I too have taken an interest in Anglo-Saxon beaded wire, Last year I
had the opportunity to have close look at several pieces of gold
jewellery from Cirencester Museum in Gloucestershire England. The
wires measured under a microscope were 0.2 ,0.3, and 0.4 mm in
maximum diameter, mostly short lenghts but all consistent for
placement .The beading went all round the wire but was more of a
modified ‘V’ indentation than two arcs.
I was interested because I have plans to do some reproductions. I
also assume that the grooves were rolled in with one or two groovd
plates much as an apothecary would roll a paste to make pills.
If it sounds incredible that 6th and 7th Century European jewellers
would have the technology to make grooved tools on this scale there
is a paper in Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History on a
surmised method for making checkerboard stamps to impress thin gold
foil to go in behind the garnet inlay .
This was well within their capabilities and could easily be modified
to use on short lengths of wire. When I get time I will make up the
tool and have a go.
I will look up the Naimh Whitfield papers ,I would like to know how
they made wire that thin.
The book by the way s still in print and available from Oxbow Books
who I believe have an American distributor.(No connection to me ,just