The glass beads on this necklace are Byzantine, from the empire that ruled much of the old world after the fall of Rome, from the 5th to the 15th century. They are made with a millefiore or “thousand flowers” pattern, created through the layering of precisely aligned canes of different colours of glass applied to a core until they build up into a floral pattern. It is very rare to find a strand of so many well-matched and perfectly graduated glass beads that are this old and beautiful.
All together, this strand of flowery beads reminded me of a festive garland, so I created a graduated set of nine granulated silver beads with a garland pattern along the sides that comes together in a flower on each pole of the bead. Since each of these beads, ancient glass and modern silver alike, were made individually, each has its own unique character and beauty, like the flowers that inspired them.