Agree with everyone...
Re: Did Chinese chevrons kill the trade bead collectibles? -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Mail author
04/02/2015, 23:43:48

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, everybody.

Trade beads have enjoyed a decades-long run. Lisa Wataghani and the Picards were selling them in the States for some years before our Gambian friends began to bring them here. I think the pickings are getting thinner in Africa, plus the Asians are going there now and competing with the Gambians for the good stuff. Plus, Abdul Touray told me a year ago that he had begun bringing glass beads to China...I believe some interest may be taking hold there. But this is so, so late in the game...

We knew in 2007 that the Chinese "trade bead style" chevron was going to have a negative effect on collectibility of the antique Venetian ones. They confuse amateurs and cause them to distrust the "real deal". I talked to more than one dealer at the old Rodeway that year whose intent was to unload their chevrons asap.....

However, bottom line is... chevrons remain very important - they define "trade beads" for many, and are the most "prestigious" of trade beads, probably stemming from the fact that we are taught that it was the village chiefs in African countries who were the main people who could afford to own them in quantity.

Chevrons will never go "out". There are so many ways to focus on chevrons, just look at the Picard on-line exhibits. I remain excited about them, and the fact that our modern master, Mr. Seymour himself, has produced the best of them in our own lifetimes is awesome. What a fantastic time to love beads!

Others have touched upon important points...the disappearance of the middle class will indeed change the "demographic" of future collectors, as Rosanna points out. And Thomas has mentioned what JP and i have discussed many times.....and Tiger too.....we aren't as a "collector culture" very successful in bringing in "new blood" because young people are more likely to spend their disposable income on digital devices instead of beads.

And Fred and Danny, I love the way you expressed your thoughts, too.

I'm grateful that I've been able to learn about and enjoy beads for these years. My little pile has given me much joy, they complete my day and allow me a bit of individuality when I wear unusual or rare beads. I appreciate the people who made them, and those who cared for them before they came to me.... Selling them for a time allowed me to stay home with our son when he was a toddler. I'm thankful for those brief years.

Overall, the bead cycle is winding down a bit after years of a popularity explosion...openings of bead stores and bead shows spread like wildfire...multiple beading magazines have come and gone....some stores are closing....internet sales have hurt the bead stores...I guess it's all part of the big picture.

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