Beautiful, colorful millefiori jewelry makes very special gifts that are always appreciated, by ladies from 5 to 95. But, if you are agonizing about a special gift for someone who already has everything, you should think about millefiori watches.
These delicate, colorful and extremely feminine timepieces are made by hand and each is unique, made just for that special person in your life. You should not forget to mention that millefiori jewelry has been made in Murano, in the Venetian lagoon in Italy for almost thousand years. Just in case the exquisite craftsmanship and the beauty of delicate colorful glass flowers are not enough.
The term “millefiori” or thousand flowers in Italian, refers to a very old glass making technique that has been around for many centuries, but is made truly world famous by Murano glass makers in the 15th century. The technique involves fusing of a number of thin glass rods which are called ‘murrine’, of different colors. Once cooled, the rods are cut into tiny slices, which have the cross-cut pattern that resembles lovely flowers.
Today, ‘millefiori’ is almost the synonym for Murano glass in the eyes of many people around the world. Beautiful millefiori watches, jewelry, vases, pendants and art objects are very popular collectors’ item and are valued for their beauty and their superb craftsmanship.
The oldest delicate, beautiful and very intricate millefiori beads that survived to this day were made by Romans between 50 BCE and 300 CE. But, the historians believe that the Egyptians were the first to fuse colorful glass rods together and then cut pieces of it as beads.
Once the Romans brought the secret of making millefiori to Europe, it was made by glass makers in Ireland and England. But, for some inexplicable reason, the secret was then lost and was not rediscovered until the 15th century, when Murano glassmakers made it famous again. Whether the Murano glass artists used the same technique as Egyptians and Romans, or came up with their own version, nobody knows. What we do know is that we owe to the Murano glassmakers the magnificent highly feminine glass objects decorated with delicate colorful flowers.
Millefiori technique is used to make many different objects. Tiny colorful beads are placed together to form exquisite necklaces. Often, the beads of different colors and patterns are melted again to form interesting patterns. The most popular are the objects made of transparent glass in which millefiori beads float like some fairy, magical flowers trapped in honey.
Although millefiori technique is known and used today by thousands of glass artists, it is still easy to recognize the unique artistry and a touch of history in the pieces made in Murano. Millefiori watches made in Murano also come with the proof of authenticity, not to be mixed with cheap copies made by unscrupulous traders who are trying to take advantage of the reputation and popularity of Murano glass art.
But, even without the proof, any glass connoisseur can easily recognize delicate forms and exquisite colors of true millefiori jewelry.