Hello friends, I hope you had a wonderful weekend! I thought I’d start the week off with the second part of my great bead adventure! This time, I wanted to tell you all about my favorite part of the trip–the collectible beads!
Before setting out for Tucson, a friend told me to set a budget and to stick to it.
When I saw the collectible beads, I realized what wise counsel that was and how utterly impossible to follow. There were beads there that I’ve only ever seen in books or museums! There were strands of the rare and beautiful, the old and uncommon to the more ordinary beads. Mixed in with all the collectibles were the newly made beads and there were heaps of those. I quickly learned that the most special strands were kept in glass boxes. These were the strands that cost a small fortune. Some dealers kept what they called “pocket pieces” or loose beads sold separately and these ranged in price to 10$ a bead to 140 a bead. And I’m not even talking about the ancient stone beads!
It was really cool to see so many different varieties and to be able to hold them and see up close all the ways they are different from each other. And I realized that this is the best way to learn how to tell whether a bead is really old or merely a reproduction. Because there such a demand for collectible beads, there are some unscrupulous people who would take advantage and pass off reproductions as old. Or there are some who simply don’t know what they’re selling. So this was an invaluable learning experience for me.
Here are a few photos of the more memorable strands and beads. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them!!
This first strand that caught my eye was also one of the most expensive ones at 4000 dollars. It has a several 6 layer Chevron beads, a huge German marble bead, rare Prosser chevron beads, a few older barrel trade beads.
One strand we looked at had a broken bead with writing on it.. the entire set consisted of three beads with the writing J Walker Co. Very rare to see one of them and the rest of the tabular beads were pretty too..
This is a collection of unusual Millefioris including 2 stands of Moretti beads… price range of these beads from 500 to 1200+ dolla
The pink strand was one of my absolute favorites–pink feather beads, pink eye beads and the pineapples. I’ve never seen the blue and white with aventurine stripes in the second strand pictured here. 1400 for each of these strands.
A collection of loose Millefiori beads in the rare football shape..price range 100-200 dollars per bead
Another collection of pocket beads..the beads pictured here are older, early 19th century or even earlier for some of the folded beads.
A beautiful collection of Viking era beads, the real deal as opposed to the Indonesian made replicas.
And last but not the least, several strands of etched ancient carnelians, price range 3000 to 7000 dollars a strand.. Very special treat to see these authentic strands as there are so many reproductions available today.
Now you see my this was my favorite part of the whole trip!