Pretiosa Vitrea, the exhibition dedicated to the evolution of glass manufacturing in history, concluded successfully at the National Archaeological Museum of Florence in Italy. Sponsored by Pneumofore, the project drew high levels of interest from both the academic world and general public, attracted by the quality and beauty of the glass artifacts on display: over 300 unique glass findings manufactured by ancient Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks and Romans. Among the notable visits, the exhibition was honored by the presence of the Queen Mother Beatrix of the Netherlands accompanied by her entourage. Her Majesty showed great admiration for the project and the showcased artifacts.

As a leading supplier of vacuum and compressed air systems for the worldwide glass industry and strongly committed to cultural responsibility, Pneumofore financially contributed to unveil this prestigious and invaluable glass heritage.

Promoted by the Sehen Foundation in collaboration with the Archaeological Museum, the exhibition was held under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism and it is described in a content-rich catalogue (ISBN:

9788874398041). A full video report is also available on the Sehen Foundation website.

The exhibition “Pretiosa Vitrea – The Art of Glass Manufacturing in The Museums and Private Collections of Tuscany” was held from 17 October 2017 to 29 January 2018 at the National Archaeological Museum of Florence, Italy.

The project aimed to emphasize the heritage of glass manufacturing through the showcase of artifacts nowadays preserved in the state museums of Tuscany and in important private collections within the region. The quality of these findings is comparable in excellence to the artifacts that can be found in the most renowned international museums.

The exhibition, whose title is inspired by the Latin definition of glass given by Gaius Petronius in the Satyricon written in the late first century AD, brings together relevant archeological findings of Roman glass manufacturing in Tuscany, as the glass cameo from Torrita di Siena or the chrysography of Arezzo. It also spotlights some extraordinary excavation contexts which are significant for the amount and quality of the recovered artifacts, like the ancient ships of Pisa and the Pozzino wreck.

Alongside these exclusive glass products, a variety of findings are showcased to illustrate the evolution of mass production techniques, from the use of moulds to the discovery of the glass blowing technique in the middle of the first century BC, which soon demonstrated clear advantages compared to the traditional ceramic production for the lower production cost and for keeping unchanged the taste of the contained food and liquids.

“With the sponsoring of the ‘Pretiosa Vitrea’ project, Pneumofore supports the idea of glass as an ‘eternal’ tool by giving prominence to the evolution of glass manufacturing,” says Eng. Daniel Hilfiker, President of Pneumofore.

“The oldest fragments of man-made glass objects were found in Mesopotamia and are thought to date back to 3500 BC. Through the display of ancient and rare glass artefacts, the project retraces the key points in glassmaking history and the science and technology behind each glass innovation. These advances are now the pillars of the contemporary mass production techniques and glassmaking industry,” concludes Hilfiker.

The project was patronised by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism as well as the Tuscan museums network, the Department of History, Archaeology, Geography, Arts and Performance of the Florence University, and the Italian Section of the Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre.

A content-rich catalogue is accompanying the project. Available in English and Italian, the “Pretiosa Vitrea” catalogue (ISBN: 9788874398041) is published by 5 Continents and offers historical and technical insights with texts selected by the exhibition curators and a fascinating selection of photographs made by Angelo Garoglio, Art Director of the Sehen Foundation.

Founded in 1923, Pneumofore manufactures vacuum pumps and air compressors for industrial applications worldwide and supplies the hollow glass industry with centralized vacuum and compressed air systems, designed for the pneumatic requirements of the IS machines. With references such as O-I, Verallia, Ardagh, Gallo, AbInbev, HNGI, Changyu and many more, Pneumofore compressors and vacuum pumps are found worldwide, whenever customers require extraordinary reliability and constant performance. Leader in Rotary Vane technology, Pneumofore solutions focus on efficiency, durability, minimal Life Cycle Cost, and high environmental respect.


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