Grandmother's Buttons 001-B25B Ellie bracelet

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Northern European glass cabochons are the most appealing of the 20th century, and this bracelet design flaunts a sizable collection of them in delicious shades of blue and white. 

Czech glass artisans honed their skills for centuries, and in the early 18th century, they were the first to start pressing hot glass in molds to create exquisitely detailed buttons now coveted worldwide. They began with solid colored glass and then, as their skills grew, started producing multi-colored stones mimicking gems like opals and tortoiseshells. 

German glassmaking is rooted in Northern Bavaria. Influenced by their Czech counterparts in nearby Bohemia, German glassmakers are also renowned for their exceptional skills that have evolved over centuries.

Czechoslovakia annexed Northern Bavaria after WWII, so the resident German glassmakers fled and set up workshops in their new West German communities. They built a thriving glass button industry, and by 1950 West Germany was considered the glass button capital of the world. 

The buttons and cabochons in this bracelet were hand-pressed in antique molds and manufactured using centuries-old processes. And they all testify to the enduring talents of European glass artisans, including the few still working today.

In this piece:

  • Vintage painted milk glass button hand-pressed in Western Germany, circa 1850
  • Vintage textured white glass cabochon with a blue coating made in Western Germany, circa 1950
  • Vintage blue glass cabochon with white stripe made in Western Germany, circa 1950
  • Two vintage jet glass buttons with gold luster made in Czechoslovakia, circa 1950
  • Five brass-plated pewter settings cast today in the USA
  • Tiny blue porphyry Czech glass bead
  • Antiqued brass chain
  • Length is 6” to 8 ½”