Re: "Unknown Painted Milk Glass Beads"
Re: Unknown Painted Milk Glass Beads -- Nasia Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/06/2020, 13:35:54

Hello Nasia,

Welcome to the Forum.

There are many beads whose origins, names, and natures remain unknown. Sometimes there are no satisfying answers for inquiries.

Your beads appear to be glassy and hollow—and that they have have been molded. These qualities suggest the material may be porcelain or a glassy-ceramic. And, being hollow, one might consider that the beads are slip-molded in a two part mold. It seems apparent that the beads have been painted or glazed with a red material, that has not been permanentized, and has been scraped or worn-away in places.

There is, essentially, no easy way to make molded spherical glass beads that are also hollow. So it is fairly likely your beads are not glass. But they might be a glassy ceramic. And that would rule-out certain industries, and suggest others.

These attributes cause one to dismiss many beadmaking industries as possible candidates for said manufactures. For instance, they would not be Venetian—since Venetian practices are well-described and known, and are profoundly different.

Beads such as yours are more-easily attributed to the Central European bead industries, such as Czechoslovakia, Austria, or Germany. Nevertheless, there are slip-molded ceramic beads from China—though these are quite different in appearance from your beads. I think we also have to consider the French industry located at Briare (south of Paris), since they manufactured molded glass and/or ceramic-glass beads. But whether Briare made HOLLOW productions is a topic that has been discussed, but not verified (as far as I know).

Let's consider for a moment that your beads may have been made from two molded hemispheres, that were then joined in complimentary pairs, and fused together to form a hollow spherical bead. It should, then, be possible to find the seam where the join was made. However, a slip-molded bead would also have such a seam. So finding a seam is not conclusive regarding either material nor method of manufacture.

The short answer is, I cannot identify you beads (!). But the above represents the trains of thought that must be pursued to have even a vague idea of what the product may be.

I will look forward to the opinions of my friends Stefany and Floor, who may have more to say.


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