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Murano Rosaries

The glass making capitol of the world is in Murano, Italy, a small island north of Venice. They were making glass dating back to ancient Rome. Since the 9th century its glass works have been known for their craftsmanship and innovation. From 1083 Murano was trading glass bottles with Asia and Africa making it the top glass producing city in the world. Not until the 1930’s did the glass making shift to a more modern theme. Since the 1950’s they have made very distinctive beads for Murano rosaries.

 

For one kind of bead for Murano rosaries the glass blowers used the filigrana technique where the glass blowing pipe is rolled over the canes, long strips of hot glass, creating a unique stripe for each bead. Some have straight stripes, some spiral. After this they are made into the ball and teardrop shapes. The beads made during the decade of the 1950’s are the most sought after today. These rosaries can be found online in auctions where people are selling heirlooms or large estate sales where the jewelry is sold. But, even new, the beads have the same hand made beauty they did 60 years ago.

 

The Murano glass trademark had had problems in the late 20th century and early part of this century with counterfeiting of the signature Murano glass. Murano beads contain a particular flower pattern because of the Millefiori technique meaning ‘thousand flowers’. Because of the counterfeiting, the consortium of glass makers added a trademark that shows a glass blowers pipe with the added Italian words for Artistic Glass Murano which was difficult to copy and registered with the European Union. However, again in 2003 they needed to change the trademark because of forgers. This glass is of such a high quality and artistic value it needs to remain exclusive. If you are looking for Murano rosaries be sure you are buying the genuine article.

 

The different types of beads to look for are; lamp-work beads that must be made individually. Sometimes foil is added or design overlays such as roses, swirls and dots and there are more possibilities. Seed beads or Conterie are very small, round beads. Chevron or Rosetta beads are distinguished by a blue, red and white zigzag pattern. This is the millifiori or thousand flower bead. There are also the blown beads or filigrana with stripes or color mentioned earlier.  When you choose your Murano rosaries, look at all the possibilities of beads to make sure you get the one you like the best.

 

Murano Rosaries come in many colors with the distinctive flower in each bead. There are also centerpieces, crosses and saint medals as well as crucifixes can be added. They also have a glass heart centerpiece and a glass cross. There are rosary bracelets that come in several different colored beads. Often there are also decorations on the outside of the bead made with molten strings of glass. Because these rosaries have hand made beads, each one is unique. They come with a card of authenticity so you are sure you have not inadvertently gotten counterfeit glass.

This article was published on Thursday 19 November, 2009.



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  • Back to main topic: Glass Rosary Beads
    History of Murano Glass Beads
    Murano Glass Rosary Beads
    What to Expect with a Murano Rosary
    Italian Rosaries
    History of Italian Rosaries

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