It might be easy for one to dismiss the beads on this necklace as common, but they are anything but common.
Over the past several decades, we here in the US have seen so much Chinese junk jewelry that the importance of beads like this fails to be recognized by the average person. But, it is the history and rarity of these beads that makes them so valuable, and so very beautiful.
In 1918 in Thuringia, the town of Gablonz, which has produced glass beads since the mid 1700's, was given to Czechoslovakia after the war.
All of the German bead makers there were forced to leave. They left the Iser mountains and went southeast into Bavaria and formed a new center for bead making called Neu-Gablonz. The Germans' attitude was basically: Fine, you don't want us here then we will leave and continue producing glass beads elsewhere - and we have some new ides that we wont be sharing! Hence, a new era in bead making was born.
The small glass pinch beads on this necklace are hand wound beads and the multi-color tortoise canes are fascinating. The beads have great depth and clarity and you can see the intricate pulled canes inside clearly. These tortoise glass beads were made in Neu-Gablonz but it is the large bicone beads that were a new design in Neu-Gablonz in the 1950s. They are called Agate slice satin glass beads. Look closely and you can see how the sides are cut or sliced to show the layered canes inside. They are blown beads and were hand faceted and satin polished after. These Agate slice beads are very, very rare to find and very complicated to make.
The necklace also has many Art Nouveau style gold metal links. A really great long design, the necklace is 48 " or 81 cm long.
The Agate slice beads are 7/8" or 23 mm long. The tortoise pinch beads are 6 to 8 mm. The necklace has the original large brass spring clasp in perfect working order.
The entire necklace is in excellent clean condition and there are no cracks or chips to any of the beads.
The brass loop links between the beads have a darkened patina from age.
Comes gift wrapped and shipped in a new luxury presentation necklace box.