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Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip
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Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 10:56:55

Last week I got back from a two month journey to & from Europe, that included many (probably too many!) stops where I combined looking for bead and information about old beads, and general sightseeing and visiting friends.

Here is a map showing my route:
I went by ship from Miami to Barcelona, then onwards to Paris, Neugablonz, Prague, Jablonec, back to Prague, Leipzig, Cambridge, Grantham, London, then back to NYC via the Queen Mary 2.

I'll be posting images from the trip over the next few days. It takes some time to go through photos and prepare them for upload, as you all well know!

EuropeTripMap1.jpg (52.8 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Thu, Jun 21, 2018, 11:32:37

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Meeting Nishedha in Barcelona
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 11:02:50

I had the great pleasure of meeting Nishedha, a well-known BCN forumite and designer of beaded jewelry. I was delighted to see many of his necklaces that have been posted here, and to also try them on!

Since most have been posted before, I only took a few pictures. First is a picture of Nishedha himself at a local restaurant. Next is a stunning rhodochrosite (I hope I got that correctly) and gold necklace from his collection. I thought that Joyce especially would enjoy this one!

Nishedha18Jun2018.jpg (55.4 KB)  NishedhaPink18Jun2018.jpg (60.2 KB)  


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Old plastics in the Nishedha collection
Re: Meeting Nishedha in Barcelona -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 11:10:55

Nishedha was also kind enough to let me look through his entire bead collection. Due to my interest in old plastic beads, my eye was drawn to several items.

The first photo is of two carved pieces that I tested and found they were made of Galalith (casein), a material made from milk protein that dates from 1895.

The second shows some Bakelite (phenolic resin) beads that at first glance look amazingly like old, real amber "slices". Nishedha generously gifted some of these to me for inclusion in my phenolic collection.

NishedhaGalalith18Jun2018.jpg (39.6 KB)  NishedhaPF18Jun2018.jpg (45.8 KB)  


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Why the Chinese motifs, I wonder? Carved in China?
Re: Old plastics in the Nishedha collection -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
06/22/2018, 15:23:09



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Meeting Nishedha: I'd love to meet Nishedha! :)
Re: Meeting Nishedha in Barcelona -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
06/21/2018, 23:40:40

What a delightful person and long time forum member.
Rosanna, thank you so much for taking the time to share your trip with us, glad you had such a great trip.



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Meeting Pere Coll and Cisse Boubocar
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 11:17:44

I also had the pleasure of meeting a long-time BCN lurker, Pere Coll, who invited me to his house to see his bead collection and also meet with Cisse Boubocar, a bead trader from Mali who is known to some of you.

Pere has an amazing collection of Islamic era beads and Venetian trade beads. He also has the most incredible collection of huge old amber beads, many with repairs.

Here is a picture of me with Pere. I'm wearing one of his gorgeous amber strands. Second pic is of the amber. Pictures just do not do these beads justice - they are really amazing!

PCollRF18Jun2018.jpg (52.7 KB)  PCollAmber18Jun2018.jpg (86.4 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Thu, Jun 21, 2018, 16:38:07

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Pere Coll collection - Islamic era beads
Re: Meeting Pere Coll and Cisse Boubocar -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 11:21:39

I'm going to post a number of pictures of Islamic era beads from Pere's collection.

No comments are needed, I think!

PCollCheckerBoard18Jun2018.jpg (42.5 KB)  PCollIslamicBlues18Jun2018.jpg (45.2 KB)  


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Pere Coll collection - Islamic era beads -2
Re: Meeting Pere Coll and Cisse Boubocar -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 11:22:43

PCollIslamicEye18Jun2018.jpg (55.4 KB)  PCollIslamicPendants18Jun2018.jpg (38.2 KB)  


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Pere Coll collection - Islamic era beads -3
Re: Meeting Pere Coll and Cisse Boubocar -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 11:23:43

PCollIslamicTabs18Jun2018.jpg (54.2 KB)  PCollTranslIslamic18Jun2018.jpg (36.0 KB)  


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Pere Coll collection - Islamic era beads - Morfia!
Re: Meeting Pere Coll and Cisse Boubocar -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 11:25:08

Well I have to comment on these - incredibly beautiful collection of morfias!

PCollMorfia18Jun2018.jpg (62.6 KB)  PCollMorfia218Jun2018.jpg (66.8 KB)  


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A few new beads for my collection
Re: Meeting Pere Coll and Cisse Boubocar -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 11:28:54

I was able to do a little shopping since Cisse had brought beads to show to Pere. I added these folded beads to my collection.

RFFoldedIslamicJun2018.jpg (32.7 KB)  


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Antique Markets in Barcelona
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 21:30:45

I went to several antique and flea markets in Barcelona, just to check out the local wares. One item that was carried by a lot of old jewelry dealers was the watch chain / fob used to secure pocket watches back in the day.

I purchased this one because I liked the charm - it's amber - and the double brass chain was unusual. Most of the watch chains for sale are single and silver. I moved the large spring ring that is used to connect to the buttonhole of a man's vest, to instead connect the two clips at the back, and voila! A nice unique necklace chain & charm.

RFBrassFobJun2018.jpg (51.0 KB)  RFFobNecklaceJune2018.jpg (24.2 KB)  


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Paris and "The Fleas"
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 21:43:19

Next stop was Paris, where I met a researcher who specializes in West African artifacts, especially those from Senegal. She had published a paper about imitation amber beads found in West Africa, but unfortunately does not have any more info about when & where phenolic beads were made and introduced there.

I spent significant time at the original, grand daddy of all flea markets, Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen (literally The Market of Fleas of Saint-Ouen). There I purchased some more of the unusual zen beads I had first purchased in 2016, from the shop of Lili et Daniel. Lili and Daniel actually have two beautiful bead and jewelry stores - one devoted entirely to beads and the other, to beads plus a huge assortment of vintage and antique jewelry.

RFWhiteZenJun2018.jpg (60.7 KB)  RFYellowZenJun2018.jpg (54.4 KB)  


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Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves
Re: Paris and "The Fleas" -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 21:47:15

The second large antique & flea market, not to be missed, is the one at Porte de Vanves. It looked like it had grown tremendously since I was there in 2016, and there were lots of beads and jewelry items to sift through.

I have been looking for one of these Naga conus shell pendants, and found this nice necklace at the Vanves market, for a quite reasonable price.

RFNagaConusJun2018.jpg (55.6 KB)  


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These shell beads are made from chank shell, not conus. I suspect these are recent reproductions.
Re: Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
07/27/2018, 21:44:52



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On to Neugablonz
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/21/2018, 22:32:13

I arrived by train in Kaufbeuren, the small town adjacent to Neugablonz, and managed to walk the few minutes to my hotel right before a huge rainstorm started. If you are unfamiliar with the history of Neugablonz as one of the important German "bead towns", please read Floor Kasper's excellent book, "Beads from Germany". There is a link on the Classified page.

My goal in Neugablonz was to look for information about the German production of phenolic beads. Unfortunately I didn't find anything about phenolic beads but I did learn a bit about the production of other kinds of plastic beads both before and after WWII. Plastic beads made from acrylic are still in production by one company, Bartel, but they are under severe pressure from Chinese companies, who copy the Bartel designs as soon as they come out, and mass produce them very quickly.

I bought one new necklace of German plastic beads at the museum in Neugablonz so I could have an example in my collection.

RFGermanPlasticJun2018.jpg (42.6 KB)  


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Prague, Mother of Cities
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 10:00:50

My next stop was Prague, a city loaded with history, as well as a few antique stores & markets. Czech Republic does not use the euro, and they have some really nice-looking coins, such as the brass and copper 50 Koruna coin (about $1.80). The Latin motto says, "Prague, the Mother of Cities. Prague was founded in the 9th century.

There were a lot of offerings of antique jewelry studded with Bohemian garnets, a very popular stone, especially in the 19th century. I bought this cross without being sure it was an antique, but what the heck, I liked it!

After a few days in Prague, I picked Floor up at the airport, rented a car, and we were off to our next stop - the Bohemian bead town of Jablonec (previously Gablonz). The history of this town is covered in Floor's book, Beads from Jablonec.

RFCzeck50Jun2108.jpg (30.5 KB)  RFGarnetCrossPragueJun2018.jpg (35.6 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Fri, Jun 22, 2018, 10:02:49

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Jablonec - Bohemian glass and bead town
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 10:46:12

In Jablonec, Floor had made arrangements for the two of us to photograph bead sample cards in the archives of the Museum of Glass and Jewelry. We spent two intensive sessions there and the information gleaned will be reported on once we have time to digest it. The records are in Czech and require tedious translation.

Floor also rented a nice apartment that she has stayed in previously. I think she already reported that in the interwar period, the occupants of the house worked in the bead industry, stringing beads. They worked outside in the garden, which is strewn with rejects. Floor has already picked over this garden, but I had to have my go at it, with the result that I found a baggie-load of old pressed glass beads.

RFGardenSearchJun2018.jpg (69.6 KB)  RFGardenBeadsJabJun2018.jpg (60.4 KB)  


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At the Museum
Re: Jablonec - Bohemian glass and bead town -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 10:52:58

We toured the Museum of Glass and Jewelry as well (the archives are in a separate building). The building is an interesting mix of modern and Victorian architectures.

Nearly all of the exhibits are about glass - technology, glassware of various types, beads, jewelry - so there was not much to learn about old plastics. However, the bead necklace hung in the entrance is composed pf wood and plastic beads (to save weight). It has been entered into the Guinness book of records as the longest necklace - 220 meters. The picture is a selfie of the two of us in front of part of the necklace.

RFJablonecMuseumJun2018.jpg (46.7 KB)  RFFloorRFJun2018.jpg (56.9 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Fri, Jun 22, 2018, 10:53:45

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Close-out & vintage bead store
Re: Jablonec - Bohemian glass and bead town -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 10:58:24

We visited all the bead stores that Floor has previously found in the Jablonec area, including one that is stacked to the rafters with bags, bins and drawers of Czech products - again, almost all glass. It's called Koralky-Smrzovka.

The place is incredibly filthy but appears to do a good business. Prices are incredibly cheap, which partially makes up for the problem of searching through mountains of dirty bins & bags.

Here's a picture of Floor looking through some of the stock, and another view of the inside of just part of the store.

RFJabStoreJun2018.jpg (67.1 KB)  RFFloorBeadShopJun2018.jpg (57.1 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Fri, Jun 22, 2018, 11:04:03

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Some finds
Re: Jablonec - Bohemian glass and bead town -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 11:09:32

I bought a bunch of assorted polystyrene beads that really are of limited interest to anyone but myself - however I thought you'd enjoy seeing these pretty nice plastic copies of Russian Blue trade beads.

I also grabbed these bracelets made from cute glass ladybugs.

To give you an idea of the low cost of things at this store - my bag of plastic beads, a small baggie of metal clasps, and the three ladybug bracelets, together cost me $6.51.

RFPlasticRBJun2018.jpg (36.1 KB)  RFLadyBugsJun2018.jpg (57.3 KB)  


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Parting shots
Re: Jablonec - Bohemian glass and bead town -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 11:20:52

We also visited a more conventional (and clean!) bead store called Glassunicum. The motto under the store name, "vše ze skla í o skle" means "everything from glass to glass" or something close to that.

Nothing of interest there for me, except for a glass nail file. Wish I had bought a pile of them for gifts since they were really inexpensive. Here's Floor mugging for the camera outside the shop. Floor loaded up on various items related to glass lampworking.

As a final picture about my visit to Jablonec - once I was home I sorted out enough "garden beads" to make a coral-colored necklace. It will be a favorite memento of Jablonec! Note - half of the beads I picked up were rejects, having only partial holes or no holes. If anyone is interested in having these, I'm happy to send them off to you if you pay for shipping. Please contact me by email or through BCN if you don't have my email.

RFFloorGlassunicumJun2018.jpg (52.2 KB)  RFGlassCoralJun2018.jpg (40.4 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Fri, Jun 22, 2018, 22:07:31

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Onwards to Leipzig
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 11:52:18

Why Leipzig? I found that the largest antique and flea market in Europe takes place at the end of every month in Leipzig. Also, since many people have told me that phenolic beads found in Africa were made in Germany, I thought I'd search around here for both beads and information. Found no useful information, but enjoyed looking through the historical sites and the shops & markets.

The antique market truly is vast, and comprised of outdoor and indoor (two giant halls) vendors. I found nothing related directly to phenolic beads for Africa, but did find a number of phenolic beads and other items (like a nice letter opener) made of phenolic resin. Here are some finds.

One is a phenolic bead necklace with some unusual shapes. The other is a phenolic link bracelet in superb condition

RFPFFocalJun2018.jpg (45.0 KB)  RFPFBraceletJun2018.jpg (35.6 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Fri, Jun 22, 2018, 11:53:59

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A couple more finds
Re: Onwards to Leipzig -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 12:00:10

I found these phenolic resin souvenirs bracelets (needing restringing) that were decorated with small emblems of German towns. Also a vintage (?) Japanese glass bead necklace. Both of these items were inexpensive, but most other purchases I made at this antique market were expensive. A few vendors with old Islamic prayer strands made of phenolic resin wanted what I thought were sky-high prices.

If you have the opportunity, I'd recommend spending a weekend at this market. Although fair warning, a lot of the jewelry is amber, coral and Bohemian garnet-based. But there is plenty to look at, including relics of the Soviet era. I had a very entertaining weekend there!

RFPFSouvenirsJun2018.jpg (41.5 KB)  RFJapaneseGlassJun2018.jpg (49.2 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Fri, Jun 22, 2018, 12:00:59

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Last stop - the UK!
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 12:12:57

From Leipzig I traveled by train to Brussels, where I caught the Eurostar train to London, then onwards to Cambridge by local train. I had an appointment at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to look through beads in the Beck Collection. I concentrated on beads collected in Africa, looking once again for phenolic resin beads. The only items of interest were two mock coral beads that were either Celluloid or Galalith. I cannot post any pictures I took of the Beck beads due to the (highly unfortunate) restrictions mandated by the Museum. I'll be talking to them about their policy, which really prevents any dissemination of the information about their holdings.

I also spent a day in Grantham, at the archive of the Plastics Historical Society. I have a pile of information to digest from that visit as well, but nothing specific to my search for the origin of the imitation amber beads for the African trade, unfortunately.

Finally I landed at Stefany Tomalin's flat, and she organized several days of bead-saturated fun. First I visited her new studio, where she has organized quite a nice pile of items for sale. I bought two Czech Egyptian revival pieces - one is shown here. She also has an amazing stash of all kinds of beads to look through.

We also roamed the Camden Passage antique stores and outdoor tables. I found this Czech lamp work necklace at one jewelry shop.

RFEgyptianJun2018.jpg (71.9 KB)  RFCzechLampJun2018.jpg (32.1 KB)  


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More finds from Camden Passage
Re: Last stop - the UK! -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 12:16:25

Several more items that went home with me - a necklace with unusually-shaped phenolic beads, and a really long (44") graduated mixed mille Venetian bead flapper-era necklace.

RFPFSquaresJun2018.jpg (51.3 KB)  RFMixedMilleJun2018.jpg (84.3 KB)  


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Final comments
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
06/22/2018, 12:24:58

Obviously I could not show everything that I saw or bought on this trip but I hope you enjoyed the highlights.

I enjoyed meeting with my old bead friends and was happy to meet a few new people that I would have never known about, but for this forum! And I hope in the future to meet even more of my European BCN bead colleagues!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to my lovely journey through Europe!

Final shot - on a boat tour of the Seine in Paris. It was hard not to be smiling like this for the entire trip!

RFonSeineJun2018.jpg (45.4 KB)  


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Thanks for the fun tour!
Re: Final comments -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Karlis Post Reply
06/22/2018, 21:21:51



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Thank you, Rosanna!
Re: Final comments -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
07/27/2018, 22:10:08

It's been so fun to feel included in your travels through your posts and emails. We certainly do appreciate the time it takes to edit images and do these posts.



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Thank you Rosanna for this great report!
Re: Fun with beads in Europe - my 2018 trip -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: karavanserai Post Reply
06/22/2018, 16:31:39

It looks like you had a fun time and it is just a pity that the old phenolic resin bead industry has kept its secrets this time. Thanks for showing some of your finds, they are really cool and fun. I hope we'll meet on your next European trip.

martine

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thank you for taking the time to share your exciting trip!
Re: Thank you Rosanna for this great report! -- karavanserai Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: judy Post Reply
06/23/2018, 09:37:55



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