Its late but since its still technically Thursday, I thought I’d go ahead and do a throwback post. I wanted to feature this necklace which was a particular favorite of mine. I found these beads (along with a group of others that I have to post soon) the last time I was at the Antiquities Brocante at Bastille in Paris. Loved ones of mine know how much I adore that particular brocante. I would literally go everyday and look at every single stall. I went so often that sellers started to recognize me! (Ah, those were the days! ) Funnily enough, I didn’t always find old beads there. Lots of other curios and antiques but not the old glass beads.
That last time, I wasn’t particularly looking for beads. Plus it was the last day of the fair so people were in a going home mood. Well, one seller probably in an effort to get everything out, laid out, casually, almost cavalierly, a handful of old beads just as I was passing by. You can just imagine how my heart jumped!! I started looking at them and as is my habit, asked if she had more. To my great surprise, she pulled out a boxful of them!!! They were a glorious mix of different colors and shapes. Some of them were still attached to the mandrel (the rod to which glass is attached when being made). It was an amazing find and I snapped it up. I even managed to get a bit of a deal since she was just about ready to pack up and leave.
Now, here’s the other funny thing about these beads. For the longest time, I thought they were Czech glass beads. They are very very similar in look. But it turns out they are French glass beads according to some research I came across recently. Aside from the Bapterrosses factory in Briare, French production was not as extensive as the Venetians or the Czechs but there was a small cottage industry of lampworkers who produced beads that bear a striking resemblance to those more popular beads. Most of these lamp work beads were produced in the 50s. So the beads on this necklace are French lamp work beads from the 50s.