Chemical Composition of 16th- to 18th-Century Glass Beads Excavated in Paris
Dating from the 16th to 18th centuries, 63 glass artifacts (mostly beads) recovered from two sites in Paris, France, were investigated using chemical analysis in an attempt to determine their place of origin. The late-16th-century material from the Jardins du Carrousel consisted of small, monochrome drawn beads with a soda-lime composition. Attributed to the 17th and 18th centuries, the beads recovered at the adjacent site of the Cours Napoléon were more diverse in shape, color, and composition. Although provenance attribution was difficult due to a lack of comparative data, it was possible to identify an increasing variety of glass recipes after the 16th century that revealed a growing interest in glass beads in Europe. In the 17th century and afterwards, greater numbers of glass- and glass-bead production centers were active, quite certainly due to a growing demand for export goods but also due to a more extensive use of beads in France.
The Society of Bead Researchers is a non-profit scientific-educational corporation founded in 1981 to foster historical, archaeological, and material cultural research on beads and beadwork of all materials and periods, and to expedite the dissemination of the resultant knowledge. Membership is open to all persons involved in the study of beads, as well as those interested in keeping abreast of current trends in bead research.
Dussubieux, Laure and Gratuze, Bernard
"Chemical Composition of 16th- to 18th-Century Glass Beads Excavated in Paris."
BEADS: Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers
24: 26-38. Available at:
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