Stefany and Frederick weigh in on a past thread re: molded composition beads
Re: Miriam Haskell, Chinese, Japanese...chicken or egg? -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Mail author
03/12/2013, 18:32:09

"this is a typical necklace combination from the early C20th- there are usually large-holed glass, stone, wood, stained bone "coral" twigs, and caricature double-faced heads of demons or other subjects made from some kind of moulded composition that may be finished to look lacquered. Sometimes they have metal sleeves or collars at either end of the hole.
they seem to have been made for sale to tourists of the time rather than for local taste. they arent Ojime...
i have strands with very similar sequences of these beads."

"I would like to imagine that these beads were souvenirs from a world cruise on the Queen Mary or some other luxury voyage in the early 20th century. And these do seem to be "tourist" or "market" strands because they appear to be mostly commercial. Dozens of times, I have run into nearly identical necklaces on Portobello Road in London & occasionally on eBay.
The iconography on the molded beads is clearly Japanese: Treasures of the Takaramono and masks from the Noh Theatre, Okame and Oni. These images are clues to the origin of these beads but not necessarily evidence.

A reckless assumption would also be that all Japanese beads are extremely well crafted: Therefore, these could not be Japanese...In fact, I do not know whether they were made by Chinese or Japanese craftsmen. Meanwhile, a friend likes to say that such examples were probably made by Chinese under the direction of Japanese entrepreneurship. Personally, I feel there are more clues which support the theory they are Chinese."

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