Vintage Italian Wedding Cake Venetian Beaded Murano Glass Necklace

Vintage Italian Wedding Cake Venetian Beaded Murano Glass Necklace


Delicate, feminine and beautiful, these pale, blue, glass beads are all handcrafted on Venice’s legendary isle of Murano. The necklace exemplifies Venetian style and artistry, each beaded piece is masterfully handcrafted using lampworking techniques developed in the Middle Ages. They are made both in Venice and Murano in Italy. Murano is the famous "glass island" where the glass furnaces were moved in 1291 by mandate of the Doges of Venice and is about 5 minutes by vaporetto (boat) from Venice. 

There is no difference between Venetian Beads and Murano Beads. The glass used to make the beads originates in Murano. However, Venetian Glass has been used to describe the glass coming from Murano for centuries and since Venice is much more widely known than the island of Murano, people continue to refer to it as Venetian Glass, Venetian Jewelry. So beads and jewelry made from beads produced in Murano are sold in the stores in San Marco (the famous square in Venice) as Venetian Glass. When the glass furnaces were moved from Venice to Murano, the Doge specifically gave the residents of Venice the right to make small pieces (lampwork) which included beads, small animals, the kind of art made by the canes (which of course are produced in Murano). Historically some of the best known bead houses have been in Venice, namely in Cannaregio. 

Lampwork literally means lumè in Italian and means that the beads were worked over a flame with a manually operated bellows to flame the fire. Today the flame is supplied by natural gas to generate the heat required to melt the glass. Many traditional Venetian beadmakers continue to use the gas alone, while some have acquired newer torches which mix gas and oxygen to produce a higher heat. Different heats are required to make certain beads. 

By tradition in Venice, lampwork refers to the small animals, figurines and other small glass which the lampworkers produce by working the piece on the end of a cane of Murano Glass. They work over the torch with canes, no mandrels as these small pieces do not have holes. Many of our pendant hearts and other pendants are produced in this fashion. The locals distinguish themselves that they are Lampworkers - not bead makers!

The measurement for this glass beaded necklace is 24" in total.

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