- Museum number
- Object: Venetian Bead Book
Catalogue of glass trade beads in form of a leather bound book with blind-tooled front and back covers. Both covers framed on inside with strips of wood on three sides. Fourteen pages placed back to back and bound together in wooden frames. Each page is mounted with strings or single beads on cotton thread. The pages are marked into grids and numbered in ink. The catalogue has 676 bead entries; 14 of these are now missing.
- Production date
- 1800-1860 (circa)
Height: 38 centimetres (catalogue)
Width: 23 centimetres (catalogue: closed)
Depth: 16.50 centimetres (catalogue)
- Curator's comments
The Venetian Bead Book is a catalogue of 676 Venetian beads, which formed part of a larger Venetian glass collection accumulated by Felix Slade prior to his death in 1868. The book is recorded as being sent to India for the use of a trader, probably to pursue trade in East Africa.
The Venetian Bead Book and its beads are thought to have been produced in the early part of the 19th century. This date of production suggested by Karlis Karklins (1982) contests the note that accompanied the book that reads: 'According to HJ Braunholtz this book had a label saying that the beads were Venetian, 1704 (FA Carey 22.10.1959)'.
The beads in the Venetian Bead Book are comparable to the ones in the Levin Collection (1851-1869).
Entry from Slade (1871) Catalogue reads:
'944. Box or Book, containing patterns of beads numbered up to 676, but of which a few are missing. This book was found in India with a quantity of beads, and had evidently been sent our for use of some trader. Height 15 1/2 in. Width 9 in. '
Book entries divided as follows:
Front cover (inside): bead nos. 1-45
Page 1: bead nos. 46-90
Page 2: bead nos. 91-135
Page 3: bead nos. 136-180
Page 4: bead nos. 181-225
Page 5: bead nos. 226-270
Page 6: bead nos. 271-315
Page 7: bead nos. 316-360
Page 8: bead nos. 361-405
Page 9: bead nos. 406-450
Page 10: bead nos. 451-495
Page 11: bead nos. 496-540
Page 12: bead nos. 541-585 (574 and 575-7 missing)
Page 13: bead nos. 586-630
Page 14: bead nos. 631-664 (631,-2, 634, 639, 641, 646-7, 659-660 missing); nos. 636-637 have a single coral fragment)
Back cover (inside): bead nos. 665-676 (669-670 missing)
- Not on display
- Fair; foxing to paper; some re-stringing of beads. Abrasion to leather covers, especially edges.
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Other BM number: Af1974,Q.2227-2889 (previously registered as, in error)
Other BM number: Af1979,01.3727-4401.a (previously registered as, in error)
Other BM number: S.944