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Bead misinformation, the continuing saga... Mexican "Russian" beads
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Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
03/24/2019, 09:35:16

Call me crazy, but the photos clearly indicate to me that these are the beads produced by Henry Merle in Mexico, c1980s - this per the info at the Picards' excellent ehxibit:

http://www.picardbeads.com/exhibit11/exhibit/exru87.html

But, hey, twenty bucks a bead for 55 beads at 26 inches, what a deal!

MexicanRussian.jpg (60.4 KB)  MexicanRussianA.jpg (81.0 KB)  


Modified by beadiste at Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 15:02:35

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Picards' exhibit pic of Mexican "Russians"
Re: #6308927 -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
03/24/2019, 09:36:43

MexicanRussiansMerlePicardExhibit.jpg (34.6 KB)  


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The whole exhibit warrants reading
Re: Picards' exhibit pic of Mexican "Russians" -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
03/24/2019, 12:20:44

And warrants reading again if it's been awhile. ALL of the Picard exhibits on line provide an education in beads that can't be missed.


Related link: Picard Exhibit 11

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The seller's description
Re: Bead misinformation, the continuing saga... Mexican "Russian" beads -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
03/24/2019, 10:44:16

I liked the bit about "a rather exhaustive investigation"

MexicanRussianB.jpg (105.5 KB)  


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What is it about these beads that screams "Méxican"?
Re: Bead misinformation, the continuing saga... Mexican "Russian" beads -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/24/2019, 12:20:53



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Not sure if "screams" is the right word
Re: What is it about these beads that screams "Méxican"? -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
03/24/2019, 14:21:00

...and I could be reacting to the way the photographs are presented rather than the actual beads, i.e., dead wrong.

Size, for example - closeups always seem to make beads look huge, and I remember the Mexican beads as being rather large and clunky.

The very visible draw lines are also what I remember from the Mexican beads.

The nicely rounded end visible in one photo is not something one sees in the Bohemian beads, which typically look exactly like one would expect for beads to have been broken off a cane - sharp and somewhat wavy. The photo beads appear to have been polished a bit somehow. The Picard photo shows a sample of the Mexican cane, showing how the faceting was done.

MexicanRussianC.jpg (83.1 KB)  


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A link to the online pics
Re: Not sure if "screams" is the right word -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
03/24/2019, 14:25:55

Scroll to the bottom

https://www.rubylane.com/item/1132736-126/Russian-Trade-Beads-Alaska-Fur-Trade



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Link
Re: A link to the online pics -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/24/2019, 18:00:20

Hmmmm.... I tried to add the link twice (not just the URL). But it's not taking.........



Modified by Beadman at Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 18:01:55

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I had to copy and paste - maybe because it's an https link, not http?
Re: Link -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
03/24/2019, 19:10:11

The more I look at the photos, I suspect it's just the bright backlighting and closeup positioning without any other point of reference as to size that triggered my skepticism and reminded me of the strands of Mexican beads that one of our local curio shops was trying to pass off as authentic Alaskan trade beads twenty five years ago...

Apart from this peculiarly specific attribution from out in left field, of course:

were traded, most probably with the Mt. Shasta Indians anywhere from the late 1700's to the mid 1800's.

It was a Russian fort! So these "Russian" beads must have been traded there! If I were making up fairy tales, I think I'd have gone with Fort Vancouver, as Lester actually dug up this type of bead there.

[Later: apparently "Russian" beads have been found near Ft. Ross, so I stand corrected yet again]



Modified by beadiste at Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 19:29:27

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Oh yes, they are in the Ft. Ross museum, and also at the California mission
Re: I had to copy and paste - maybe because it's an https link, not http? -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
03/24/2019, 19:59:30

in Carmel, CA. So Father Serra used them to "reward" the Native Americans that were servants there as well. This is San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, founded in 1770,so there's a date frame for the old Bohemian "Russian cut" bead production. I remember very well admiring the milky opalescent ones on display there, because I happened to be wearing my strand of the very same bead type purchased from the Picards, from the African trade.



Modified by Joyce at Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 20:00:10

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Re: Padre Serra (?!)
Re: Oh yes, they are in the Ft. Ross museum, and also at the California mission -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/25/2019, 00:35:24

1770 is much too early for "Russian" beads. I have to think some sort of error has occurred. Either the beads are from later in time, and they have been mistaken for beads of the earlier time; or the actual beads used by Padre Serra were other beads (that possibly no longer exist—and the "Russian" beads substitute for them). The story sounds a lot like the "Padre bead" story. But padre beads were plain wound blue beads that resemble Chinese furnace-wound beads (but may have been European). JDA.



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Quite a history...
Re: Re: Padre Serra (?!) -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
03/25/2019, 21:43:28

Here's the post I did after our field trip there in 2008:

http://beadcollector.net/cgi-bin/anyboard.cgi?fvp=/openforum/&cmd=get&cG=5353933343&zu=3535393031&v=2&gV=0&p=

Of course the unfortunate possibility is that these beads may have simply been inserted into the exhibit put together after a restoration in the 1960s, but the exhibit inferred strongly that these were artifacts found on-site.

That's all I've got.

1_DSC04197.jpg (93.7 KB)  


Modified by Joyce at Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 21:44:09

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Other Sample Collections
Re: A link to the online pics -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
03/24/2019, 19:57:41

The Bead Museum in Arizona (while it was still in Prescott) had a framed sample collection with all or nearly all of the Méxican "Russian" beads that were produced. (This being a fairly short-lived industry.). I suppose this is or may be now at the Mingei in San Diego. I took a photo of it. But, if I remember correctly, the photo did not turn out well. And it would be in my slide collection, somewhere. (Over 16 years, I took THOUSANDS of slides of TBM Collections. I have multiple binders full.). I wish I could say I had time to look....

Here's a short related story.

About 15 years ago I was in the Seattle area, going over a bead collection for the owner (who was not present). I began to find these WONDERFUL "Russian"-like beads—some being quite large and elegant. I initially thought they were some weird Bohemian beads with which I was unfamiliar. However, after some consideration, I came to realize that these were the Méxican beads that had circulated some years earlier.

Let's recall that the Northwest is the region where there has been the most interest in "Russian" beads. First, they were admired and worn by local tribal Indian folks. And later were avidly collected by Indian hobbyists and bead collectors. So, this is the area where I would be predisposed to expect this type of bead to be authentic, from local usage, and to not be from the African trade, nor other (away) sources. I have documented quite a few "Russian" necklaces and assemblages. In fact, I have four very good strands right now, from the Summerfield Collection (that I just showed at Tucson this past month.

JDA.



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