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.