Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Vintage beads?

Hi, all. A question for antique fans and beaders.

I have some vintage seed beads in shades of dark gray to black, that
I think are glass (not steel, probably not jet). They are in hanks

  • short strings doubled up and bound with cherry-colored silk
    thread. Tags (hand-cut and aged looking) indicate they are from
    France. Does anyone know anything about these? I’ve had them a long
    time, and they were vintage when I got them. There’s a picture on
    my website (see below) - at the bottom on the far left of the home
    page, click on “whatsit”. Thanks in advance.


Hello, Tas -

I dare not reply after my last error about Jet - : ) but I have the
same ones, in the shade of grey that is very much like hematite. I
also look forward to the replies…

Mary beth M

      Tags (hand-cut and aged looking) indicate they are from

They could possibly be Prosser beads made by Bapterosses (Briare,
France) closest thing I can think of as they are not french
nail-heads. You did not indicate the size of the bead though. They
look to be 13’s or 11 ish perhaps? They also used to make (and still
do occasionally) metal coated glass beads and steel cuts that were
popular for making purses…many were french. I would suggest asking
if anyone at the following 2 sites can help as they specialize in
vintage and antique beads.

Desta Marbury
Desmirada Designs

Desta Marbury

Try sending an email to the couple at Empyrean Beads

They specialize in vintage, especially vintage seed beads. They are
a great company to do business with. I’m sure that they will be able
to identify them for you.


You might want to contact either of these two websites; At beadcats, Virginia and Carol
sell many kinds of beads including vintage beads. Carol’s work in
well know for her use of tiny vintage beads. At Empyrean, they specialize in vintage
beads and also carry a few modern ones.

The owners of both these companies are very nice and may be able to
help you narrow down the age of the beads.

Hope this helps.
Highland Goldsmith
NW Oregon