It all began with the Byzantines, inspired by Constantinople after the 4th Crusade in 1204, who first founded the style of glassblowing to form extremely colored and detailed pieces.

129345_6 Rare Signed Salviati, Venetian Glass Ewer

As Venetians began to explore Asia and the Middle East - thanks to Marco Polo's voyages, glassmakers back home in Venice took inspiration from the arts and crafts of these transcontinental areas.

128515_14 Pair of Tall Venetian Glass Vases

A modern interior featuring Venetian glass details A modern interior featuring Venetian glass details

During the 15th and 16th centuries, Venetian glass making thrived. Cristallo- clear glass- and lattimo - white glass- were the most popular types. These were enamelled, a style that derived from the Middle East.

129552_2 Venetian Enameled Glass Decanter Set of (16) Pieces

Venetian glass became protected by sanctions enforced by the Republic of Venice, or Serenissima. This included that glassmakers had to remain working in Venice to ensure that the tradition was kept in Venice. Glassmakers and their families were well looked after by the Republic, with glassmakers' daughters promised to marry into nobility.

232049_4 Venetian Glass Vase Showing the Life of Christ

Today, some of the most iconic brands of glass originate from Venetian glassmaking, such as: Venini, Barovier & Toso, and Seguso, with Barovier & Toso, founded in 1295, standing as one of the world's oldest companies in continuous operation.

129602_2 Salviati, Venetian Art Glass Pedestal Compote

Mirror inspired by Venetian glass Mirror inspired by Venetian glass

All pieces featured will be part of Leland Little Auctions Single-Owner Auction from the Collection of Dr. & Mrs. Richard Epes, at the direction of Gerald A. Jeutter, Jr., the court appointed Receiver for the Southeastern Eye Center of Greensboro, North Carolina. The auction will take place on December 16. Check out the full catalog here.