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Cow: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BEADS

VENETIAN BEADS: Most Venetian beads we see out and about were produced over a flame, one-by-one, by a glass lampwork artist. And while experienced beadmakers can produce prodigious numbers of beads in a day, the skills that go into making these glorious beads can take years to perfect.

The beads that people call wedding cake beads - the ones decorated with flowers -- are actually (for the most part) called "fiorato" or flowered beads.

Some of the more recognizable Venetian bead styles include:
Sommerso, as in "submerged -- colored glass beads that are encased in a thick and visible coating (that's why they look like they're submerged or under water,) often with foil or aventurine (copper filings that look like gold) center. Newer versions are often given a matte final finish, which makes the interior color or foil really glow.
Millefiori, or Thousand Flower beads -- this design looks lie a patchwork of flowery roundish sliced decorations, all melted in around a solid (typically black glass) core.
Trade beads (beads made for the African trade -- oftentimes produced by Venetian beadmakers) are often decorated this way.
Contributed by Anne Morrissey

Make a Foil Bead with Pat Frantz

Lampworking is a type of glasswork that uses a gas fueled torch to melt rods and tubes of clear and colored glass. Once in a molten state, the glass is formed by blowing and shaping with a variety of tools and hand movements. It is also known as flameworking or torchworking, as the modern practice no longer uses oil-fueled lamps.

Bead Tips:
A great place to start in learning to date is to familiarize yourself with beading trends -- e.g. steel cut sautoirs from the early 1900s, Czech and German press-molded beads from the 30s, then the explosion of plastics from all over Europe in the 50s and beyond, to name a few big ones.

Some more tips on dating beads. Of course there are exceptions to ever one of these guidelines; I'm just trying to share typical characteristics of jewelry from different ages:

Strand lengths --
Old, single-colored molded beads with knots between each one on very, very bead are often Flapper age. Reference books show little quirky things like "suntan" colored pearls as popular 20s trends.

Short- or almost too short to wear! - single strands of molded beads were popular in the 30s and often imported from Germany.

Multi-strand mixed graduated glass and plastic beads had their heyday in the 50s . Before then, multi-stranders are most usually all one material (glass, Bakelite, pearl, metal)

Bookchain necklaces with odd drops (brass, Bakelite, pearls) were popular in the 1930s - early 40s. Once metals were restricted to war use, novelty jewelry manufacturers turned to innovative alternatives, such as leather, cord, paper, shells, wood - even macaroni!

Fishing line for stringing came into use in the 50s.

Certain Swarovski colors are good clues on a piece's age:

Mass-produced AB crystal was introduced in the mid-50s

The desirable brown AB Mink color was a 50s-60s phenomenon

A whole new slew of intriguing colors has been introduced by Swarovski over the past few years -- take a look at the in-season colors on their site -- many of these colors have never been introduced before.

Look for Depression glass colors in beaded piece of the 1930s

The huge new trend of high-quality, artisan-made lampwork and glass cane handmade beads started here in the 80s and 90s and continues today with the most complex beads selling for hundreds of dollars each.

Love beads -- popularized in the 60s -- led to a re-discovery and popularization of African trade beads, too, as artisans incorporated these collectible treasures into ethnic-looking beaded collars and bracelets. Dealers selling hundreds of strands of trade beads to the public became common sites at popular venues such as the Brimfield market.

There is a big business now in reproducing ancient-looking ethnic beads that are such good facsimiles, they often fool even seasoned collectors. As in vintage jewelry, it pays to know your stuff -- and to do business with dealers who share provenance info.
Contributed by Anne Morrissey

Date(s): August 25, 2009. Album by Jewelry Ring. 1 - 51 of 51 Total. 3206 Visits.
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Classic Venetian millifiore. These look to be Moretti beads (the name of the studio on Murano)
Marked: Italy

Compliments of Nona Grampp

Nona's of Alexandria
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Glass, Metal & Plastic beads
Unmarked

Courtesy of Nona Grampp

Venetian fiorato (means "flowered", often called "wedding cake") lamp work
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Molded Glass Beads
Marked: West Germany

Courtesy of Nona Grampp

These "berry beads" are typically West German.
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Japanese art glass and sugar Beads
The green and black translucent (givre, I guess) are probably West German.

Courtesy of Nona Grampp
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Blue Glass Beads
Marked: Vogue

Courtesy of Nona Grampp
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Colorful Glass Beads
Marked: Japan

Courtesy of Nona Grampp

Interesting it's marked Japan. The leaves are typical Czech (don't know anywhere else this style is made) molded glass. The button flowers are usually West German. The peachy colored beads could be glass "frit" beads but I've also seen these in plastic.
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Carnelian beads & Brass Filigree
Unmarked

Courtesy of Nona Grampp

I showed this to a friend who imports beads and she thought the Carnelian might have been cut in Idar Oberstein.
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Chinese Hand Painted Glass Beads
Clasp marked: Silver

Courtesy of Nona Grampp

Most beads painted like this are Chinese porcelain. Clasp is typical Chinese, prolly 1970's or later.
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Glass Rose Shaped Beads
Marked: Czechoslovakia

Courtesy of Nona Grampp

There are modern metallized plastic beads with a similar shape - perhaps this is what they were copying...
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They appear to be givre glass (mixed clear and colored glass),  West Germany Beads
Yes, rose givre. The facteting is fire polish, and these also have a lustre finish.

Compliments of the Amanda Lamarche Collection
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Blue & White porcelain beads likely produced in China in the past 25 years.

Compliments of the Amanda Lamarche Collection

Classic blue and white Chinese porcelain beads. Typical Chinese clasp. 70's or later.
Porcelain is a type of clay, a very fine clay, which can be fired to a very high temp. and often has a beautiful translucence which cannot be obtained using other types of clay.
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Cylindrical Beads

Compliments of Delores Benedict

Bitz of Glitz
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Art Glass Bead Necklace

Courtesy of Delores Benedict
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Molded glass and seed bead Necklace

Courtesy of Delores Benedict
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Pink and Blue art glass beads

Courtesy of Delores Benedict

Beautiful! I have some very old Venetian trade beads, presumably made for the North American Indian trade made in a similar manner, a sommerso type process, altho these do not appear to be that old. The sapphire are fire polish, and, interestly, Swarovski made some of the "tire" bead spacers.
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Cloisonne Wedding Cake Beads

Courtesy of Delores Benedict

NOT Venetian, not glass. These are Cloisonne. The "ruffled" or "corrugated" appearance of the  gold wire outlining of the cells is a twisted wire technique.
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Gerda Lynggaard for Monies Copenhagen Lucite Beads

Courtesy of Delores Benedict
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Green glass beads

Courtesy of Delores Benedict
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Red Glass Beads

Courtesy of Delores Benedict
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Pink plastic beads

Compliments of Dolli Dolan

Jewels by the Sea Store
Dolli's Jewels By the Sea
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Sommerso style beads,but they are more likely Japanese lampwork than Venetian, based on shape, decoration, and the beads they're strung with.


Compliments of Lilly Vittetow

Lilly's Vintage Jewelry
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Sommerso style beads,but they are more likely Japanese lampwork than Venetian, based on shape, decoration, and the beads they're strung with.


Courtesy of Lilly Vittetow
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Czech Wooden Beads

Courtesy of Lilly Vittetow
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Germany plastic beads

Courtesy of Lilly Vittetow
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Japanese plastic seed beads

Courtesy of Lilly Vittetow
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Japan Satin beads

Courtesy of Lilly Vittetow
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The orange and white are Japanese millifiore (or mosaic) lamp work beads.

Courtesy of Lilly Vittetow
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Glass sugar beads and green glass leaves

Courtesy of Lilly Vittetow

Czech, I think.
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Green plastic beads

Compliments of Sharon Hall

gemdiva64 on eBay
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ROSE QUARTZ,
CRYSTAL BEADS &
BLACK GLASS BEADS

Compliments of Pat Seal

Treasures From Yesterday Vintage Jewelry
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HAND CARVED RED WOODEN BEADS
PROBABLY FROM
CZECHOSLOVAKIA

Courtesy of Pat Seal
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CLOISONNE BEADS PROBABLY FROM THE
ORIENT

Courtesy of Pat Seal

Yes, Chinese Cloisonne.
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CARVED AMETHYST
BEAD

Courtesy of Pat Seal
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LOVELY GREEN JADE BEADS

Courtesy of Pat Seal
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CARVED BEADS EITHER VEGETABLE IVORY OR
PLASTIC

Courtesy of Pat Seal
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Could be Indian, Japanese, or even Venetian beads.

Courtesy of Pat Seal
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Unusual GREEN/PURPLE Marbled Satin Glass Bracelet/Earrings

Compliments of Alison Gadberry

Alison's Antiques & Vintage Jewelry

Curved beads like these are still made in the Czech Republic today - some call them "Angel Wings".
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Purple lucite beads

Courtesy of Alison Gadberry
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Transparent Green Prystal Lucite Beads

Courtesy of Alison Gadberry
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Bone or Ivory beads

Compliments of the Audrey Gibbons Collection

Looks like carved bone. Very typical.
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Hagler seed beads

Courtesy of Audi Gibbons

Stunning! The glass beads and cabs were probably Czech. The flowers shapes are still being made, and the "dog bone" shapes are typical Czech.
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Bakelite beads in many shapes

Courtesy of Audi Gibbons
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Millefiore beads

Courtesy of Audi Gibbons

Although these look Venetian, the very obvious seams indicate lesser quality beads, and I have seen some Indian beads similar, usually not this color combo.
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Colorful crystal beads

Compliments of Karen Walck Haley



Joyful Vintage Jewelry
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German wired Lampwork glass flower beads

Courtesy of Karen Walck Haley
Joyful Vintage Jewelry
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Hollow glass beads

Courtesy of Karen Walck Haley
Joyful Vintage Jewelry
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Wedding cake glass lampwork beads

Courtesy of Karen Walck Haley
Joyful Vintage Jewelry
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Mottled turquoise-in-matrix beads along with goldtone beads and some may be retortoli filigrana (a type of zanfirico)

***I'm checking on a few things - will get back to this one***

Compliments of Tracy Green

Venus Vintage Jewelry
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Crystal glass beads and faux pearl beads

Compliments of Ronda Allman

The cone shaped beads on either side of the  faceted rondelles were a common element in art deco Czech necklaces.

Great Barbarian
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Beautiful glass beads

Courtesy of Ronda Allman

The satin glass drops on the right are likely Czech, altho not an exclusive type of glass to CZ. The faux jade green color is called "Japan jade" by Czech manufacturers and "Chinese jade" by Japanese manufacturers.
The mosaic glass teardrop on the left could be lampwork from a variety of sources.
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These glass face beads are made in China, and are handpainted on the inside of each bead by skilled craftspeople

Compliments of Susan Corwin

Eureka I Found It!
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