Vaseline beads were made in Europe and usually molded. The term "Vaseline glass" is loosely applied to a process where uranium is added, usually as an oxide, to glass producing a wide variety of colors. Although these are not uranium Vaseline glass, their shape is the same and they are commonly called "Vaseline beads" because during this process the milky white material resembled Vaseline ointment. Vaseline glass beads are usually a small bicone shape with eight facets on either end. Most of these were produced in Europe in the mid to late 19th century. During this period the beads were hand faceted and had conical perforations. There was a revival period in the mid 20th century and these beads are from this period.
It is claimed that Maria Barovier "invented" the Rosetta bead in the late fifteenth century. It was later called a chevron bead by Northern European merchants. The name indicates the chevron military rank device which appears on the beads surface after grinding. Rosetta beads have always played an important and valued role in trade with the colonies. They are present throughout Africa in ceremonial costumes and royal treasuries, and they are always considered valuable savings. The approximate age of these beads is late 1800 s to the early 1900s. The overall condition of these beads is excellent. These beads have been traded across at least three continents and graced many owners; their patina attests to their age and use and includes small chips, pitting and corrosion. To see some rare and fabulous examples of chevron beads read the Picards' Volume VI1 - Chevron and Nueva Cadiz Beads and The History of Beads by Dubin. Finally, these beads have been strung together using a laborious and intricate macramé technique.
To have survived to the present, these beads have been cherished by their previous owners. To best care for this necklace, it is recommended that you store it flat and separate from other jewelry to reduce the chance of damage to your beads. We hope you enjoy and treasure your necklace as much as its previous owners have!
Note: All prices in US Dollars
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