Large Venetian latticinio dish
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- 17th century
- 42.2 cm
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This large Venetian dish is decorated in 'vetro a retorti' with two layers of alternating opaque-white spiral gauze threads. The shallow form dish has a folded rim. The opaque-white treads are called latticinio, meaning milk in Italian.
From the early Middle Ages, Venetian craftsmen specialized in glassblowing, developing procedures for blowing very thin and refined glass. The hot glass furnaces in the middle of the city posed a fire hazard, and in 1291 the glass industry was therefore moved by decree of the city government to the island of Murano. In this way, the city was protected, and more important: the secrets of the magnificent Venetian glass were protected. The techniques and composition of the various types of glass, including the colorless and wafer-thin cristallo which was discovered in the fifteenth century, had to remain a Venetian secret.