Antique Venetian Beads in Perfect Condition – Not
In 1992 two people sent me some of these beads for Bead Identification Certificates. They were sold for several thousands of dollars a strand as "old Venetian trade beads in very good condition." I did not then know what they were, but I knew they weren't that (see below). Fortunately, the dealers in both cases refunded the money after the buyers showed them our Certificates. More notes follow the pictures
I knew the beads were not old Venetian because: 1. They are heavy in lead, 2. The red is selenium and the yellow fluoresces, 3. They were matted by being dipped in hydrofluoric acid and 4. They have a pinkish perforation deposit (this can be scraped out).
At first I said they were modern and "may be made in the United States or Europe." I was right, as I found out a couple of years later. They were made by a now-deceased Czech beadmaster on commission for a store in Germany. They were sold as reproductions and the storeowner was horrified that they were being peddled as old beads.
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