Since completing my first 50 period bead replicas for the A&S 50 Challenge, I’ve been working on a second 50. All my patterns are based off originals in museums and archaeological reports. The work of Johan Callmer, particularly his book “Trade Beads and Bead Trade in Scandinavia, Circa 800-1000,” has been extremely useful. Other handy resources are the works of Margaret Guido and Birte Brugmann. I run a small business selling these replicas, which pretty much pays for my glass to keep the hobby going.
1. Translucent green/teal melon with yellow & red wrapped trail. Norse & Anglo-Saxon, 400 – 650AD. Based on a design from Anglo-Saxon Mucking. Type P3 in the excavation report.
2. Black barrel spiraled with yellow/green or blue/white twist in barber pole pattern. Anglo-Saxon, 450-530AD. Birte Brugmann’s type Dark Twisted Trail shows several examples of what I nickname Barber Pole done in dark colors. Type is vague and also includes dark annular-shaped beads with twisted overlapping waves similar to types 9a & 9b.
3. Yellow bead with black/blue & red crossing waves. Anglo-Saxon, c450 – 530 AD. Pattern is called Insular Overlying Crossing Waves by Birte Brugmann.
4. Light blue bead with blue dots. Very common, 4th century BC – c1000AD. This pattern first shows up with the Phoenicians but also appears in many other cultures. A specific example comes from Slovenia / Brezje, dating 5th-4th century BC. Also seen in ancient Chinese/Silk Road tombs.
5. Blue bead with blue/white reticella and red equator. Viking, 700-850AD. This style was produced at Ribe in large quantities. Design is possibly of Celtic insular origin; reticella rods were made at Ribe and Ahus as well.
6. Blue barrel with two sets of 3 starburst-patterned murrini and three bands of white/red/yellow stringer. Norse/Viking, c790-915AD. I make the rods of starburst murrini myself, too. This style is part of Johan Callmer’s type G050.
7. Black bead with yellow/green stack dots alternated with white and blue offset waves. Norse/Viking, Anglo-Saxon, c450-915AD. In Viking contexts, this is Callmer’s type B086, dating c860-915AD. Anglo-Saxon usage is earlier, dating 450-530 AD. Birte Brugmann calls it Common Overlying Crossing Waves.
8. Red bead with random white and clear-green trails. Finnish/Scandinavian, dating c500-1000 AD. From an example from Pörnullbacken, Vörå, Finland.
9. Blue bead with 6 stacked blue/white/red dots and yellow/red/blue twisty. Norse/Viking, dating c790-915AD. Johan Callmer includes this design in type B422.
10. Clear green bead with red starburst murrini capped in green between red/white ribbon waves. Norse/Viking, c845-915AD. Callmer type B565.
11. Blue/turquoise bead with blue eye and yellow dots. Celtic, La Tène, Eastern Europe 500-300BC. Based on examples from Brno-Horni-Herspice, Czech Republic; and Vinica, Slovakia. Those beads were from Early to Mid La Tène contexts.
12. Yellow bead with blue eye and yellow dots. Celtic, La Tène, Eastern Europe; 400-300BC. This style is a replica of an early La Tène bead from Grave 14, Neunkirchen, Austria.
13. Yellow bead with 6 sets of blue eyes and yellow dots. Celtic, La Tène, Eastern Europe 400-300BC. This is an early La Tène style bead from Mezötur-Ujvaros, Hungary.
14. Purple barrel with red spiral striping. Norse/Viking, c885-915AD. Callmer type B371.
15. Yellow bead with single clusters of blue dots. Celtic, Hallstatt/La Tène, Eastern Europe; 600-300BC. Based off a Late Hallstatt – early La Tène example from Manetin-Hradek, Czech Republic.
16. Black with yellow and white dots. Late La Tène A – early La Tène B, mid-fourth-century BCE. This bead is based off one found in the grave of a La Tène woman, nicknamed the Princess of Reinheim. Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Saarbrücken.
17. Red bead with white folds, yellow equator, and green dots. Merovingian, 300-700 AD. An example was from a Merovingian grave at Verlaine, Belgium, grave 245.
18. Red bead with white zigzag and 3 yellow stripes. Merovingian, Anglo-Saxon, Frankish; 300-700 AD. This one has a lot of documentation. It’s been found in at least two Merovingian graves in modern-day Belgium. Anglo-Saxon bead historian Birte Brugmann cites it as Koch type 58 with 12 Anglo-Saxon examples and dates them 555-600AD. Yet another example is Corning Museum # 86.1.3 and cited as Frankish, dating about 450-650.
19. Black bead with yellow/blue/white/blue eye and yellow dots. Celtic, Hallstatt, Eastern Europe; 600BC. This is a Late Hallstatt bead from Klein-Klein, Austria.
20. White barrel with black wave and red ends. Viking, 9th century. The original is from a grave in Buskerud, Norway, and now at the Cultural Museum at the University of Oslo, artifact #Cf26330 561 C53314 399.
21. Turquoise bead with single wave white/red/white ribbon. Norse, c500AD. Based on artifact #Sf103313 S12721_3 from Rogaland, Norway, at the Archaeological Museum in Stavanger, Norway.
22. Red bead with yellow ends, white stripes, double blue wave, yellow dots. Merovingian, 300-700 AD. Based off a bead excavated from Grave 245 of the Merovingian cemetery at Verlaine, Belgium.
23. Black bead with red and white crumbs. Norse & Anglo-Saxon, 400 – 650 AD. A Norse example is artifact C35149_1635 at the Museum of Cultural History, Oslo, Norway. Similar examples show up in Anglo-Saxon contexts from Mucking, Essex, UK.
24. Black barrel with three yellow stripes. Norse, 550-850AD. Often nicknamed “wasp beads” by many folks familiar with Scandinavian beads, there are Viking-era examples from Kaupang at the Cultural Museum at the University of Oslo. They were made in Kaupang in the 6th century; in Ribe between 750-800 AD.
25. Black bead with yellow crumbs. Norse & Anglo-Saxon, 400 – 650 AD. A Norse example is at the Museum of Cultural History, Oslo, Norway. Similar examples show up in Anglo-Saxon contexts from Mucking, Essex, UK.
26. Black bead with yellow doubled-back spiral and yellow ends. Irish and/or Norse, 800-900AD. The original example I replicated was found in a Viking-era context at an archaeological dig at Kaupang, Norway. It may have been made in Ireland and traded to the Continent.
27. Black bead with parallel red lines and large white wave. Norse & Anglo-Saxon, 400 – 650 AD. Based on a design from Anglo-Saxon Mucking. Type P19/3 in the excavation report.
28. Red double-segments with green spiral trail. Finnish/Scandinavian, c500-1000 AD. From two examples from Pörnullbacken, Vörå, Finland.
29. White bead with blue double wave pattern, 4 red dots in middle of eyes, and red accent dots outside waves. Norse & Anglo-Saxon, 400 – 650 AD. This pattern is identified as type P24a in the excavation report from the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Mucking, Essex, UK. Similar designs are also seen in Viking contexts, too.
30. Red bead with white and black waves slightly overlapped. Anglo-Saxon, 400 – 650 AD Based on a design from Anglo-Saxon Mucking. Type P8 in the excavation report.
31. Black bead with overlapping wave pattern in blue/white twisty; optional stringer dots. Anglo-Saxon, c450-530 AD. Birte Brugmann’s type Dark Twisted Trail shows several examples of dark annular-shaped beads with twisted overlapping waves similar to #9a & #9b. Type is vague and also includes what I nickname Barber Pole done in dark colors.
32. Red bead with overlapping wave pattern in opaque yellow/green twisty; optional stringer dots. Anglo-Saxon, c530-700AD. Birte Brugmann labels this type Twisted Trail Traffic Light. Standard color is red, but the design is also seen in green, albeit rarely.
33. White bead with single blue wave and double red dots in each trough. Anglo-Saxon, 400 – 650 AD. This pattern is identified as type P22 in the excavation report from the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Mucking, Essex, UK.
34. Green bead with overlapping wave pattern in yellow/red twisty; optional stringer dots. Anglo-Saxon, c530-700AD. Birte Brugmann labels this type Twisted Trail Traffic Light. Standard color is red, but the design is also seen in green, albeit rarely.
35. Black bead with overlapping wave pattern in green/yellow twisty; optional stringer dots. Anglo-Saxon, c450-530 AD. Birte Brugmann’s type Dark Twisted Trail shows several examples of dark annular-shaped beads with twisted overlapping waves similar to #9a & #9b.
36. Black barrel with white/blue/white/red eyes and yellow dots; white end lines. Frankish, 500-600 AD. Based on a 6th century Frankish design currently in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, NY. (Accession number 17.193.67.)
37. Red barrel with white diamond waves, yellow ends, and yellow/black eyes in center of diamonds. Merovingian, 400 – 700AD. One example was found in Grave 436 at the Merovingian cemetery at Bossut-Gottechain, Belgium.
38. White bead with sets of red and green dots. Frankish, 500-600 AD. Several examples are on a bead strand at the Prehistoric Museum in Munich.
39. Red bead with white wave and staggered yellow and white/black eyes. Merovingian, 300-700 AD. Examples were found in Grave 25 at Viesville, Belgium.
40. Black bead with turquoise wave and white/green eyes. Frankish, 500-600 AD. Based on a Frankish bead dating about 500 – 600 AD and currently in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, NY. (Accession number 17.191.267.)
41. Blue bead with blue/white twisty spirals. Celtic, Irish; 400 – 1100 AD. Based on an original excavated at a dig in Ireland and currently artifact #1855,0326.51 at the British Museum.
42. Blue bead with turquoise and white dots, a white zig equator, and white end lines. Phoenician, Rus, Viking; c500 BC – 1200AD. Styles like this are among the oldest of bead patterns. This particular bead design is based on an example found in Crimea and currently at the Pushkin Museum, though similar examples date as far back as 6th century BC Phoenician contexts.
43. Yellow bead with olive or amber clear glass. Frankish(?), Celtic; 200 BC – 600 AD. Numerous examples of these beads exist from Iron Age Celtic contexts. The one at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Berne dates around 200BC, while the Musée Fribourg has an example from Wünnewil-Flamatt, Fribourg, Switzerland which dates 200-160BC. I could swear I saw a Frankish example but can’t find it again at the moment.
44. Blue flat-cornered rectangle with white diamond pattern in stringer and yellow/blue eyes. Viking, c800-1000 AD. The original example I replicated was found at an archaeological dig at the famous Viking market town of Birka, Sweden. It is currently at the Swedish Historical Museum, artifact # 997577. SHM 35000 (F84660).
45. Square Anglo-Saxon blue double wave. Anglo-Saxon, Continental Celtic; 500-600 AD. This style of bead is a rare variation of a bead design popular in the Rhineland, northern France, and the Netherlands c500-1000AD (see here). These beads are usually round, but a square example from the Netherlands dates to the 6th century and is currently at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden.
46. Teal barrel with diagonal striations. Irish, Insular Celtic; c100-1000 AD. Based on an original from Coleraine, County Londonderry, Ireland; artifact GLAHM B.1951.2663/1 in the Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery Collections.
47. Black barrel with equatorial line of black & yellow twist with white/black/red/black eyes. Viking, 800-1100AD. The original example I replicated was found in Grave Bj515 at an archaeological dig at the famous Viking market town of Birka, Sweden. It is currently at the Swedish Historical Museum.
48. Red barrel with white diamond waves, blue dots on corners, and yellow/blue eyes in space between. Frankish, 500-600 AD. Excavated at Niederbreisig, Germany, the design comes from artifact #17.193.52 at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
49. Black bead with turquoise end lines and blue/white twisty equator. Greek, 500BC – 100 AD. It’s based off a bead excavated at Phanagoria, the largest Greek city on the Bosporus. The original is at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow.
50. Olive bead with feathered white lines. Anglo-Saxon, 400 – 700 AD. The design is based off an Anglo-Saxon bead discovered at Lanton Quarry, Northumberland, UK, by Archaeological Research Services Ltd. Lanton Quarry was the site of a village attached to the high-status Anglo-Saxon settlement of Yeavering.
And I have even more bead designs in mind. Perhaps I’ll even get to Round Three of the A&S 50 Challenge!