Monday, May 26, 2014

Orphan Beads Find a Home

Antique Famous Bawsani Silver Filigree Bead 

by Yemenite Silversmith


Using components from older jewelry is no new enterprise.  From ancient times, later settlers moved onto the rubble of previous communities and picked up the stones and other baubles made by the people of the vanished culture and made adornments from them.  Pieces of obsidian, polished agate eye beads, animal tooth ivory and carved bones and shells were gathered on a string and became a kind of wealth for the finder.

Modern artisans can easily follow the tradition.  My own collection of valuable orphan beads and pendants comes from Yemen, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.  Yemen pieces have become extremely rare in these times, because (1)  there was a limited amount of such jewelry left behind in Yemen when the Jewish silversmiths moved to Israel in the 1940s and (2) the political situation at present is so unstable that it is difficult to carry on international commerce.  Here is one of the famous Bawsani beads that I salvaged from a Yemen dress yoke that had become so ragged that the beads were falling from it.

Antique Famous Bawsani Silver Filigree Bead by Yemenite Silversmith


These old beads from vanished cultures such as the Yemenite communities of Jewish artisans can be used to great effect in modern creations.  I can offer an example of an orphan bead that I have used in a contemporary design of a necklace here: 


Antique Yemen Silver Bead on Amber and Turquoise Stone Beaded Necklace



There are two sections of my online studio/shop that show orphan stones, shells, glass, resin and metalwork beads from antique times and from ancient ages.  Among the complete jewelry designs there, you will also see the orphan components that have become separated from their original adornments.  Enjoy a browse through my collection of the antiques from Yemen and Turkmenia and my collection of ancient artifacts from Bactria.  

Thank you for reading my blog.  I invite you to leave comments below and to follow this blog.  I do not inundate you with blog posts, usually managing to publish one or two a month.  



15 comments:

  1. As always, I learn new things from you, Anna. Your knowledge and collection of antiquities are outstanding. Yemenite beads are some of my favorites as I love their intricate designs and aged silver. You do your orphan beads great service!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I am so sorry, Barbara. I wrote Roxanne, because I carelessly read the email message as being from ShanghaiTai!@!!! I apologize. Thank you so much for your kind and generous comments. I wish I would slow down when I buzz through my emails ;)

      Delete
  2. I wholeheartedly agree with SolanaKaiDesigns. I like reading your posts as they are rich with information and great images. Are there some antique beads - perhaps the Bawsani one pictured at top - that you would keep as orphans? Or is that stunning bead destined to become a new Crafts of the Past creation, too?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Pamela,
    Thank you for your very kind comments. I do sell the orphan beads to other artisans. In fact, I have sold several and still have more to list ;)
    There are other online jewelry artisans who look for 'matches' for their traditional restored ethnic necklaces that just one more bead from a certain culture. So there is a tiny niche market for my orphans ;)
    Anna

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  5. Wonderful post. It is such a shame that so much is lost and destroyed by carelessness of others, but it is great that you have had the ability and time to salvage some of these treasures to bring them back to life in the modern world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I certainly agree, Julie. In my retirement years, they are serving as my own dowry ;)
      Anna

      Delete
  6. Am always fascinated with your posts, Anna. Always so well written and I learn something new from each. I value the orphan bead I have from you - it's sitting on a shelf with other valuables right next to my computer. it is picked up often and held and wondered about. Thank you for sharing your extensive knowledge, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You comment is so sweet, Catherine -- music to my eyes as I read it ;) This blog brings in a healthy percentage of my AF website views. I should really write more than I do. It is just so much fun to MAKE things rather than write about them.

      Delete
  7. After learning how brides from that culture wore layers of silver beaded necklaces, it's good to see the detail contained in just a single bead. The craftsmanship is truly outstanding! Anna, I like how you are using orphan beads from your collection as single accent pieces. No longer "orphan," alone and forgotten, but adopted and cherished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie, your comment is so warm and gentle. I have to remind you, though, that I am selling my 'children.' ;)

      Delete
  8. I always love looking at your exotic old beads!

    ReplyDelete