Collection of wound and decorated glass beads made in Murano (Venice) at the late 19th-Mid 20th Century.
Millefiori is an Italian word meaning "a thousand flowers".
Millefiori beads are also known as "mosaic" beads through out the world. The making of millefiori beads is a two step process. First the murrine or cane is made and then these are applied to a molten wound glass core and made into beads.
The millefiori beads made in Venice were imported by the thousands to Africa beginning in the late 1800s and traded or sold for various things.
Most of the surviving bead sample cards, showing these beads as they were originally sold are dated to the 1920s, but this does not mean these beads were not made prior to that time.
As shown on the bead timeline in the History of Beads (Dubin) millefiori beads are dated to the mid 1800 through the early 1900s.
Some of our beads have traveled at least two continents, and have graced numerous owners. Small chips, corrosion, and pitting are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.