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What’s in a name?

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 :


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