A Roman millefiori Glass Bead, Egypt, Roman Period, ca. 1st Century AD


Unlike most beads in which the decoration is applied over a solid color core bead, this millefiori glass bead is entirely made from a slab of millefiori cane slices fused together, wound around a rod, and formed into a ball. This technique results in considerable distortion of the original pattern. Each cane “flower” comprises alternating black and white petals around a center of turquoise, white, and red.  A rare and beautiful example!

Dimensions: Length: 3/8 inch (0.95 cm)

Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.

Provenance: Private collection of former French diplomat Noel Giron (1884–1941).  Giron, (or Aime-Giron, as he called himself after his famous father, the poet and the editor of Le Figaro) was a graduate of the Ecole du Louvre, where he studied Egyptian, Demotic, and Coptic under Eugene Revillout. Giron also studied religious studies, history, classical philology, and modern oriental languages at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne. Giron originally planned to attend the Institut francais d'archeologie orientale and pursue an academic career, but he abandoned that plan and became a career diplomat in the French foreign ministry instead. He nevertheless maintained his scholarly interest in texts, especially inscriptions in languages as diverse as Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Nabatean, Persian, Phoenician, and Greek. Although scholarship was but an avocation for him, he published several scholarly works. He published Legendes Coptes in 1907, and although the bibliographic record of his publications does not show it, he remained interested in the indigenous language of Egypt for the rest of his life.

Category: Beads, Glass, Under $1000

Type: Roman

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