German drawn glass Purple-Blue "cut beads" Mexico 1980's
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Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
07/27/2023, 13:31:23

Hello, I recently purchased the oddest assortment of what appear to be similar to but not identical to"Russian Trade Beads" (RTB's), and it is an odd assortment of sizes, plus several shades of blue. Most are the clear/translucent deep cobalt purple-blue, like you would see in some of the Antique Bohemian RTB's, a few are a medium blue shade. All appear to be drawn glass, seven sided, and have the ends rather crudely faceted. Most are drawn compound beads, with a clear core, but some are solid blue.
I will be getting photos together soon. I have read about the German drawn Cobalt colored, old seven sided glass tubes that were bought in Germany and taken/sent to Guadalajara, Mexico in the 1980. Picard''s notes that Henry Merle was the person associated with making these beads at a Guadalajara Glass House. These "Mexican RTB's" evidently flooded the market in the 1980, and fooled a lot of people who thought they were the Antique cobalt Bohemian RTB's.

Oddly enough the (old) German tubes > Mexico 7 sided tubes were first ground, then cut/ separated into beads! I believe the Bohemian RTB's were drawn, cut, and hand faceted on the water wheel.

Peter Francis Jr. and Karlis Karklins had a nice mention of the Mexican "Cut Blues" saying they ground the tubes before they cut the beads(apart)".
Edit:7/28/2023 Peter Frances Jr. noted -which I didn't catch at first read was mention of the "clear core" on some of the beads: "A tube from Mexico, ground before being cut apart. The tubes were imported from Germany. Some were made with clear interiors to identify them as recent beads".
And also below the photo examples Frances says: "So, what do we call them? Several other names have been used for them as well, but I prefer "Cut Blues". They were called "Cut Beads" in the trade, but there are a lot of cut beads. Karlis Karklins has proposed "Cornerless Hexagonals," which is descriptive, though they are not all hexagonal (nor are they all blue). The Bead Study Group of the Denver Museum of Natural History has suggested "Cut Prisms."

Picard's shows both the cobalt Mexican "Copy of Russian Blue", and on the next page, some varieties of color that were produced. Go to Bead Exhibit #11 Faceted Bohemian Beads, page 8: #.

If you have any of these "Mexican RTB" Copies could you please post some photos, and also show the core! I need to compare and see what yours look like. It is sounding like this is what I have.

Edited to add this- Beadiste has a beautiful show of Antique Bohemian the RTB's more specific to the NW Coast VS African Trade RTB's, and nice photos:
Photos Coming! Thanks So much, Anne

Bead lover, collector since Age 15, semi-retired had wholesale/retail bead, folk art, tribal art store Lost and Found Gallery for 25 yrs. in DT Greensboro, NC
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Modified by AnneLFG at Fri, Jul 28, 2023, 12:49:10

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