Re: Tiny Wound Seedbeads
Re: Tiny wound beads -- floorkasp Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/08/2020, 22:39:39

Hello Floor,

In 2005 or 2006 I met Valerie Hector in San Francisco, where we went to a private home to document a very unusual beadwork piece. This was a fragment from a larger piece—possibly a garment. The beadwork was sewn, using very tiny glass seedbeads. And the pattern represented a large conventional impressive Chinese dragon.

One of the tasks we were interested to determine was where these beads had come from—if we could formulate an idea from appearance and colors. Some of the colors were AMAZING. For instance, there was a lucious purple, the likes of which I had never seen, and have not seen since then.

Using my trusty hand-lens, I began to view the beads as closely as possible.

I was flabbergasted to then realize that these beads—all of them—were furnace wound!

As we know, in past times, up to the time of the Boshan industry in the 20th C., the Chinese did not make drawn beads. It would be logical to assume that any Chinese beadwork was composed by exploiting imported seedbeads. These might be from Europe or India.

But the beads in this piece were clearly wound. Suggesting to me that the beadwork had been done for royalty. Even the Emperor or his family. Because someone who understood glassmaking—including unique coloring—-beadmaking, and who would have been charged with making the thousands of beads required, could only be so-commanded by someone of great wealth and power.

I would love to show this piece. But it remains unpublished—and Valerie has sole rights to use the photos I took. So I cannot show them. I hope she gets to this one day.


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