Hello friends, how is the start of your week so far? Today, I had a couple of things I wanted to finish on my work desk and ended up with two completely different necklaces. The first necklace (pictured above) features a group of 19th century trade beads in the distinctive red brick Venetian color. I’ve had these beads awhile but for the longest time couldn’t figure out what to do with them. I was stuck with the idea that they should somehow match, which was why I couldn’t do anything with them. Finally, I thought that I didn’t need them to match exactly, the fact that they were all the same color with different canes and patterns was enough to make a harmonious looking necklace. Once I got over the block, it was easy to finish this piece.
The second piece is completely different. It doesn’t feature any trade beads at all, instead, it features this pretty and delicate little charm which dates back from Paris in the 50s. It is a tiny charm but the colored glass which decorates the flowers are in impeccable condition. It is such a feminine looking charm so I thought a simple chain necklace accented with some vintage glass beads would be the perfect way to showcase it.
Eh voila, two new pieces for the new week!
So far I’ve been very lucky in my bead hunting. I’ve found some beads in pristine condition, while others are in great condition. This is a miracle given their age and the often dusty conditions I’ve found them in. Sometimes though I’ll find some beads that are irresistible but upon closer look are not the easiest to work with. One example is this group of trade beads that I found in a small Parisian brocante. They are pink and green with a sort of silvery streak and the bead core is white. Several beads were very badly chipped and a lot of the colors had rubbed off. But I hadn’t seen this combination before and I finally brought them home. Once home I did some research and it turns out that this kind of bead dates back to the 19th century, the early half of the 19th century! I was happy that I took a chance with them. Unfortunately, it was a disaster when I tried to work on them. Several beads lost even more of their colors and a few even broke. I stopped at that point and thought that I’d save them for my collection of loose beads. That was a year and a half a go.
Fast forward to a a few weeks ago– I took a trip and found myself buying a vintage Uzbek coat with a gorgeous color palette of dusty pink and green. Then somehow I got a strand of faceted pink topaz and I started thinking how beautiful these colors were and how well they worked together. I woke up this morning thinking suddenly of those green and pink trade beads from awhile back.
And somehow (perhaps my beading stars were aligned right), those pink topaz beads, little as they are, fit perfectly over the trade beads. The happy result is this bracelet. It certainly took time to put this one together but the result is well worth the wait.