Re: Europe or Asia?
Re: From Europe or Asia? -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
04/16/2019, 19:01:53

Hello CC,

One thing confounds a confirmed ID—and this is that the colors of these beads tend to resemble both Indo-Pacific beads AND European seedbeads.

Both of these families of beads are made from drawn canes (are cane beads). This immediately rules-out China. Chinese seedbeads were wound. (Even tiny ones.) Drawn seedbeads in Chinese constructions would have been imported.

I cannot say I am necessarily up-to-date on seedbeads from India. These would be the modern versions of I-P beads. But, as far as I know, contemporary Indian seedbeads likewise have a brighter color pallet than the beads we are viewing here. Let's recall that there was a long period during which glass beads were, essentially, not made in India—or the output was considerably lessened. All this changed in the mid-1970s. But I am not aware of Indian seedbeads since that time—apart from the "modern I-P beads." that (as far as I know) tend to be very small and in limited colors, from South India. I would be surprised if these beads were found in East Africa.

Since the beads have an East-African find-spot, I would guess they are most-likely European/Venetian. I-P beads from East Africa are generally well-worn and look like old beads (because they are old). In the region of the Massai, I am more accustomed too seeing seedbead work to consist of brighter colors. So your beads surprise me.

Regarding a low price—are you familiar with "Christmas beads?" These are quite long strands of mixed seedbeads, that come out of West Africa. They can be bought for two or three dollars per strand. (Unless prices have risen since I last looked and asked about pricing.)

So it IS possible that newish (not antique, and not particularly distinctive) glass seedbeads, can be sold for a low price.

Since any group of plain seedbeads is much like any other group from another industry, it is difficult to be more assured or confident of a specific origin.


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