I think they're brass, but will email the curator just to be sure
Re: Do you know what the purple (?) beads, bottom center, are? Just curious. -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
04/19/2019, 15:24:02

The "V" accession code indicates "Russian." The curator explained to me that there is very little accession data. Many of the museum's artifacts date to the 1880s (it was founded in 1887), and were collected by Sheldon Jackson himself. The inventory of the Russian American company in Sitka were supposedly transferred to the Alaska Commercial Company in 1867, when Alaska was sold to the U.S. So I wonder if the pristine hanks of beads and other items accessioned merely as "Russian" were obtained from the Alaska Commercial Company, because they appear to still be in the original bunches in which they were shipped.

There's a mysterious comment on page 9 of Arthur Woodward's 1965 booklet Indian Trade Goods:

...the large ultra marine blue faceted beads found south as Washing and Oregon, became "Russian beads", in spite of the fact that original packages of these beads, wrapped in grey coarse paper, were found unopened in the warehouse of the Rusian American Fur Company in 1867, marked "Brussels." In the latter case it was probably a repakaging job done by an export company in the Belgian City.

There's no citation for this statement. Wonder where Woodward learned this?

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