These tri colour bowls were one of the first pieces of glass I came across that were attributed to Murano – that and very close after Flavio Poli sommerso for Vetri d’arte but that’s another blog post!

Above example available at Retro Mojo


I loved these bowls from the off, the sixties style, the great colours, organic forms, they just spoke to me and said cool!

Personally I think they look as they were strongly influenced by the eye of the aliens in War of the Worlds but this style does seem to appear in a few designs items of the era.

Colours tend to be clear or variants of, e.g. tinted colour glass, smokey grey etc., with the three bowls – and sometimes four – either being the same colour, red green or blue and traffic light red, yellow and green. Sometimes it’s the entire bowl coloured or on others just the rims of the bowl.

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There’s also many out there with pinched rims, some look a little crude however examples like the one above get a big tick from me! Image courtesy of Chris Buckman


We’d love to see more variants so please do message us with your photos.

Smoking, being much more fashionable at time, meant many of these were sold as ashtrays, however these days they’re mostly marketed as bowls or trinket dishes.

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These bowls can be found in early Millers Collectables guides, as was one of my points of research, listed as Murano, however recently an alternative origin has come to light.

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A piece of literature turned up that had a range of these manufactured in Romania by Sticla Cristal, there’s also pieces around, such as the great example below courtesy of Daniel Griffiths, that are actually labelled ‘Made in Romania’.

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So are they Romanian?

Well definitely there was a source in Romania, but far too many have brought them back from tourist trips to Venice for them to have not been manufactured there, and much more commonly, too!

It’s always good to know the provenance and origins of pieces, certainly from my viewpoint as both a collector and seller I want the back story for both myself and any future owners of an item.

A few of these have gone through our hands – we’ve currently got two on the website – but we’ve opted to leave them listed as Murano due to the fact that I personally believe it’s something that originated in Venice and turned into a popular generic design. They may have even been made in Romania to fulfill tourist requirements in Venice as has been known with other popular Italian tourist glass pieces of the time.

The above example courtesy of PhlO0

Either way the colours are great, the weights are substantial and they look amazing on display!

Retail prices vary greatly, from £15 to £50 depending on style, condition and colours, but average retail seems to be around £25-35 for nice examples, although as with all things there are bargains out there, however we do the hard work so you don’t have to 🙂