Please help Date & Origin Info on Blue-Grey "Gooseberry" Beads/EDITED
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Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
03/17/2019, 21:21:43

I am interested in finding out more about the Blue-Grey "Gooseberry" beads that I recently found again while unpacking after a move. Some of my bead strands that have predominantly beads from the late 1700's to the early 1800's will have a few well worn examples of these beads. Of course I know proximity on a strand with recognizable older beads in no way bestows them age or credibility,

I would love to know if they are Venetian, German, Dutch or ?, and what time Range to place them in, Also some info on how they were made, and finished, please.

1.) Who likely made them?
2.) Time Range Date of Manufacture?
3.) How were they made? (Drawn? and then what?)

I have and am acquainted with some of the earliest "Gooseberry" Beads, and realize these are probably not from that era. However they do have a special blue-grey glass color that I associate with some other early beads I have. The blue grey color can appear black unless well lit.

The white lines are covered by a surface layer of glass, though if worn enough this may not be apparent. I counted 27 white opaque lines on some, with over 30 on others, and saw sometimes gaps and some close spacing, even errors where there was distortion and lines bowed out. The lines are so close, in fact, it is difficult to count them casually.

EDIT: The "lines bowed out" I spoke of above look like those in Figure 8 "bead with distorted stripes" from Article included here (link below)-
"Beads: Journal of The Society of Bead Researchers", Vol 5, Article 6
"The A Speo Method of Heat Rounding Drawn
Glass Beads and its Archaeological Manifestations
Karlis Karklins"

These appear to be drawn cane, pinched to a bead length, and then finished in some way I am unfamiliar with (I am not a glass maker). Could these be A Speo heat rounded beads?

It is striking to note that the inner core hole area of many of the beads is very irregular- even bumpy looking. I have tried to capture this in the photo album I am posting. Why would this be? Is it secondary to the finishing/heating process?

The ends, while usually well finished, can have residual Rough glass- either a blob or sharp edge that has not been removed in the finishing process, which I also show in this album.

The end stripes near the hole sometimes look as if they had been applied by hand, though this would seem impossible with the tiny size- even with the thought that drawing the cane will cause a great reduction in the size of a pattern and miniaturization. Is the tiny "dot" of "pooled" glass at the beginning/end of some of the white lines a result of being pinched?- This "dot" I associate with hand decorated beads, though this does not "make sense", obviously. See example in photo album.

Sizes typically range in the 6mm-14mm hole to hole range.

Please School Me!

Album Blue Grey "Gooseberry" Beads

Many of my reference books are still packed or in storage, so I appreciate your input, knowledge and help.

Thanks, Anne

EDIT: I want to include this as one of the Articles I read that may help in this matter:

Bead lover, collector since Age 15, semi-retired had wholesale/retail bead, folk art, tribal art store Lost and Found Gallery for 25 yrs. in DT Greensboro, NC

Modified by AnneLFG at Tue, Mar 19, 2019, 20:43:40

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