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Mystery Bead Ancient or Venetian?
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Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
11/29/2019, 14:04:39

I am Baffled by this Bead and think it is one of the Mali "Dug Beads". It is semi-devitrified, has red dirt or "rust" inside, and was with some of my "older" beads. But perhaps it is just an older Venetian that had been buried and not more Ancient?
It is still pretty, but hard to say exactly what the original colors were beyond white and greens or blue-greens?
This may end up on my eBay, not sure..
I am posting some Pics and also an Imgur Album- scroll down to see through album..
Thanks for any help, Anne
EDIT: Size is measuring ~15mm hole to hole X 12mm wide

Imgur Album: https://imgur.com/a/b5Dg9iz


a href="https://imgur.com/Bh7Du20">





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

Modified by AnneLFG at Sat, Nov 30, 2019, 01:35:59

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My vote is for Venetian
Re: Mystery Bead Ancient or Venetian? -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
11/29/2019, 18:49:49

Similar to the green ones from the Sick Catalog, card dated 1910-1913.

SickCatalogBeads.jpg (21.1 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Fri, Nov 29, 2019, 18:50:57

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Re: My vote is for Venetian
Re: My vote is for Venetian -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
11/30/2019, 01:38:43

Just realized I overlooked actual size.
How does ~15mm hole to hole X 12mm wide fit with the Venetians you pictured?

I certainly see what you mean,

Thanks! 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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Very interesting question!
Re: Re: My vote is for Venetian -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
11/30/2019, 10:30:12

A quick look through my Venetian beads found that most of the 12 mm diameter, cylindrical fancy beads are longer than yours, more like 18-22 mm. The few 12 x 15 mm beads I found were not exact cylinders - they were gently shaped at the ends into "barrel" shape.

The more typical size is 10 mm diameter for shorter, 15 mm long fancy cylindrical beads.

Note: by "fancy" I mean beads that are not decorated with millefiori slices.

Never thought about this before so an interesting question!

Some have speculated that there were 100s of thousands of different Venetian bead designs made, so it's impossible to know all of them. I'm sure a large percentage of the designs will never be found on a sample card.



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Re: Mystery Bead
Re: Mystery Bead Ancient or Venetian? -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
11/30/2019, 04:03:16

Hello Anne,

Your bead has been made from a preformed ribbon element, that has been spirally wrapped (from the center, out. So it is something like a variation on a rolled-pad bead. I have documented these occasionally. Not in these colors, however. In addition, it has been combed. (Not "feathered.")

This sort of beadmaking derives from ancient Middle Eastern traditions. It is such a departure from Venetian beadmaking, I have to be very surprised that anyone would suggest this.

Also, the devitrification of the glass suggests it is quite old.

I do not recall seeing a similar bead from the Niger River occupation site digs. But it might be that. There are certainly rolled-pad beads and combed beads among the Mali beads.

[Ten minutes later]. I just looked through Panini's great book on ancient (and Venetian) beads from Mali/West Africa (2007)—to see if there are any similar beads. There are not. I even went through the Venetian/European pages. Same result.

Conclusion: I think you have an ancient bead here, of spiral manufacture, with a combed equatorial band. It's not a Venetian bead, nor a modern European bead. It might be an odd bead recovered in Mali—but it is also a departure from those beads. Jamey



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Re: Re: Mystery Bead/Yes Combed d'oh! LOL
Re: Re: Mystery Bead -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
11/30/2019, 04:30:24

I have Brain Fog for multiple reasons and could not for the life of me find the word "Combed" though I did ponder over correctly applying the word "feathered". I'll try to look up the finer nuances of Feathering VS Combing when the ThanksGiving Effect has worn off..

Hey, thanks for the info, as always. I was hesitating to really call this a "dug" Mali bead, but had unfortunately lumped it into a bag of "Old Beads", so then had no clear idea what it was or where it came from...though it Did come from the African Trade, probably mixed on a strand, and I found it interesting enough to set aside, at least (20 years ago).

I appreciate you digging through your resources as I know they far outweigh anything I could find easily..or that I might be able to fully grasp at my entry level understanding of Old Old beads. Hey I'm rather excited!

Thanks, 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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Re: Re: Mystery Bead/for anyone else "Combed" Definition
Re: Re: Mystery Bead -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
11/30/2019, 05:08:38

Found "The Bead Dictionary" by Peter Francis Jr. (The World of Beads Monograph Series 9)

https://beadresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/Repeating_Material/CBR/The_Bead_Dictionary.pdf

Page 10 "Combed" Decoration...and much more info to review and learn about...

Page 17 "Feather" Decoration...

Peter Francis Jr. Still a Wealth of cherished info and Research...

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

Modified by AnneLFG at Sat, Nov 30, 2019, 05:21:37

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That Book..., and the "feather pattern."
Re: Re: Re: Mystery Bead/for anyone else "Combed" Definition -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
11/30/2019, 06:23:01

In 1979 when Peter released The Bead Dictionary, I sent him over thirty pages of suggested corrections. These were hand-written pages, because I didn't own a typewriter yet. But it was a lot of entries. We wrote back and forth about his books for some months.

Regarding "feather"—I've said all this before. We already have THREE names for this technique: combing, raking, and dragging. And there are, essentially, four variations of the patterns created: zigzags (or waves), arcades, swags, and the feather pattern. (Arcades and swags are the same thing, except being the revese of each another. Arcades are combed down; and swags are combed up.) The feather pattern results from multiple trailed lines (one or more colors contrasting to the base), that have been alternately combed up and down. AND, the glass is at the correct temperature to make the combed lines become somewhat curvilinear zigzags. The result looks something like an ostrich feather.

None of the three names above is really apt. The implement is a long thin pointed tool—like a needle—or anything that's pointy metal that's handy. It is not a comb nor a rake. And the tool can be dragged or pushed. And some writers refer to the technique as "hooking" (because a hook can be used for deep combing). It's also called "drawing." But this is confusing because "drawn beads" are another category entirely.

Unfortunately, among American glass-beadmakers (over the previous 20-something years), ANY combed pattern has been referred to as a "feather pattern." (Seldom accurate at all.). And, subsequently they began referring to the technique as "feathering"—and to the resulting beads as "feather beads." The action of using a simple tool to redirect some glass into a different orientation has nothing to do with feathers (!).

Next, "a feather bead" is a bead that is: made using feathers; is shaped like a feather; or depicts a feather. The beads we are talking about have "FEATHER PATTERNS" as a conventional interpretation of their appearance.

Now, don't get me started on "stringers"—that have nothing to do with string, and are not used like string. I AM A STRINGER. I string beads. But this is another routinely popular "term" that has evolved by beadmakers who don't think in practical terms. They, like the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, say "the words mean what I say they mean when I say them." OY!



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Re: That Book..., and the "feather pattern."
Re: That Book..., and the "feather pattern." -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
11/30/2019, 08:22:08

Yes that does make it clear. Even though PFJr's definitions are dated and brief I could visualize the difference, with the feather pattern as alternating patterns (one direction then the opposite) -close to each other...
To further realize the types of tools such as a needle-like pointed tool manipulated through the correct temperature surface glass helps also. One day maybe I'll actually take an intro Class on bead making.

Many explanations have been repeated ad nauseam, no doubt, by you and others, but in defense of anyone trying to use the Search Function on this site before asking again- it is not always as easy as it could be. I have better luck Googling BeadCollector and the Subject.

I think one of the hardest challenges is attempting to "unlearn" all of the pervasive misinformation that is out there about Beads- the correct age, the correct origin, the correct type of bead, etc. I know I may scream if I hear another person try to tell me that Lewis and Clark Beads are 300 or 400 years old, and that they were Traded by Lewis and Clark with the "Indians" on the West Coast. For starters..

I am trying to incorporate the information I learn in this Forum when discussing beads, and pass it along. It is a work in progress, but the willingness of everyone to share knowledge in here, as well as show their interesting beads, is a genuine asset.
To paraphrase PFJr- It's not (just) about the Beads, it's about the People.
It's not a stretch to say that a good bead could fascinate me for a lifetime- from the hands that made it to all the necks that have preceded me.

thanks again, 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

Modified by AnneLFG at Sat, Nov 30, 2019, 08:23:51

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You are welcome—and I agree.
Re: Re: That Book..., and the "feather pattern." -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
11/30/2019, 22:46:35



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Quick look at Venetians...
Re: Re: Mystery Bead -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
11/30/2019, 08:53:15

Thanks, Jamey -

Here's why I thought it looked Venetian - some Venetian beads appear to have similar construction but not as precise as the subject bead, at least in my first look through the beads in my collection. But since Venetian beads vary a lot within a design group, I thought it was possible this was a degraded Venetian. Plus the combed designs are very common in Venetian beads.

As has been noted by many researchers, the Venetians copied earlier designs, sometimes with amazing accuracy.

RFVenetianSwirl1.jpg (48.1 KB)  RFVenetianSwirl2.jpg (32.3 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Sat, Nov 30, 2019, 08:53:52

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Re: Quick look at Venetians...I can see why! Thanks!
Re: Quick look at Venetians... -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
11/30/2019, 10:06:56

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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I see your point!
Re: Quick look at Venetians... -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
11/30/2019, 22:51:27

However, you write:

"As has been noted by many researchers, the Venetians copied earlier designs, sometimes with amazing accuracy."

I have written about this topic— for instance, in my paper for the Istanbul Conference in 2007.
Who else has written about Venetians copying beads "with amazing accuracy"?

JDA.



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I'm not quoting a specific author
Re: I see your point! -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
12/01/2019, 12:00:14

The "sometimes with amazing accuracy" reflects my own enthusiastic interpretation of what I've seen when looking at Venetian vs. earlier beads in person or in print. In fact I may be the first person to use this phrase! ;-)

As far as other authors pointing this out - I'm sure you are familiar with the many mentions of the copying, similarities, etc. of ancient vs. Venetian beads. A quick run through my library found that back in the 70s this is mentioned in the cover story of The Bead Journal, Fall 1974.

My favorite romp through "Islamic Era" glass beads where many striking examples are shown, is Panini's "Middle Eastern and Venetian Glass Beads" (2007). Page 164 has a nice illustration of a Middle Eastern vs. Venetian millefiori tabular bead. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject despite the fact that it's expensive - currently the cheapest used copy is $192 from an AbeBooks UK seller.

In fact I would ask in return - are there any current disputes about a strong relationship between Venetian bead designs and earlier Middle Eastern beads?



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Re: Panini—and My Ideas
Re: I'm not quoting a specific author -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
12/03/2019, 23:05:06

Rosanna,

Your phrasing sounded as though you were suggesting that.

I happen to be the first person to suggest that typical (19th C/20th C) Venetian millefiori beads were inspired by certain (mostly smaller cylindrical) Islamic Period millefiori beads. And, the specimens shown by Panini on p. 164 are a very good example of that. Nevertheless, though the multiple-eye pattern is not uncommon (sometimes called "watermelon"), the vast majority of Venetian millefiori beads are not imitations of ancient patterns—because they are rendered via the molding technique. But finding apt comparisons is an intriguing pursuit. In my Istanbul paper I show a few specimens that are cogent.

I likewise recommend and refer to Panini's book—and I'm glad he was kind enough to send me a copy. As I have mentioned a few times, Panini referred to my work to present the context of the beads he discusses in his book. It is a shame that our language barrier prevented us from collaborating on a book that would further explore the history of millefiori work.

What sort of "dispute" do you anticipate? I think, having made a compelling comparison, I have demonstrated that this happened. I am not aware that my ideas have been challenged by anyone.

JDA.



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From 2009
Re: Re: Panini—and My Ideas -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
12/04/2019, 09:12:44

This is a dialogue from 2009, in which I show the Islamic Period millefiori beads, recovered in Mali, that I think inspired Venetian cylindrical millefiori beads, that likewise went to West Africa from the mid-to-late 1800s, and since then.

The photograph I show was taken in the mid-90s from a private collection. In 2005, while I was in Holland visiting the Allard Pierson Museum, I was taken to their holdings room to see beads that were not on-display—and I was shown a group of murrine (millefiori pieces) that they had acquired with very little information, apart from that they were said to be Egyptian. I told Dr. Jurriens-Helle that I recognized these components as Islamic Period millefiori, and that I was familiar with the beads made from them, and recovered in West Africa. Subsequently I sent her my photo. In reply, she said she could see that the patterns were cogent.

I posted both the elements and beads here, at some point. But I have not found that dialogue yet. But I have the photos in my Archive.

Looking through Panini (2007), I see he shows only three of these beads on PP. 58-59, Numbers 84, 85 and 88. It is surprising that there were not more.

JDA.


Related link: http://beadcollector.net/cgi-bin/anyboard.cgi?fvp=/openforum/&cmd=iYz&aK=73719&iZz=73719&gV=0&kQz=&aO=1&iWz=0

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Photo Here
Re: From 2009 -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
12/04/2019, 10:40:05

This is the photo I showed to Dr. Jurriens-Helle in 2005.

ap_mali_egyptian_millefiori.jpg (100.8 KB)  


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Cultural diffusion vs. parallel evolution
Re: Re: Panini—and My Ideas -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
12/04/2019, 17:57:01

What I was wondering about - has anyone made an argument for the parallel evolution of bead designs vs. cultural diffusion? These are the two options normally discussed by anthropologists when the same design, technology, etc. is found in two different places.

Some design elements appear to be "universal" and found in many cultures worldwide. It seems that there are simple elements, like a circle with a dot in the center, that could reasonably arise in different places without any contact between the cultures. I've often wondered if this could be the same for more complex designs. In my own experience - I used to create pages of elaborate doodles of curved shapes when I was a teenager. Occasionally I have been surprised to find abstract art that contains the exact same figures. I'm fairly certain the artist did not have access to my doodles, nor I to theirs. My conclusion is that there are a finite number of curved shapes for an artist to explore and some will spontaneously appear in different works. For beads, I wonder if the dragged trails could fall into this category - sort of an obvious thing to do when playing with stripes on a glass bead.

The other option is cultural diffusion, or the adoption of something created by one culture by another. It's a compelling hypothesis that would be strengthened by historical evidence of contact between the Venetian glass bead artists and Middle Eastern artists and/or their beads. Although if we do a thought experiment - how long would it take for a glass bead maker to create designs with dots, lines, spirals, etc. on their own, having never before seen a bead from another culture? My guess is not long. In contrast, for a design as complex as the watermelon seed millefiori, the cultural diffusion theory seems pretty strong.



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Hmmm...
Re: Cultural diffusion vs. parallel evolution -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
12/06/2019, 17:56:44

These ideas are usually expressed, in Anthropology, as "Transfer of Technology versus Independent Invention."

The development of glassmaking and glassworking are prime examples of the controversies surrounding such ideas—informing anyone interested in the topic that there are two camps, and two groups of people on each side.

One groups says, "glass was independently devised in more than one place, but then disseminated elsewhere in antiquity."

The other group says "glass was invented one time, had one source, and was disseminated from that time and place in antiquity."

I can tell you who published the second idea. This was Samuel Kurinsky—with whom I carried on considerable correspondence in the 1990s. I reviewed his book for Ornament. And I met him when he lectured for the Bead Society in Los Angeles. He is now deceased.

I suppose there are various authorities in the opposite camp. But, as far as I know, no one has composed a tome that purports to elucidate a comprehensive theory of multiple inventions/developments and disseminations.

Nevertheless, the people who are in one camp or the other think the opposite camp is mistaken.

I have discussed these ideas a number of times in the past. At the Beads-L online Group (that was hacked and disappeared); and at the previous iteration of BeadCollector Forum. Both of which were before your time of bead-collecting and interest.

Jamey



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Kurinsky
Re: Hmmm... -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
12/06/2019, 22:17:20

Here's a quote from Sam Kurinsky, and a link to the page where I found it.

I hasten to add two points:

1) I have realized for a long time that Jews were probably involved in glassmaking. This idea does not surprise me.

2) However, it is difficult for me to accept the notion that they were the only people practicing this art until Medieval times. Nor that any and all glass industries can be demonstrated to have derived from Jewish traditions.

So, while I was interested in Sam's ideas, I do not just accept them. And in my correspondence with him, when I named instances that were counter to his ideas, he usually side-stepped any discussion of these ideas. He even frankly said he didn't "believe" what I was telling him—even though it was based on reasonable archaeology.

JDA.

kurinsky_quote.jpg (32.9 KB)  


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Link
Re: Kurinsky -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
12/06/2019, 22:19:15

For some reason the link did not attach to the previous:

https://www.baslibrary.org/archaeology-odyssey/4/5/2



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No Content Here.
Re: I'm not quoting a specific author -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
12/03/2019, 23:05:46

Site glitch—resulting in a double post.

JDA.



Modified by Beadman at Tue, Dec 03, 2019, 23:07:25

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Re: I see your point!
Re: I see your point! -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: odan Post Reply
12/03/2019, 10:59:21

Dannoh say's DITTO....on what Beadman has said. Islamic...combed.
Very cool bead.

see ya at the forum :)



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Re: Re: I see your point!/Anyone Have Similar Examples?
Re: Re: I see your point! -- odan Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
12/03/2019, 15:00:58

Thank you so much for your input. I would love to see any similar examples anyone might have. I am really out of my realm of knowledge with the Old more Ancient Beads. But a willing Student!

Thanks, 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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Question for you about the hole
Re: Mystery Bead Ancient or Venetian? -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
11/30/2019, 11:00:09

Is it tapered or the same size on both ends?



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Re: Question for you about the hole/2mm each side very equal
Re: Question for you about the hole -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
11/30/2019, 17:38:16

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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Re: Question for you about the hole/2mm each side very equal
Re: Question for you about the hole -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
11/30/2019, 17:38:19

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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That is typical of Venetian beads
Re: Re: Question for you about the hole/2mm each side very equal -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
11/30/2019, 19:49:25

In fact the vast majority of Venetian trade beads I've collected and handled have nominal 2 mm holes, with a range of maybe 1.8 - 2.2 mm. I can string a large percentage of Venetian beads on 2 mm cord, and most of the rest on 1.5 - 1.8 mm cord. With exceptions of course.

I don't have a huge amount of experience with ancient glass beads from the Islamic era, but the ones I have seen and collected have larger holes, 3-4 mm and sometimes much larger, even on small diameter beads. And most of the time the holes are noticeably tapered. I presume the tapering was required to get the beads off the mandrels.

Maybe some others can chime in on the hole size / shape details on ancients.



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Re: That is typical of Venetian beads
Re: That is typical of Venetian beads -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
11/30/2019, 20:24:29

I have seen Venetian Millefiori beads that were in such horrible shape that I would have sworn they were something ancient had I been been able to see the core and recognize the murrine they used. I was searching the internet last night and did find a few Egyptian beads that were of a similar look and shape, but more info on their size and other detail needs to be found.

As you mentioned, things like the way the hole is shaped can be very helpful and diagnostic. The Egyptian beads I saw did Not show the bead hole, so I am now prowling the Corning Glass Museum Ancient Bead Collection.

Here is a link to what looked similar as far as Ancient Egypt and Ptolemaic (so far) and photo link. Jamey mentioned Ribbon Glass Construction and Egypt as a possible production source when he was commenting on another bead I was trying to ID, and if I'm not mistaken, said this bead looks like a "combed design" ribbon-type construction bead- assuming furnace mandrel wound.

Thanks your efforts are appreciated so much! Hopefully we can put our minds and the internet to good use and try to solve this to some extent, though it is always difficult, I realize, without the bead in hand.

Anne

https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/ancient-art-antiquities/twenty-mainly-egyptian-core-formed-and-ptolemaic-period-roman-5548688-details.aspx?pos=2&intObjectID=5548688&sid=&page=8&lid=1

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

Modified by AnneLFG at Sun, Dec 01, 2019, 00:17:59

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