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How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads?
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Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
02/16/2016, 08:41:36

I just thought it would be interesting for some of us to know a little more about each other.
Originally this post was titled: "Are you now or have you ever been: a bead dealer?"
But, I felt this may be off putting to some. So I changed it a little…
So, please tell us a little about your history with beads.

Just Fred



Modified by Frederick II at Thu, Feb 18, 2016, 12:00:58

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Are you now or have you ever been: a bead dealer?
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
02/16/2016, 08:43:51

I have been buying and selling beads in antique and bead shows, since 1975.



Modified by Frederick II at Thu, Feb 18, 2016, 11:59:46

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When I lost my "pay my bills" job
Re: Are you now or have you ever been: a bead dealer? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: rubyzane Post Reply
02/16/2016, 08:52:11

I decided to start selling at the flea markets in NYC. I sold at some of the smaller little markets, the big fleas which are unfortunately no longer in New York, and the Brooklyn flea when it just started up. Also did a weekly market at FIT, where my beads & jewelry always did well. Loved it but it was HARD HARD work! Long hours, dirty work, snow/sleet/heat..we were out there from 4 am till 9 pm, but it gave me a chance to share my passion with so many others, even when they couldn't afford to buy. Now I'm back to the daily grind and can't handle doing the selling as well, although I wish I could sometimes. Who knows? :) :) Lynne



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Re: Are you now or have you ever been: a bead dealer?
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lopacki Post Reply
02/17/2016, 09:49:45

Suzi and I have been collecting since 1977. Over this time period until recently we mostly bought but did do a bit of selling or trading. Selling has become more and more a part of our lives in the past four years.
Our main interest now is ancient stone beads which we feature at the Tucson show, we have quite a few older glass beads but have seen a slow down in interest to them. Not many young collectors now as they seem to be distracted with things technical.

All my best .... Danny



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Since my first visit to the Picard Trade Bead Museum, summer 2009
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
02/17/2016, 20:44:37

I was making my own beaded jewelry since the late 1990's, and bought a nice strand of Yemeni coral from Joyce around then, but did not start bead collecting in earnest until I helped organize a bus trip to the Picard's Trade Bead Museum in 2009. I bought all my first Venetian trade beads there, and have hardly stopped collecting them since. Besides Venetian beads, I'm very interested in the phenolic beads that were made for the African trade as amber imitations. Also other plastic beads that have been made to imitate both amber and Bakelite.

I started selling "spares" in 2011.



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Re: How long collecting, buying and selling beads?
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Stefany Post Reply
02/18/2016, 00:04:35

at a very young age i inherited a bunch of loose Venetians that my grandmother had hoarded, probably from her honeymoon in Venice around 1900!!
as a child i loved museums and archaeology.
i began to discover antique beads as an art student in the early 1960s when they were very easy to find and inexpensive; then i found i could earn a bit of a living with my own research and skills even being a mum with 2 small children, and after some years doing stalls in markets and fairs, in 1982 opened a bead shop in Portobello Road, London's top antique market area.
one day my collection might be exhibited or donated to a museum- i'm currently trying to catalogue everything before my memory goes threadbare...!



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Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads?
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadweyr Post Reply
02/18/2016, 05:04:06

I started working in a bead store in Greenwich Village NYC called Glory Beads in 1987 and immediately fell in love with beads and jewelry making. They closed shop in 1989 and I opened my own store on Christopher St in Greenwich Village in 1990. By 2003 I could not afford to keep the store open any more so I closed it and started working in the computer field. I kept all my inventory and started selling on ebay for fun and pocket money to buy more beads:)



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Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads?
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: ethels beads Post Reply
02/18/2016, 16:23:45

Greetings from Australia ! My first post here, although I have been a 'lurker' for a long time.

I have been collecting these little marvels since about 3 yrs of age. One of my earliest memories is of playing with my great Aunt Bertha's tin of buttons and beads ( a treasure trove, wish I had it now ). My eye was so taken with the colours and textures, little fingers rolled around each treasure .... I wanted them !!! It was not to be. My story occured in the late 1950s and such tins of odds and ends were guarded. That moment when one might need a replacement button or a few odd beads to extend a necklace, might be just around the corner. " You can play with but can't have " I tried to clutch at the tin as my Mother got organised for us to depart, but it was gently extracted from me by Aunt Bertha ( a bastion of the 'make do and mend era')with a promise of " you can play with it again next time you come "

So...... many years on my eyes are still delighted by the sight of twinkling faceted, rose decorated, cane deco delights ( millefiori )and foiled fancies !

I could go on but many of you may be yawning by now !!!



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Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads?
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: paigar Post Reply
02/19/2016, 11:51:36

I went to a wholesale gem and bead show with friends in Orlando back in 1990 and bought my first Venetian wedding cake beads that the seller told me were authentic vintage Venetian. I learned later that they were from India. I design beaded jewelry as a hobby so I only bought beads for resale. Then one day I started collecting for myself and began researching and now I am totally addicted to beads! I mostly collect Venetian trades and Venetian jewelry as well as gemstones. Yikes! But it is such fun and the BCN has opened up more avenues of knowledge and sources of beads so to me this hobby never gets old.



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1974 Stardoc
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: mosquitobay Post Reply
02/20/2016, 09:11:39

Jan & Janne Skipper first met in February 1974. We bought a couple strings of Millefiore beads and strung one bead each on a leather thong and sold them for $1.50 each as "Hippie beads" at the flea market in Bradenton Florida near the old Suburban Drive-in Theatre. We called our little company "Stardoc", after the old Fritz Lieber stories of Fahfard & the Grey Mouser.

In 1975 we got married and each wore outfits made by Janne (I had a cape) and beaded necklaces made by me. Her's was hand-drilled Persian turquoise and mine was bear's teeth and southwestern turquoise. The bridesmaids rode up on horse back dropping flowers as they rode up to guitar music.

We have been happily married ever since.
Buying, selling and collecting beads and artifacts ever since.The various incarnations of our name went from Stardoc, to Wizardworks, to Stone Circle Studios to Mosquitobay.

(Picture attached is from 1999)

Happy collecting to all...Jan

400-sagebrush.jpg (87.8 KB)  


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Re: 1974 Stardoc
Re: 1974 Stardoc -- mosquitobay Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: ShuD Post Reply
02/20/2016, 17:21:38

This story and the characters within belong in the World (campfire) Bead Hall of Fame. Who else belongs?



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Cool picture. Wonderful story!
Re: 1974 Stardoc -- mosquitobay Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
02/20/2016, 22:44:35



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Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads?
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
02/21/2016, 00:16:12

Who belongs at the campfire here is hard to fathom from out here beyond the circle. It is clear that there are many exceedingly distinguished and learned people involved with this site. I might be an interloper. I hope you guys will bear with me. Fred made me do this.
My grandmother gave me a baggie of stuff in the late 70's that included two wedding cake bead necklaces and a few hanks of French cut seed beads - which I put together and still have (see picture taken this afternoon). I've made things from beads forever. School in Providence put me close to Olneyville. (wish I knew then what I know now… such a huge stock of interesting pre-war European and Japanese beads!)
Worked at a shop in the 80's in Chelsea NYC called Somethin' Else and made necklaces to sell there. Married, moved to London. - (5 years focused on painting), then Kuala Lumpur - 4 years.
In order to escape the horrors of ex-pat wifedom I painted at night when it was cooler, and did trunk shows for the captive audience of other expat wives - and travelled - collecting what was right in front of me. Got interested in textiles and local beads everywhere.
Moved to Seattle 20 years ago and mostly put everything away while trying to put an art career together. Now still painting, illustrating and occasional adjunct teaching, I started looking around to see what I could do to relieve financial pressure without getting a DAY JOB.
About 6 months ago I started to open my boxes to see what all was in there.
I've now opened three Etsy sites. One for my beaded necklaces, one for antique/vintage things including a couple of sections of beads, and one just starting up this weekend, for textiles.
The first thing I sold on my necklace site involved some cherry amber bakelite beads and was no doubt cut apart within minutes of delivery to the fellow in Brooklyn who bought it. Lesson number one…
My necklaces are mine, but the vintage shop is an amalgam of my things and those of well travelled friends to whom I've offered the service of helping them sort out and down size.
I am no expert and the things coming my way are exceedingly varied. I'm reading a lot and spending a lot of time with a loupe.
That's it - except that I'm really loving this, and I VERY much appreciate what I've been privileged to read on this site. Thank you!

jj_copy.jpg (198.7 KB)  


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Lovely necklaces. What are the little silver beads?
Re: Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- lindabd Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: jrj Post Reply
02/21/2016, 01:57:54



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Re: Lovely necklaces. What are the little silver beads?
Re: Lovely necklaces. What are the little silver beads? -- jrj Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: lindabd Post Reply
02/21/2016, 09:45:04

They are little 'French cut' seed beads - the sort of thing you would see in multiple colors on dense little beaded evening bags. I have a particular, perhaps peculiar love for seed beads.



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I don't really consider myself a bead collector...
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: jrj Post Reply
02/21/2016, 02:26:24

I don't really consider myself a bead collector, but Fred asked me to post so here goes. A friend gave me a Peking glass drop about 20+ years ago and I've been smitten by Peking glass drops and beads ever since. In the last 20+ years, I've acquired a few (a very few) beads of various types until I came across a lot of Peking glass drops at an estate sale in about 2013 and another lot of Peaking glass tabular beads at a later sale. I started reading about Mandarin Court Necklaces here and elsewhere (and was confounded by the fakes). Needing to iron out the inconsistencies in what I read and saw here (some early posts at BCN are misleading), I pressed Fred and he explained. I find their (MCN) beads compelling, but not generally in my price range of late. I love reading about collectible beads here, but my own "collection" (if I can call it that) falls far short of "collectible" and the collections I see discussed here.



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It started with picking up pebbles from the beach of a Greek Island
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: floorkasp Post Reply
02/23/2016, 02:47:21

These beautiful beach pebbles inspired me to go into making jewelry. I started buying some beads to add to my design.
About 9 (?) years ago I went on a trip along the Silk Road and travelled from Damascus in Syria all the way to Beijing. I picked up interesting beads along the way. Old beads, prayer beads, weird beads, Chinese pearls.

When I came home, I was wondering what I had actually bought, found BCN and the rest is history.......

By now, I have been to Tucson 5 times, met so many great people through BCN, written 4 books and travelled all over Europe to go digging for beads. But it all started with those pebbles.

Pebbles2016FK1.jpg (40.4 KB)  


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Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads?
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: kika Post Reply
02/29/2016, 14:27:25

Hello to all,
I was for the first time in Africa, exactly in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, in 1972. I loved the market down town and went there every day, to look at loincloths height of color! I liked to speak with the women who sold vegetables and fruits. There was only a butcher down-town and he was not cleaner than the market. Then in the morning, I got up early, very early, before the flies, to the market to choose and buy my meat! and I looked for the grigris: skulls of animals, skins, horns...spades of porcupines...and near of there, they were the beads: glass, wood, terra-cotta, and I began my collection and my love for the beads. We traveled often to Mali, in Bamako where I found also beads, in Mopti and Djenne...
I lived In Bouake, Ivory Coast, during 7 years: there was, in the market, a nice dealer of beads in front of the grigris dealer, I went there 5 times in week. But in the same time, we continued to travel to Burkina Faso and Mali. Then I went to Cameroon one year, and Malagasy during 4 years: Soon I will tell you what I learnt on the role of beads in Malagasy. Finally again in Cameroon during 6 years. We traveled to the North, in Maroua where I found beads too.
In Yaoundé, I met a fantastic dealer from Mali. He supplied the markets from West Africa with modern beads from India, China, Indonesia....The world was his garden and he phoned me from Singapour, Bagdad, Hong Kong, Alep or Istanbul ....and sold me some beautiful islamic beads from Middle West and Morfia, and beads from Djenne. But, he was very expensive!!! I could not buy all that he offered to me!!! it was so hard to say "no"!!!.
I am also interested me in the beads from China, jade and glass, especially the ancient beads from Longshan Culture, Warring states, Han....and I go often in China.
I like beads because they accompanied the evolution of the humanity from time immemorial, I like the history of beads: their roles in every country, culture and civilization. I also like noticing the technical progress during the history, and I love above all, imagine their route since their manufacturing: by which miracle these so fragile objects arrive until to me!
I don't sell beads, I collect them, but now I would want to sell some of them to buy another beads for complete my collection with some purchases!
I made some necklaces for me and friends.

kika

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Fred, you are always so wonderfully inquisitive!
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rubyzane Post Reply
02/29/2016, 15:01:14

I believe I discovered my passion in beads & ethnic jewelry after I graduated from college at the end of the 70s. I believe after traveling to LA as part of my job in advertising, I found a lovely strand of Tuareg silver beads in a bead shop in Venice. A 2nd trip presented me with some wonderful E. Indian beads on the boardwalk there where they were having a flea market. I then found my favorite store in NY, one of the first shops in Soho, called Craft Caravan. The wonderful owners, Ignacio and Caroline, had the most incredible collection of African silver, coral, turquoise as well as everything you could possibly imagine. They taught me so much, & I spent hours & hours just looking at beads & jewelry, holding them, trying to figure out how I can buy & make them mine. They were so lovely about letting me pay a small amount down & slowly pay off each purchase, sometime over a few years it now seems! I bought 3 or 4 strands of Jimma beads from Ethiopia that came from their personal collection. I have yet to ever find these beads since then. They are large handmade silver beads on strands that hung below my navel. Very expensive at that time, but I just had to have these, & Fred, I have NEVER regretted spending what I did for these beads. I love them to this day & they will always remain among my favorite beads! Over the years I eventually started learning more about African trade beads, Venetian beads, and slowly started adding these to my large silver bead collection & jewelry from Yemen, Morocco, Mali, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Niger, Mauretania and so many other countries. My love & passion has continued to grow yearly, as has my collection & my knowledge. Although for the few years I sold at the flea markets in NY I did sell some incredible items, I have most of my pieces & consider them not only investments, but items of beauty, culture, art, spirituality and history. Nothing brings me the same pleasure as holding my beads...my amber, my jet, coral, silver, stone & ancient glass. Although my husband & others probably will not ever understand, they will always remain my one love. Thank you for allowing me to share! warmly, Lynne



Modified by Rubyzane at Mon, Feb 29, 2016, 15:07:53

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forever and a day
Re: How long have you been collecting and/or buying and selling beads? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: TASART Post Reply
03/01/2016, 06:18:52

It seems like beads have been coursing through my veins forever...but in reality I started collecting in the late 70's....I started as a silversmith and gem cutter at the end of high school, mostly cabbing turquoise and coral, eventually moving on to Opal.....when, on one of my rough stone buying trips to Tucson, I found a remarkable cylinder seal bead from Sassanian origins....when I pondered that another human had formed this incredible little piece of history many hundreds/thousands of years ago, I was hooked.......at that time there were not many bead books and certainly no internet, I was alone on my island of bead collecting, most of my friends had no clue and thought I was strange! The good thing about bead collecting in the early days was that you could put the collection aside for weeks or months and get back to it when the timing was right, they didn't take up any room and they traveled well....my first Kiffa bead came from a lady's bead store, set up in her kitchen, in a residential neighborhood in Phoenix, the name was Margaret's Bead Bar (long since gone)....a friend, who knew I liked beads, was looking for a birthday present for me and stumbled upon the "store", at the same time that she was shopping for me, an African trader was selling some goods to Margaret and he showed her a small handful of Kiffa beads, my friend overheard the conversation and was allowed to purchase a perfect polychrome triangle Kiffa (soon to end up in my grubby paws)....that single bead started my quest for real bead knowledge...it wasn't until the late 80's when the current wave of bead books started hitting the market, that I even realized the types of beads I had been collecting were rare and collectible......I remember buying the first beads that Abdul Touray and Ebrihma Silah brought to Quartzite their first trip to the states....once I found there were real dealers and other collectors, I never looked back....now I buy and sell



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I love the part....
Re: forever and a day -- TASART Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
03/01/2016, 16:59:26

....where you say your collection "didn't take up any room...."
How long ago was THAT?! :^D

When we packed four shipping containers (small ones, similar to PODS but better), 2 for our home and 2 for my studio. One was almost filled with my beads. They weighed a ton--literally. The guys who loaded and unloaded that container to and from the check were very curious what was in there. I'd never really thought about how heavy beads are, especially when they are densely packed.

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

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