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Millefiori Murano Glass Beads

The production of beads has very ancient origins, so much so that traces of it can already be found in Ancient Egypt and then developed in Roman times.

As for Venice, the first productions date back to the fourteenth century and for centuries they represented a precious bargaining chip that the merchants of the lagoon city used in their trade in Africa, the Indies and the Americas, facilitated by their lightness and small size.

The lamp work bead technique, on the other hand, has a later origin and dates back to the 1600s.

With this method, the Murano glass beads are obtained through a more complex process; the barrel is heated by flame to the point where it becomes extremely malleable. It is then poured onto a metal wire, held in the hand, which is rotated and onto which an infinite number of effects and colors can be inserted.

The number of models that can be obtained from the simultaneous use of several techniques is practically infinite.

The mosaic bead also called “millefiori” is obtained by covering the light layer of soft glass that is found around the iron (core) with many sections of murrina, compacting it using simple tools and finishing it according to the defined program.

The name of these glass beads, “millefiori”, derives from the elaborate floral designs.

The mosaic technique was born ca. 1500 years before Christ in Mesopotamia.

The art of mosaic was perfected in the following centuries and then almost definitively disappeared around the year 100 after Christ.

The Venetians, between the Alexandrian and Roman periods, reworked this technique: Pliny the Elder, in his Naturalis Historia speaks of bowls made with juxtaposed and ricotta murrine, “vasa murrhina”.

These precious objects were also known as mosaic glass.

To make these objects, glass rods made with floral motifs were pulled, small cylinders were cut, applied to a mother bead, which was then annealed.

Millefiori beads were produced in large quantities because they were used as valuable bargaining chips.

African peoples preferred them to others precisely because they were rich in imaginative floral designs.

Go and visit our website for our selection of Millefiori Venetian Glass Beads.

Costantini Glassbeads Store

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