Dutch Finds

Last year I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a batch of beads that were found in the ground in the Netherlands. An amateur archeologist had found these on his  digging trips with a metal detector. Where he would find something metal, like coins, sometimes he would also find some beads. Most came from a dig in the North of Holland, not far form Amsterdam. This batch shows a great variety of beads made in the Netherlands, but also Bohemia and other European places. It shows you how beads get around, even before they got traded on Ebay.

Dutch finds

Most typical are the large blue beads. They are wound glass, and are often referred to as Dutch Dogon beads. Dutch, because theye were made in the Netherlands, Dogon, because this is the name of the people from Mali who really fancied these beads. However, as is often the case with antique beads and their stories, It is very possible that these beads were not made in the Netherlands at all, and never got to the Dogon people either.  These wound beads were made both in the Netherlands and in Germany, and confusion can easily come from the name Dutch-Deutsch. Most likely, they are around three hundred years old.

A fascinating story related to these beads comes from the same area as where these were found. Originally some people in Dutch villages would make a mosaic in their garden with these beads, instead of flowers. They would use blue, white, brown and black big wound beads.This was a practice in formal gardens in the ‘Zaanstreek’ in the 17th/18th century. This is the time that the value of these beads decreased greatly, due to less interest from the overseas trade. Pretty much all of these gardens have now disappeared. One example can still be seen in ‘Broek in Waterland’. It has been restored in 1950 with 2000 beads.


About Floor Kaspers
My home looks like a bead museum. This blog is intented to share the bead-filled contents of my home and head with the world.

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