Land of a Thousand Flowers

As a sorry old soul, I must admit to you that one of my favorite past times is antiquing.  I like old things.  Objects with a history can almost tell their own story by their shape, color, place of origin and condition.  This may sound strange and many might think antiquing would be the ultimate dullsville way to spend time, but there’s something intriguing and satisfying about searching through the past and seeing what you can find.  Even better, it’s the feeling you get when you find something you really have been looking for but never expected to come across it, it’s something you can fall in love with and the best thing of all is when you can get it for a steal of a price. 

My ultimate obsession, my weakness and the thing I can never get enough of is glass.  Colored glass, glass dishware, wine glasses…glass anything and I am smitten like a school girl.  But the holy grail of glass to me above all the others would have to be Millefiori glass.  What is this you wonder???  Millefiori is a type of glass that is made with a distinctive flower pattern throughout.  The term millefiori is a combination of the Italian words “mille”  meaning thousand, and “fiori” meaning flowers.  This type of glass is made by heating thin glass rods of different colors until the rods fuse together. The rods are then pulled thin, cooled, and sliced to produce small disks with flower designs. The flower disks are then applied to hot blown glassware such as a paperweight or a vase and then reheated and blown once again. The result is an amazing piece of glassware with colorful flower designs sprinkled throughout the object.

Millefiori glass comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes…from beads to animals to fruit to ornate dishes.  Anything you can purchase as regular glass, you can usually find its millefiori equivalent.  That said, there are two types of this glass, antique and newly produced.  All millefiori is highly collectible, but as you can imagine the antique pieces are the most sought after and the most valuable…which we know equals quite expensive.  Of course, the antique pieces are what I’m drawn to and go crazy for.  Go figure.

I’m sure some people find Millefiori too ornate and busy, but I think it has this luscious old world look to it that is irresistable.  When it is sitting in front of you, it is pleasing to the eye and it draws you in to admire it, to pick it up and to examine all of its flowers.  These pieces are truly magnificent.  But don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I would want EVERYTHING in my house Millefiori…but a nice gigantic collection scattered throughout every room would be marvelous!


~ by pinkhoneybee on March 26, 2010.

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