Glass bead reproductions from Early Medieval Ireland ~The Mulberry bead

Recently I purchased a very amazing book called Glass Beads from Early Medieval Ireland by Mags Minion. If you make historical beads, I recommend this book. It was designed for historical bead makers for sure. I loved this book so much I am doing a category in my blog on these beads. As I reproduce them, I will post the bead, my reproduction and its relevant information.

This photo shows a picture of the original bead from page 23 of this book. The second and third beads are photos of my glass reproduction.

I had never seen a historical example of this bead before getting this book.  When I first saw it my first though was “Well that bead maker was creative!”




The Mulberry bead

The beads in Mags Minion;s book:  Glass Beads from Early Medieval Ireland are classified though type. This bead is a type 12 bead. The following paragraph is from page 28 regarding  this bead type.

“Class 12 beads are so-called because the surface of the bead is covered with raised segments resembling a mulberry. The beads conform to a standard size or a diameter of 10mm, a length of 9mm and a perforation of 3-4mm. Mulberry beads  can be composed of clear translucent glass or semi translucent glass in a variety of shades. An example is known from Lagore (Hencken, 1950 145 figure 67 B). There are numerous examples of class 12 beads in a variety of colors among unprovenance examples in the National Museum. A class 12 bead was found during the excavation of the early medieval enclosure at Lissue in Co. Antrim (Bersu 1947, 51: Warner 1986-87).  Finds from the site including a wooden churn and lathe turned vessels  have been typologically dated to the 9th century.(Sullivan et al 2010 58). A ‘trial piece’  with interlace decoration was also found during the excavation (Bersu 1947,51). four beads of this type were subjected to chemical analysis and returned 8th to 12th century date (Warner and Meighan 1994, 52-66) Given the  the available dating evidence it is most likely the type dates to the later end of the period under study and may possible even continue after it. “