Amber glass trade beads at Sheldon Jackson Museum, Sitka, Alaska
Re: Beer bottle brown "Russian" beads -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
04/19/2019, 10:26:51

The reddish hank of beads are old brick red greenhearts - galet rouge? - in pristine condition. Also note the similar half mass of cobalt blue "Russian" beads on the right of the case. The Museum also has what appear to be unused hanks of white galet blanc beads.

At any rate, the amber glass "Russian" strand is distinctly lighter in tone (and also appear to be longer beads) than the beer bottle brown beads under discussion. I seem to recall that the beads Lester Ross documented from Ft. Vancouver were also this lighter color.

Just as an interesting little tidbit, I recently acquired a copy of Emmons: The Tlingit Indians (edited by Frederica de Laguna). On page 56 deLaguna has a parenthetical note:

A note among Emmons's papers at AMNH [American Museum of Natural History] indicates: 'Beads were valued at so much according to color: Yellow 30 cents; Red 20 cents; Blue 50 cents. Chilkat.'

I plugged 50 cents into a consumer price index calculator that went back to 1890, and got an equivalency of $14 today. It also produced a rather confusing result of 50 cents in 1895 worth $15 today. At any rate, those numbers actually correspond to what the best, biggest beads are going for among collectors today - around $15 per bead.

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Modified by beadiste at Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:29:32

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