Russian Trade beads Bracelet, cobalt blue, thick
Beautiful Cobalt Blue Russian trade beads, hand faceted, tubular glass trade beads originally traded by the Russians to the Alaska Natives in exchange for Sea Otter pelts or anything else they might want. The beads were a desirable form of currency. Kind of like the Wampum of the far north. They range in size from approximately 10mm down to 5mm in length and some are slim and some are chunky. The larger the size of the bead the greater the value.
Blue trade beads probably originated in Bohemia (Czechoslovakia) and first made their appearance in Russian America in the late 1700’s. The only mystery is how the Russians obtained them. The Bohemians sent wagon trains of their glassware all over Europe including Russia. The Russian American Fur Company may have bought the beads from such a train and shipped them to the colony. There is also a story of them being stocked in the European storehouses in Canton, China and shipped to the Russian colony from there. The beads may also have been obtained from the Hudson’s Bay Co. There is evidence that they had them to trade in Canada and the Great Lakes region. John Jacob Astor, of the American Fur Co. reputedly sold beads to the Russians. Whatever the route, trade beads arrived in the Pacific Northwest in considerable quantity.”
This is a beautiful bracelet, great large beads, difficult to find these days, cobald blue, It has 19 beads, they originate from Campbell River, a small town on Vancouver Island, Pacific Northwest Coast of British Columbia, Canada.
Measurements per bead: 1/2" thick, 1/2" diameter
Photos of This Piece
About This Artist
Artist bio and other available works »
HUGE (4 ft / 48") Salmon with Eagle spirits by Brian Bob
Copper OWL in SUN pendant, by Patrick Seaweed
Haida Eagle Talking Stick by Donavon Gates