Amazing American Indians and their glass works
Re: Re: This type of thing drives me crazy -- Jim Johnson Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Mail author
12/11/2011, 17:43:52

I've written to a few ebay sellers who actually state that various glass trade beads (usually Venetian or modern powder glass) were made by American Indians, right here in North American at their, er, glass-making villages? The fact the required glass factories, etc have never been found does not seem to faze them.

My favorite recent trade bead "experience" - at a local fabric shop, I spotted a small dish of millefiori cylinders, and started to sort through. As I was doing this, a clerk came by & asked if I needed any help. I said sure, do you have any other antique Venetian beads? She glared and said, "THOSE are not Venetian beads, THOSE are AFRICAN TRADE BEADS!" When I pointed out that yes, they are African trade beads, but made in Venice, she was even more irritated.

However the best mangled description by far that I've seen was of the "1st century Islamic" beads that were mysteriously made hundreds of years before Mohammed was born, and were actually Venetian beads anyway. The seller insisted that a "noted bead expert" had given him the description and he did not change the text, despite being around 1900 years off on the date.

Oh well, I guess a few of these make up for the times we spot someone selling "old beads" for cheap that are worth a lot more than advertised because the seller doesn't know what they are. The bead karma goes both ways, I think!




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