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Lot 150c, Auction 11/9/2017: Strand of 19th C. Italian Millefiori Glass Beads (80)

Europe, Italy, Venice, ca. 19th century CE. A varied group of eighty millefiori (mosaic) glass beads strung together, with one modern plastic bead and one glass bead that is not the millefiori style. To make millefiori beads, artisans produce glass canes or rods, called murrine, by layering different-colored glass around a core. At this stage, their multicolored patterns are only visible from the cut ends of the cane. The rods are heated in a furnace and stretched until thin, then cut into beads. Size of largest bead: 1" L x 0.4" W (2.5 cm x 1 cm)

The original process is ancient, but it was revived in Venice, particularly in Murano, the glass-making part of the archipelago, sometime in the early 16th century CE. The collection offered here is hugely varied, including beads of all colors, with no two alike in pattern and many different shapes. Several of them have sparkling gold- or copper-colored glass components.

Condition: All are in excellent condition.

Provenance: Ex-Private Georgia Collection

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