This fun one-of-a-kind handcrafted artisan necklace is full of character and unique components and textures. This mixed media design features a great mix of old and new elements all brought together with beautiful sterling silver wire work.
I designed this fantastic necklace around the 3 old Venetian millefiori "African" glass trade beads. The beads are historically called African trade beads, as they were created in Venice during the European expansion period beginning in the early 1800’s with the sole purpose of trading them to Africa for gold, ivory, palm oil and slaves. Millefiori is an Italian word meaning "one thousand flowers" and it specifically refers to the multi-layered wound mosaic glass beads which were produced prolifically in Venice during this time period. These beads were made much the same way that cane beads are made today, but more crudely. They have a less finished look which gives them so much natural character and individuality. You can almost feel the history of these beads as you look at them and touch them. They are old beads that have been traded in history showing their age and use with some imperfections such as chipping and pitting.
The large silver focal bead is an old bead from Ethiopia, handcrafted and full of soul! The other components include turquoise, cobalt glass from Tibet, saffron yellow magnesite discs, Thai bronze washers and turquoise blue leather.
This necklace measures 20" around the neck closing with a gorgeous sterling silver s-hook clasp and 5" of additional chain. The tassel portion is about 11" long.