New Bead Book
By: Emma Post Barbour
From remote antiquity has come the use of beads for personal adornment. A comparison of the beadwork found in the ancient tombs of Egypt with that in vogue at the present time is proof conclusive of the fascination the bright pieces of glass, pottery, metal, bone, ivory, wood, jet, amber, coral, etc. have always held for mankind. Savage tribes used beads as a basis of barter, and wampum (beads made of shell) served our own American Indians for money and ornament. In certain parts of Africa beads evidently of Egyptian or Phoenician origin are occasionally found embedded in the earth. These are supposed to have been used as a medium of trade by the ancients and are greatly prized.
Since the fourtheenth century the manufacture of beads has been a regular industry in Venice, and there are now a number of European countries engaged in bead production. In our own time the fashioning of beaded articles is not a fad; it is more than a love of adornment – it is artistry; there is a certain charm about the combining of the colors which are made more beautiful by the play of light on the surface of the beads. In our military hospitals beadwork whiles away many otherwise weary hours for the convalescents, combining the making of articles for which they receive compensation with a very pleasant pastime.
So, in presenting this guide to the fashioning of a small number among the thousands of articles which can be made through the use of beads, we wish to leave you with this thought – that beadwork is always worth while; though fashion may change there is always a return to the beaded; the artistic work of your hands today will give you much satisfaction while the vogue is strong, and a work of art always lives, becoming enhanced by age in both value and sentiment.