The Glory of Beads



A book to educate bead enthusiasts on the production and history of Venetian glass beads.

The Società Veneziana per l’Industria delle Conterie (SVC) was a glass factory located in Murano, Italy that primarily manufactured seed beads.  Established from 1898 to 1992, the SVC employed hundreds of people, including women and children.  The SVC exported the beads worldwide.  This is the story of its impact on the culture of beads.

The Venetians, masters at shipbuilding and commerce trade, flooded foreign markets with their glass beads and were the pioneers of manufacturing them in astonishingly enormous quantities.  The book will take the reader to Venice, Italy, where in 1291, a decree ordered all glass workshops to be transferred to Murano (a nearby island in the lagoon) to avoid any hazardous fires that threatened the city, as well as to safeguard the secrets of the glass industry.

Author Nicole Anderson explains in detail the machinery and techniques used to manufacture seed beads.  Chapters cover the chemistry of developing glass, the art of the lampwork bead, children in the workforce, the account of the Venetian women who strung an inestimable quantity of beads, the applications of seed beads and its influence in the fashion industry, and much more.  With extensive archival research, interviews, and historical photographs from the early 1900s, this book is a collector’s item for anyone interested in the beads and/or the history of Venice, Italy.


Nicole Anderson