Today, I wanted to do a Throwback Thursday post featuring some very interesting beads. These beads have a very distinctive yellow and black stripes and I was actually buying another set of beads when I spotted them. They reminded me so much of bees and in fact, these Venetian beads called bumble bee trade beads. They are glass wound beads and were made between the latter half of the 1800s to the first years of the 1900s. With these beads, I wanted to make something that would really show them off. The first obvious choice was black but when I paired them with my black beads, it seemed to dim the cheerfulness of the bumble bees. But as it so happened, I had a bagful of vintage French yellow glass beads that I had previously bought and it turned out to be the right combination! I bought these yellow glass beads from someone whose husband used to work in a bead and button shop in the early 30s in Paris. And when he died, he had a good number of buttons and beads left over from when he was working and his widow was selling them off little by little. I was quite happy to buy the yellow ones from her!
At the next show I did, the necklace attracted a good number of admirers and finally it was purchased by a lady who owned her own jewelry store! She was quite taken by it, calling it a unique looking piece and she loved the fact that the beads were quite old. She told me that she rarely bought jewelry anymore since she sees so much of it in her own store. And I was pleased beyond belief that she found something she loved in my booth!
When I first started, I didn’t take any pictures of the earliest pieces. When I finally started to have a bit more inventory, taking pictures became a good way to keep track of them. It is even more important when the piece sells before I can properly include it in the inventory. I was going through my pictures when this one caught my eye. All the pieces in this frame sold last year. And now that I check the inventory, it turns out that I didn’t have the chance to record two pieces here–the red flower charm necklace and the blue pendant necklace. I guess this was a lucky grouping and I’m lucky to have this picture as a keepsake!
One of the great things about trade beads is that they’ve acquired all sort of names over the years. They can be wonderfully descriptive. Take the beads on this necklace — they’re called the fried egg trade beads because of its distinctive yellow on white pattern. To be honest they also somewhat look like paint splatters to me but perhaps the person who coined that name was dreaming of fried eggs at that time and the name stuck. I guess I’ll never know. But I do know that these fried egg beads were made between the middle of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century.
I thought that since the beads themselves are very distinctive, I would keep the rest of the necklace simple. I like the juxtaposition of the soft braided cord and glass beads. This pairing is a bit of a departure for me and I like its final effect of being feminine without being sugary sweet.
Here are the beads up close :
As promised in yesterday’s post, here is the necklace I made out of my bead find from Briare.
Today’s post is inspired by summer’s red blue and white colors….
Clockwise, from left to right, we have..
The sailing boats of St. Jean Luz, a charming seaside town of the Pays-Basque because summer means going on vacation…
Le Cabanon Bleu, delicious alfresco dining in Porto Vecchio, Corsica because summer is the best time for eating outside…
A cute old fashioned carousel made entirely of wood in Granada because summer is about child like pleasures…
De Petites Merveilles exotic blue clutch and red, white and yellow millefiori necklace (both now available in the shop) for all those summer parties and picnics
Simple summer flowers by the roadside because we need to stop and take it easy during the summer and last but not the least
Vintage finds during the all those great summer flea markets!