Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Vintage Adventure - Nailheads Unwrapped!

This little photo essay shows a brick of vintage Czech nail head beads from start to finish.  The beads measure 11mm, are jet black & have 2 sets of holes (aka "double drilled").  Before I unwrapped them I made sure to photograph the package from different sides and then I went on to it's contents.  The beads inside were in very good condition but not all were neatly strung as I had hoped so there were a number of broken red threads.  They were also really dirty, something not unusual in beads left wrapped for so many years.  The paper wrapping dries out, starts to break down and becomes brittle so when it's disturbed it often crumbles and makes a mess.  I will start with a loose strand and work my way backwards:

Front side showing the pressed facets.

Back side showing that it's plain & smooth.

A large master hank of nailhead beads.

The side of the package with some of the nailhead beads peeking through.

The end of the package showing the original label.  "Jais" means "Jet" as in black.

The front of the package.  I've always loved the brown paper & string packages -
there's something very "old world" about them.
The interpretation of "vintage" (where beads are concerned) has become somewhat fast and loose over the years.   Due to the miracle of technology there is a wealth of images and information at our fingertips.   What is lacking, however, is the ability to examine the beads to determine whether or not they are what they are supposed to be.  This is not to say that beads are being misrepresented - that's a whole other blog in itself.  The problem is that often times when beads have changed hands over and over again their provenance gets kind of muddled.  It's a treat to have them in their original wrapper and there is no doubt that they are vintage Czech.  I've enjoyed sharing this with you.  Any questions?