Glass Bead Decorated Centre Table

Johann Michael van Selow

Brunswick, Germany, circa 1760

Painted wood, glass beadwork decoration

Height: 73.5 cm (28.9 inch)
Width: 79 cm (31.1 inch)
Depth: 54 cm (21.3 inch) Ref No: 1913

The rounded rectangular dished top with moulded edge and decorated with a mosaic made of glass beads depicting a bird seated in a branch framed by scrolling foliage, above a plain frieze, on cabriole legs.


The mosaic is in very good condition, with only minor restorations to a few beads. Cracking and movement of the wooden frames made these pieces quite fragile, which may be one of the reasons for their rarity. The table frame with some retouches to the paint. The brilliant colours of the unfading glass beads is a strong reminder of the vivid and cheerful colours of the Rococo period.

The Van Selow Workshop:

One of the rarest and greatest technical achievements of the eighteenth Century was German glass beadwork from Braunschweig, with Johann Michael van Selow considered to be its finest craftsmen. Van Selow worked under the Royal patronage of Duke Carl I of Braunschweig. The factory was in existence less than twenty years (1755-1772) and few examples of this colourful beadwork exist. Examples of Van Selow’s work can be seen in the Städtische Museum in Braunschweig and in The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle.