Chevron Beads. By Sarah Corbett

Chevron Beads. By Sarah Corbett

The first Chevron beads were made in Murano in Italy at the end of the 14th century.

The beads, which are made from drawn glass cane constructed using specialist star

shaped moulds

are one of the most collectable and valuable beads available to us today.

Chevron beads are constructed with consecutive layers of various coloured glass.

Early examples tend to be in blue white and red glass however other early pieces exist using green

glass.

Inventory lists of glass factories in Murano dating from the year 1496 list Rosetta and star

cane beads.

These are both alternative names for the chevron bead.

Most Chevron beads were made for the purpose of export and trade to West Africa and also to South America

Exceptionally large Chevron beads found their

way to Africa and a smaller models some measuring just

5 mm in diameter, but still containing seven distinct layers were made for the South American market.

The Chevron bead regained popularity at the beginning of the 20th century when four and six layer

models appear on various sample cards from the Venetian bead traders. The production of the Venetian Chevron bead continues to this day although in small quantities and made by specialist glass artists such as Luigi Catalan

The best known contemporary Chevron bead maker is the pioneer glass artist Art Seymour .

Art lives in the USA and produces highly technical and very complicated Chevron bead designs using advanced glass making techniques.

During the 1980s chevron style beads were made in Indian glassmaking centres rather than

being created with the traditional

techniques these weremade from hot glass strips fused together to make a star cane bead the work tends to be less precise and the glass quality differs from those constructed in

Murano.

Recent replicas of the Chevron bead have emerged from the

Chinese production centres. They are

made in the traditional Venetian way, we can identify the new wave of Chinese beads by the different

quality and colours of the glass used for

production.

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