The history of Barovier - a small company, a family, a great story since 1295
Everything took place on an island, an exotic, wondrous place like every island: Murano. There, in 1291 the furnaces of Venice were transferred and there we can find the oldest representative of the family of whom records exist: Jacobello (1295). Around two centuries later, the great master Angelo would leave an unforgettable mark on the history of the Renaissance. A student of Paolo Godi, in around 1450 Angelo invented Venetian crystal: a puff of lightness and transparency in perfect Renaissance style.
The “Barovier wedding cup”, which dates from around 1450, is attributed to him. Made of beautiful blue glass with enamel and golden decorations, it is now conserved in the Murano museum; it is perhaps the most precious, and certainly the most famous object of the Renaissance glass masterpieces. Let us fast forward: in 1878, the Barovier family, still florid, formed a company which was to become famous, “Artisti Barovier” (Barovier Artists): exhibitions and awards, patents and new techniques were the fruit of this prestigious furnace.
At the end of the First World War, the factory was renovated and renamed “Vetreria Artistica Barovier&C”: it was 1920, the year in which Ercole Barovier, at the age of thirty, began his career as entrepreneur and designer. During the nineteen thirties, forties and sixties the presence of Ercole Barovier as designer was crucial for the company, which in the meantime took the name “Barovier&Toso” thanks a merger with the Toso family, also from Murano with a long history in the glass industry.
This was the most fruitful period in Ercole Barovier’s career: he invented “heat colouring without fusion” and obtained various patents, many of which have become fundamental, shared methods in the production of Murano glass. After his death, in 1972, a new phase began for Barovier&Toso: to give greater efficiency to a work process which must nonetheless remain tied to tradition. In the 1980s the company became a glassworks that was still “Muranese”, still “artistic” but with completely renewed operational methods, organisational structures and ability to move on the markets.
With these systems in place, the production process evolved, paying ever greater attention to today’s requirements: artistic glass, classic and contemporary lighting devices, and special lighting for large complexes. The number of designers and artists also grew with the new requirements: Matteo Thun, Ugo Nespolo, Daniela Puppa, Franco Raggi, Luca Scacchetti, Patrizia Scarzella, Marco Mencacci and Rony Plesl, to cite only the most recent.
As a recognition for their centuries of commitment, the Barovier family features in the “Guinness Book of Records” as the oldest family of glaziers; more, the company is the 5th most ancient firm in the world. Since 1987 it has been part of the International Association of “Henokiens”, a prestigious international club with just fortytwo members the world over. In fact, its requirements are truly extraordinary: the company must have been in existence for two hundred years, the ownership of which must descend directly from the founders.
Hall of Fame
Barovier&Toso today - a modern company for a changing market
The story of the Barovier family, so long and fascinating, has not limited the evolution of the business. Today, Barovier&Toso is an international company devoted to maintain and innovate the glass tradition starting from the tradition itself. The company mission is to offer decorative lighting products that give emotions, transmit positive feeling, create special atmosphere, whose value is not mere appearance but real and increasing through time.
The company target is the high-end lighting market, where Barovier&Toso is the top producer as for product range extension, quality, innovation and customer support in projecting and customizing lighting fixtures.
We work with the most important interior designers, lighting designers and high-end retailers to satisfy the needs of their clients for any project: private residences, hotels (Four Seasons, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Hilton, boutique hotels…), corporate offices, public buildings and many others.
Strong collaboration has been settled with fashion and luxury brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Dolce&Gabbana, Cartier. Their flagship stores all over the world features some Barovier&Toso’s chandeliers or custom lighting specially designed on their needs and suggestions.
Barovier&Toso has no direct competitors in its market, as other glass factories are involved in other kind and level of production. Nonetheless, there are many glass factories, both in Murano and elsewhere, that endlessly copy Barovier&Toso’s original ideas and products: great effort is spent to protect brand identity, innovations and design through every legal means (brand registration, product patents, design patents).
Louis Vuitton Boutique Gum Moscow and Dubai. New flaghsip store Zanotti Design in Moscow
Barovier&Toso creates artistic glass lighting fixtures that are timeless masterpieces, unique for design, quality of manufacturing, technology merged with creativity. The company offers a wide range of products through five catalogues: “L”, “S”, “T”, “Veneziani”, “Addendum 2009”.
Barovier&Toso is a truly international firm with over forty sales agents and over a thousand selected showrooms and retailers around the world. In addition to the one in Murano, Barovier&Toso have a main showroom in Milan.
Despite the wide catalogue collection, more and more frequently our clients ask for completely new creations, never seen before. Barovier&Toso usually supports the clients’ ideas and briefings with a full consulting service since the very first steps of the project to the finalization and engineering of the product. Alternatively, we can suggest lighting solutions designed on client’s needs.
All lighting products are manufactured in accordance with the EEC quality standards and security regulations; moreover, they are IMQ (Italian Quality Certificate) and UL (USA) listed. China Compulsory Certification (CCC) has also been achieved.
Cartier Showroom Rome, Byblos Art Hotel Verona, Hilton Palmer House Chicago