen of Murano.
In 1972 Galliano Ferro took over the business and followed the footsteps of his father in glass making. He had been working in the furnace as a designer during his father’s time. But when he took over from his father, he concentrated on the production of light fixtures that combined the old traditional style with modern designs. He created a number of very original designs that earned him name and fame all over the world.… read more
Murano glass items are collector’s favorites. But only authentic items are prized in a collection. So as a collector you will do well if you are able to collect authentic murano items. This is particularly significant because the market is flooded with cheap, mass produced counterfeit murano articles made in China or Brazil.
The first thing you have to bear in mind is that murano glass is that wonderfully brilliant glass articles produced in the Island of Murano using traditional techniques of glass blowing. There is a difference between ‘Murano Glass’ and Murano-style Glass’. The latter is an imitation article produced elsewhere, but not in Murano.
Expert collectors are of opinion that even if there are many methods to distinguish the authentic murano products, the best way is to invest considerable time going about seeing and handling the murano articles and you will be able to recognize them instinctively. However the following tips will help the beginners. … read more
The artistic glassware Effe is the brain child of Walter Furlan who is one of the master glass craftsmen who have lived and worked in the glass Island of Murano. He has learned the art of taming the extremely difficult medium called glass to produce incredibly beautiful and artistic glass pieces.
At a very young age he started his work with glass. He started his career with great glass maestros of 50s and 60s. With them he learned the art of blowing, shaping and designing glass articles. His commitment and dedication to the age-old art soon made him a master in crafting delicate and very elaborately designed chandeliers. In short he was considered to be the ‘first master of chandeliers.… read more
The maestro of modern Calcedonia Art Dino Rosin was born in Venice on May 30th 1948. The child was destined to continue the tradition of the great Murano glass art. So, when he was just two months old, the family shifted to Murano, the glass blowing capital of the world.
The boy Dino left school for good, when he was 12 years old to follow his interest. At first he joined the then famous glass blowing furnace of Barovier and Toso as an apprentice. Then in 1963 he left the furnace to join his brothers Loredano and Mirko. There he learned his basic lessons in Calcedonia work.… read more
Murano art glass is something made in the Island of Murano using the unique techniques developed by the indigenous Murano artisans. The history of the Murano glasses begin from the latter half of the 13th century when the glass workers and their extremely hot work shops were shifted wholesale to the Island of Murano, for fear of fire accidents in the Venetian cities.… read more
Murano Island in Venice is the glass capital of the world. The glass art that has originated on the Island of Murano is inimitable. You can make glass articles in the Murano style but it does not become Murano glass. The technique of this is the special heritage of this island and they jealously guarded the secret through centuries. Even if, by the 18th century some of the techniques were leaked out by mercenaries, the original techniques of the art are still intact with the Muranese.… read more
When we go down the history lane of the Venetian glass making, we see its recorded origin sometime during the 8th century. As years went by, Venice became an important trade center in the Mediterranean area. They had trade relationships with many countries and glass making was already advanced in some of the Arabian and North African countries along the Mediterranean coast, especially Constantinople.… read more
Festa de Noantri is a beautiful folk festival which has deep religious undertones. It has a fascinating legend attached to it. This festival is about parading a statue of Mother Mary along the numerous streets of Trastevere, a district across the River Tiber and an 8-day festival thereafter.… read more
Festa del Redentore is a festival which is a lot more significant than just a celebration as far as the venetians are concerned. It is a festival with deep religious implications. The festival has a deep rooted emotional significance as well, since this is a festival commemorating the end of the black plague that almost annihilated Venice. It carries great cultural importance also.… read more
Thurn and Taxis Palace Festival is an important summer event in Regensburg – Germany. This takes place in an ancient palace which was built between 11th and 14th centuries as the cloister of St. Emmaram. Afterwards, it was converted to the residence of the famous aristocratic family of Thurn and Taxis. This family was responsible for bringing large- scale postal service to Europe. So they were and are still revered in the region.… read more
Palio di Siena is a horse racing event; but it is no ordinary horse racing contest. It is the expression of extreme competition between the 17 Contrade of Siena. The citizens of Siena carry the excitement of the event throughout the year and wait for the realization of their excitement twice a year – on July 2nd and August 16th.… read more
July 4th is the day on which the democratic America took shape. It was on this day in 1776 the diction of the Declaration of Independence was finalized by the Continental Congress and signed. It was then America broke completely away from the British Jurisdiction. … read more
Visiting museums is always extremely fulfilling because a lot of historical, cultural and artistic knowledge can be gleaned from the visit. You can have a close observation of a countries cultural, social and technical background by visiting its museums. But visiting museums in the night will yield a unique experience. The Long night of museums, Berlin is an extraordinary nocturnal event that is organized in Berlin at the end of September. … read more
La Macchina di Santa Rosa is a festival that takes place on the 3rd of September every year in the city of Viterbo, Italy. This is a spectacular procession carrying a 30 meter high brightly lit tower with Santa Rosa’s miniature statue at its zenith. The course of the procession is the winding road of the town of Viterbo, which is more than 1 kilometer in length. The celebration has two events.… read more
Venice is the venue for the world famous carnival and the Venetian masks are the much celebrated component of the carnival. The masks are made by the world renowned maskers who have inherited the techniques and expertise from their ancestors. The age-old art is preserved with its entire splendor by the present day maestros . . .… read more
Luminara or illumination and the race conducted in the name of the patron saint of Pisa are two wonderful summer events in Tuscany, Italy. The Luminara is conducted on the night of June 16 and the race of San Ranieri is conducted on June 17th in the afternoon. The luminara is actually a candlelight festival that illuminates both the banks of the river Arno. Thousands of candles lighted on every architectural contour of palaces and other antique buildings produce an ethereal experience.… read more
Les Chorégies d'Orange is a unique summer event of France. This event is special because of its magnificent and historical venue. This is a musical festival that takes place in every summer in the fabulous roman theatre, Théâtre antique d'Orange.… read more
This world famous summer event in Germany is the biggest sailing event in the world. The 133rd Kieler Woche is celebrated from 20th to 28th June 2015. This week-long sailing event is celebrated with diverse programmes. This week is also marked by the biggest open-air musical concerts and other performances. Even the children are included in the festivities with their own cultural events and games, conducted in the special park set apart for them.… read more
Children honoring parents is an age old tradition. Later various people were of opinion that instead of honoring both the parents at the same time, each of them deserves to be honored separately. So Anna Jarvis decided to celebrate Mothers Day in May, 1908 and promoted it. When a mining tragedy happened in Monongha, West Virginia, two months later, killing a number of fathers, Grace Golden Clayton, a mourning daughter, was determined to have a special day for her father and many other fathers who work hard for their families.… read more
The jazz is the kind of music that fills your whole being with exhilaration. Your mood sores, whichever age group you belong to. Paris, France will provide you with the high s
pirits that only jazz can give you during two months in a year. June and July are the months that blend the madness of jazz with the warm summer weather. When this happens with the glorious nature as the backdrop, the enjoyment reaches its crescendo. This is the true effect of the Paris Jazz festival on you.
When you know the history of the event, you will be more incredulous. This wonderful event, which keeps the jazz fans of the world counting the days … read more
Summer is a time for travel. If you are looking for a not-so-busy tourist destination, try Bayonne, France. May is the best time to visit this wonderful city situated in southwestern France. This city is often nicknamed as the chocolate capital of France. The reason for this is that most of the chocolate factories of France are located here. The Chocolate days festival is a two-day delicious festivity in the city. These two days at the beginning of summer is dedicated to chocolate fans.… read more
Rhine in Flames -the name of the festival itself makes it highly intriguing. This is the most popular fireworks fiesta that attracts millions of visitors to Germany during summer. This festival is celebrated at five locations, from June to September, in various cities and towns along Rhine valley. These five sites are Bonn, Rüdesheim, Koblenz, Oberwesel, and St Goar. The fireworks and light-shows make this festival extremely colorful and hence exciting… read more
Limoges is a place that offers great festivities and merrymaking to both its citizens as well as visitors. There is always one festival or the other happening in and around Limoges. The Limoges events are very lively and incorporate even the foreign performances together with its own characteristic ones. As a result, there are festivals like Czech days and Latin American days.
The annual fair of Limoges is one of the most special Limoges event which concentrates on showcasing Limoges culture. There are exhibitions organized in various parts of the city. These exhibitions are always conducted according to a theme, which is decided for that … read more
The discovery of kaolin clay and feldspar in 1768 at St. Yrieix near Limoges France was an important turning point in the Limoges porcelain history. This wonderful white clay was recognized as the most important component in ceramic and porcelain making.
In 1771 Limoges started producing porcelain in considerable quantities using wood burning kilns. In 1774 the industry attracted the attention of the Marquis d’Artois and he decided to support the industry. Many other aristocrats supported the Limoges porcelain industry. … read more
From March to October, it is show time in Italy. It is during this time all the important cultural and social events are scheduled every year. The Universal Exhibition hosted by Milan is the main event. This exhibition in which numerous countries in the world take part is an event with a mission every year a theme is selected and different aspects of this theme is developed by all the participating countries.
The Milano Expo 2015 is scheduled from 1st May to 31st October. The theme of expo 2015 is “Feeding the Planet. Energy for life”. The participating countries are expected to examine the issue from various angles and develop sustainable solutions for them. This currently much relevant theme is to be looked at from economic, scientific, cultural and social … read more
The heavenly island of Murano lies in the Venetian Lagoon, in the north of Venice. It is closely connected with the capital island, both physically and historically. As the history says, the glass workers of Murano had come from Venice in the 13th century. They were shifted wholesale to this island to avoid the hazards posed by their extremely hot glass furnaces.
Here, they were given special status and privileges and they and their profession flourished to such an extent that Murano became the glass capital of the world. It was their staple source of income for centuries. Glass industry is still a source of income to Muranese but … read more
Earth Day is perhaps the most relevant global celebration, with respect to the future of the planet. The observance of this day is the need of the hour, as the whole world should be striving hard to erase the adverse effects man has imposed on the globe. The situation of the planet’s health has deteriorated so much that it becomes the duty of every human being to do something about it. A community activism on the matter is the only remedy now. … read more
The Sorrento music boxes are created using the expertise acquired from the artistic temperament of generations. The unique techniques of this wonderful wood craft are passed on from generations to generations, each generation honing the art with their own ideas and innovations. Now it has become an art par excellence. The craft calls for a high degree of handicraft skills and exquisite imagination.
The woods used for this art are special. They are hard wood which can be easily shaped and exhibits a grand show of wonderful grain formations and burls. Maple, burl elm and rose wood are the most popular among them. The specialty of these woods is that the coloration and grains and burls of these woods form beautiful natural designs. … read more
Celebrating motherhood and womanhood is a custom which was observed by people of the world from an early date in the history of mankind. Honoring mothers for the unconditional love they bestow upon their children is something worth appreciating. Mother’s Day is set apart for this, all over the modern world now.
The ancient Greek and Roman Mother’s Day were celebrated as spring festivals, in which they made offerings to maternal Goddesses. From 1600s a special day called "Mothering Sunday" was celebrated in UK. It was set on the 4th Sunday of the Lent and services were conducted in the honor of Virgin Mary. After the church service, the children used to present their mothers with gifts and flowers. In the east, the custom of celebration of motherhood with a special day started several centuries ago. … read more
German beer steins have become more of a collectible item than a functional one now. People collect them as souvenirs and tokens. That is why it is a perfect gift item. You can present the beer steins to commemorate a journey together or take them as mementoes or souvenirs after a memorable journey to gift your friends or relatives.
The German beer steins have all sorts of images on them there are historical images, images of ancient cultures, day-to-day life etc. If you have a friend, who is a religious person, naturally you will want to present him or her with a German beer stein with a religious image. … read more
Since the 14th century, the German beer steins have undergone a number of changes in their shapes, designs and the crafting materials. In the 14th century the beer drinking vessels were made of wood, earthen ware, silver and pewter. The silver and pewter mugs were expensive and could be afforded only by the affluent. The wooden and earthen beer mugs were used by the poor. They did not have lids.
The bubonic plague that struck Europe from 1340 to 1380 brought in an important change to the beer mugs. In 1500 a law was passed in Germany that all the food containers including the beer mugs should have lids. Thus the lidded beer steins came into existence. Most of them had a dome shaped lid fitted with a thumb lever. … read more
Easter is a Christian festival while Passover is a Jewish celebration. However, there are a lot of similarities in the idea behind these celebrations. Both the celebrations commemorate deliverance. The Jews celebrate the liberation of the Israelites from slavery imposed upon them by the Pharaoh. But the Christians celebrate Easter to remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in order to deliver humanity from sins. Both festivals celebrate hope and it is only appropriate that these celebrations come in the beginning of the spring season.
The date of Easter is set on the first Sunday after the full moon following Vernal Equinox. The Jewish festival of Passover starts on the 15th of Nissan, a Hebrew month. However, these two festivals mostly coincide with each other. … read more
Limoges is the administrative capital of the Limousin area, West-central France. It is also the capital of Haute-Vienne department. The history of Limoges is almost 2000 years old. The excavated evidence points towards a Gaulish settlement before the actual city was created in the 10th century B.C.
In the 10th century B.C the Roman emperor Augustus is said to have founded the city along the typical Roman fashion. The city had a Roman square, which is at the crossing point of two two main roads. It had, in those days, all the Roman establishments like … read more
Beer is the common man’s drink in Germany. It is considered to be the national beverage of Germany. So the Germans are attached to beer at all levels of their being – physical, emotional and sentimental. Beer is consumed in Germany with such an ardor that it becomes an obsession with the Germans.
Germans take great pride in recounting their centuries-old beer history and the fabulous tradition associated with it. As a result, they will not bear with any kind of tampering with the production or selling of this popular drink. … read more
The art and architecture of Sorrento are greatly influenced by the great cultures that had occupied the city during the ancient times. The ancient masters of Greece, Rome and Byzantium have left their influence on the Sorrentine arts. The Sorrento music boxes are the best examples for this. The masterful handling of wood is very much evident in the creation of these inlaid boxes.
These boxes make excellent gifts for any occasion. They come in different shapes and with a variety of inlays. There is a suitable inlay for every occasion and for people … read more
It was Marco Polo who had popularized the white ceramics called porcelain after his much celebrated travel to China. In the ancient times, the secret of top quality porcelain making rested solely with China. So importing from China was the only way to get the porcelain items till the 17th century. … read more
The ordinary beer mugs turned into beer-drinking vessels called beer steins from the 14th century after the holocaust caused by the bubonic plague from 1340 to 1380. It was found that the main cause of this large scale annihilation of human life was unhygienic conditions prevailed in Europe at that time.
Soon after the plague, a hoard of small flies plagued central Europe. So by the year 1500 a law was passed in Germany that all the food containers should have lids. So the beer mugs also acquired lids fitted with a thumb flick or easy opening of the container. This was the origin of the German beer steins. … read more
The events and festivals celebrated by the people of Sorrento are even more spectacular than their colorful history and culture. They have different festivals and dance and music concerts all the year round. … read more
The history of Sorrento is spectacular with a number of occupations and invasions. All these invaders had left their marks on the place and its culture. So the culture of Sorrento is unique because of the fact that it is the combination of a plethora of cultures. It is an incredible fusion of fact and fiction. The mythology says the peninsula was bestowed by the sirens upon Ulysses and his son. The only Siren temple in the world is said to have situated … read more
Sorrento, Italy is a beautiful city draped over a mountain facing the bay of Naples. The history of Sorrento is somewhat obscure because its origin is somewhere in the distant past. The historian Diodoro Siculo claims that the city was founded by Liparos, son of Ulysses and Circe, the witch. So now it has acquired the quality of a fascinating myth. According to this view this city in those days worshiped the Sirens and even now the only temple of Sirens is situated in this city.
It is even said that the name of the city is derived from the word "Sirentum" meaning "Land of Sirens". However, there is another view that the name of the city is derived from the word "Surreo" meaning "to flow together". This idea is inspired by the presence of several rivers in the city flowing to join the same sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea. … read more
The unique Murano Glass articles are much celebrated the world over as collectibles and gift items. The centuries of traditional expertise honed with the contemporary design ideas makes the Murano glass articles world’s finest pieces of art.
Murano Glass sculptures
The Murano artisans are skilled in making all kinds of sculptures. Their sculptures often bring miniature world on to your tables and show cases. All the aspects of life are replicated by these superlative workmen with mind-boggling clarity of the minutest details. … read more
The island of Murano is famed for its legendary glass works. So any important event on the island is linked inevitably with glass works. The Murano glass blowing art gained momentum in the 13th century when the glass works were shifted to the island of Murano to prevent the likelihood of fire accidents on the main island of Venice.
Murano lies in the Adriatic Sea, north of Venice, sufficiently far away from the mainland. Here the glass artisans were kept in complete isolation from the rest … read more
Murano is a group of seven small islands in the Adriatic Sea, north of Venice. It is divided from the main land of Venice by a wide lagoon. These islands were occupied by the Romans as early as 5th century. That is when the cultural back ground of the island is set. After the Romans many other groups came to occupy the island. The most important of them were the Camaldolese monks who came to inhabit the island in the 11th century. … read more
Murano is a group of seven small islands separated by eight lagoons. It is in the Adriatic Sea in the northern side of Venice. These islands are recorded to have been Roman settlements in the 5th century. In the following century it was occupied by inhabitants from Altinum and Orderzo.
The History of Murano says that the island served as a fishing port in the ancient times and its economy depended mainly on fishing and salt production. Later it became a center of trade. The island prospered until 11th century. During the 11th century the islanders began to shift to Dorsoduro, one of the six sestiere (district) of Venice. … read more
As you possibly remember, our original Company of music boxes named Amazing music box was established in 2001.
When we first planned an Italian tour to check upon the famous Sorrento music boxes, travel agents suggested a package containing, Naples, Sorrento and Amalfi coast. These much visited tourist spots lie along the southern coast of Italy. First we landed in Naples and from there we decided to take the circumvesuvian rail line so that we could enjoy the scenic beauty of the Mediterranean … read more
It was in 2008 that we decided to include the Limoges boxes, the world renowned collectibles, to our online store of Luxury European gift collection. But before recommending the boxes to our clients, we wanted to see the place where they are made, so that, we would get inspired by the origin and history of these wonderful artifacts.
Limoges is the capital of Haute-Vienna department and the administrative capital of the Limousine region of West-Central France. This is not a favorite haunt of tourists. But it would be wrong to decide that the place is devoid of anything interesting. On the contrary, there are a number of cathedrals built in the Gothic style. … read more
Murano art glass is renowned for its unique manufacturing techniques. These techniques were once the monopoly of the traditional artisans of Murano Island. Murano is a group of islands in the Adriatic Sea, north of Venice.
The Murano Island has gone through quite a number of dramatic phases throughout its history. The once quite unassuming group of islands, which used to be a fishing harbor and trade center, suddenly transformed into a busy and affluent place by the coming of the glass making guild onto the island in 1291. … read more
Almost 10 years ago, when we decided to add Murano Glass to our business portfolio, we thought would be a good idea to see what exactly we would like to offer to our clients’ base, so we decided to visit Murano Island, Italy. When we landed at the Marco Polo International Airport, the scenes that awaited us were simply breathtaking. The beautiful weather and the city comfortably relaxing in soft sunlight was a sight to see. After the airport formalities we procured a guide for us and started our exploration of Venice. … read more
In 1810 the crown prince Ludwig got married to Princess Therese of Saxe - Hildburghausen. To honor the couple a large festival was organized and the citizens of Munich took part in the merriment accompanying the royal wedding.
Horse races were conducted in the honor of the royal couple and there was general merriment for many days. The next year also the horse race was conducted and then on it became a custom and thus originated the Oktoberfest which proceeded to become the largest Volksfest or "People’s Fair".
Romantic love thrives on music. Music and musical instruments are much linked with love and lovers. Knowing this fact we have created a number of suitably designed music boxes that are simply adored by lovers. If you are searching for a suitable Valentine’s Day gift idea, have a look at our collection. They are of a wide range and capable of satisfying the most … read more
The Limoges boxes that carry with them the immense charm of centuries old tradition can be an equally charming gift for someone you love dearly. These small trinket boxes, which are as functional as they are appealing, are available in a variety of colors and features.
In spite of the modernity that have invaded the crafting of these porcelain boxes, the traditional ones still remain on top with their unequalled beauty and elegance. This February, your valentine will be very happy to get one of these as a gift. If you can select a suitable trinket with it, the recipient will be all the more happy. … read more
The end of the Black Plague found Europe with lesser population but a huge surplus of grains. These grains were then brewed in large scale and beer became the principal drink. The mugs or tankards used then were made of various materials. The rich people could afford pewter, glass and silver mugs for consuming their liquor while the poor people had to be satisfied with wood and earthen mugs.
Evolution of beer steins with lid
Somewhat large mugs were always used to consume beer. But after the plague, there was a period of a ‘fly-invasion’ in many parts of Europe. People had already found out the importance of hygiene after the bubonic plague. So laws were passed for all the food and … read more
These French porcelain trinket boxes which boasts of a magnificent heritage are glorious items to be presented to someone who is held close to your heart. Since Valentine’s Day calls for a gift to your beloved, make this year a special one by gifting him or her with an authentic Limoges porcelain box.
These porcelain boxes are artistic creations which were snuff and tobacco boxes originally, have now turned to be elaborately decorated trinket Limoges boxes. It can be given to a lady-friend to keep her delicate trinkets in or to a man-friend to add to his curio collection … read more
Love is the emotion that sustains mankind. When it is of the romantic sort, it is all the more valuable. It is an emotion that is fragile in many respects but extremely solid when felt alike by the two people involved. What will represent such an emotion more than the exotic Murano glass articles and figurines? Impress your partner with a Murano glass gift on the Valentine’s Day this year.
Birds are aerial creatures that are free and un-obsessed. If you want to impress your lover with your all inclusive love, you should think of presenting him or her with a pair of beautiful Murano glass birds. The two parrots sitting on the crystal clear glass perches striking the most romantic pose, when put together, will warm … read more
Carnivals are occasions for merrymaking and enjoyment. To be curbed by any kind of restrictions will spoil the fun. This is where a Venetian mask comes in handy. Veiled by the anonymity provided by these masks, you can take advantage of the carnival ambience to the maximum.
There is a plethora of Venetian masks to choose from. You may choose the one that serves your purpose. You can either wear a Venetian full face mask, thus hiding your personality completely or wear a Venetian half-face mask that leaves the on lookers in doubt and confusion as to your identity … read more
Beer – that frothing golden liquid is one of the oldest beverages developed by man. His consumption of this liquor is recorded in history as early as 5th century BC. Since then it has become the most popular beverage the world over.
The oldest existing beer recipe contains very few ingredients such as water, barley and bread. Beer which was produced and consumed on a domestic scale began to be brewed on a large scale and became a commercial product by 7th century AD. By the end of 19th century beer brewing became a full-fledged industry. … read more
Valentine’s Day is at hand and you will be worrying your head, thinking about the most suitable gift for your beloved. It has to be unique and impressive. It has to be romantic and at the same time useful. How about a music box?
Our music box inlaid with two hearts is just the thing for you. Your sweetheart cannot be but overjoyed by it, especially when she can keep some of her prized jewelry items in it.
Make and Design – This is a fabulous music box, which is handmade in Sorrento, Italy. The workmanship of the box is of the highest order. The white gloss finish with the cream designs lends the box an exquisite charm. The two intertwining hearts with flowers talk volumes about the love you cherish for your … read more
The cute porcelain trinket boxes made of Kaolin clay can speak volumes about your love for the special person in your life. They are exquisite artifacts that are meant for holding trinkets.
Pamper your beloved on this Valentine’s Day with a special Limoges porcelain box. You will get a variety of them in our stores. We have Limoges boxes that suit every taste. Surprise her with one of these exquisite boxes that come in every shape and color … read more
Italian glassworks collaborated with artists who had trained as painters, sculptors, and architects. The skilled Murano glassmakers were able to interpret their imaginative designs. In the 1920s and 30s , the Venini glassworks was at the forefront of the renaissance of Murano glass with the aid of such leading designers as Carlo Scarpa (1906-78), who introduced many of the innovative decorative techniques that brought the Italian glass international acclaim … read more
The curiosity for mechanical devices dates all the way back ancient Greeks, who were obsessed with creating mechanical living beings. So automata were invented. These mechanical toys copied in metal, wood and stone the likeness of birds, gods and moving objects. Since that time, mechanical devices went through many changes and transformed through the ages.
From clumsy automaton, to giant musical town clocks and down to the mechanical music movement that could fit into a little box or even a watch. And so the old-world charming design of the a music box was created, combining an aesthetically pleasant look … read more
The wide range of incredible mechanical music that Ruege provides include extravagant objects d’art, beautiful singing birds, sophisticated musical pocket watches and of course the beautiful music boxes. Manufacturing of each piece is a traditional ages old process dating back 200 years, yet performed with top of the line technology, that allows to create mechanical devices with precision never seen before. Reuge’s is the only company whose movements are all made and assembled in Sainte-Croix … read more
As a sophisticated company with one of a kind product, Reuge has a long and rich history, starting almost two centuries ago. The beginning of reuge dates back to 1865 with a watchmaker by the name Charles Reuge. The first step towards creating the company was when he moved to Sainte-Croix to fulfill his dream of making musical pocket watches. More than 20 years later in 1886, his son, Albert Reuge has started a company under … read more
Getting a feel for a city begins with a map and some useful bits of information to help establish a sense of place.
The city of Limoges is one of the 13 communities within the Haute-Vienne department, which is part of the larger Limousin province, the sixth-largest forested region of France. … read more
The tiny island of Murano, in the Venetian lagoon, is virtually synonymous with Italian glass and home to many major Italian glassworks. In the 13th century, many glassworks on the Venetian mainland were forced to relocate to Murano to protect the city from the risk of fire from the glass furniture. Great secrecy surrounded the Venetian supremacy in glassmaking and members of the city's glassmaking guild were forbidden to travel or divulge their secrets. From about the mid-15th century through to the 17th century, Venice became the leading glassmaking center of the world, as the virtuoso Muranese glass-blowers produced glass of matchless quality … read more
If you are planning to visit Italy, you may want to make sure that you come back home with memoirs that are slightly more special than a novelty ashtray, shot glass or lighter. Italy is home to abundant traditions and a rich history. This means you can take home a piece of this without really having to burn a big hole in your pockets.
The boot of the Mediterranean takes extreme pride in its artisanal treasures and local specialties. Exploring its boutique stores and markets is a great way to find some of these exquisite treasures. … read more
The exquisitely crafted and hand-painted Limoges boxes splashed with the right hues with apt proportion and precision have unique aesthetic charm. And if maintained and cleaned with care the porcelain boxes made from special Kaolin clay can shoot up in their value too. Although delicate, maintaining the Limoges porcelain boxes or dinnerware is no herculean task. However, it is worthwhile to make a more or less regular regime of dusting the items lightly with a soft cloth. Everyday wiping off the dust will prevent the boxes and figurines … read more
Your Limoges boxes and figurines-steeped in unique aesthetic charm and timeless beauty, require proper care and maintenance. These exquisitely crafted and hand-painted Limoges boxes are valuable and need to retain their intrinsic worth'-especially the ones made from special Kaolin clay and other delicate raw materials.
Dust them Off
Your figurines and porcelain boxes boast of numerous curves and corners. These are the ideal resting places for dust particles and other pollutants. It's worthwhile to trigger off a regular regime of dusting these items lightly with a soft cloth'-on a regular basis. Everyday care will prevent dust accumulation and eliminate the fear of scratches and other damages. … read more
Are you worried about what to gift your mother, your friend, your loved once on their birthdays or how to express your love?
You have found the perfect place to shop!
Beautifully painted in meticulous designs by hand atop special white clay called Kaolin from the soils of France, these charming works of art are indeed rare and precious treasures to cherish for life. In fact, authentic Limoges boxes by such top-notch manufacturers like Rochard are still made in Limoges. Here are some Limoges box gifting ideas for your mother. … read more
Off the coast of Venice, Italy, is the island of Murano. Glassmakers of this island are masters in the art of the distinctive Murano glass. As innovators in late 1200s, Murano glassmakers were "kept hostage" on the island for fear of fire from their furnaces and to prevent the secret of their art to be replicated by the rest of the world. Murano glass masters today create traditional pieces to contemporary art glass, sculptures, paperweights, vases and even glass chandeliers … read more