An Egyptian Millefiori and Mosaic Glass Beads, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 1st century BCE/CE
Featuring eight different multicolor glass millefiori tubular beads, all having various stylized floral designs with solid color borders and strung as a necklace with seven ovoid eye beads flanked by seventeen Tahitian baroque pearls.
Background: Translated to "A thousand flowers" in Italian, it refers to most common floral design patterns; millefiori beads (a mosaic glass), were made in ancient times and had numerous sections of patterned canes placed in close proximity parrallel to one another, and heated to fuse together. The pad of millefiori glass was then rolled upon itself and shaped to form a bead. When Italians reinvented millefiori glass, they usually applied cane pieces to a separate base, often the beads core, and fused the parts together; this is one way ancient beads may be distinguished.
Tubular beads published: I. Grimm-Stadelmann (ed.), Aesthetic Glimpses, Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art, The Resandro Collection, Munich, 2012, p. 239, no. R-789.
Medium: Glass, pearls
Dimensions: Length: 18 inches (45.7 cm)
Condition: One tubular glass bead has been repaired from two original pieces with some loss along the break line, the balance are intact and in excellent condition overall. The necklace was been restrung with modern 8-10mm Tahitian baroque pearls.
Provenance: Tubular beads: The Alfred Wolkenberg Collection of Ancient Glass, Christies, London, 9 July 1991, lot 130, thereafter Resandro collection, Germany, acquired from the above sale, thereafter Christies, London, 12/5/2017, sale 14231, lot # 110.
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