Thursday, March 5, 2015

Discovering Glass - Sizing Beads With Kernel Number and French Line

When I'm lucky I get beads in their original packages and then I might see sizing that just doesn't make sense. I mean, how can size be 3 1/2? When it measures about 8mm? So I realized it's not in the metric system and I couldn't imagine how inches can be used here either. Or how about size 00?

Answers came from one great book. It's called "Beads from Gablonz", author Waltraud Neuwirth.

In the old times French line (Parisian line) was used when measuring beads and small glass components, and 1 inch=12lines. In different countries it was calculated into millimeters differently: 1 Parisian line = 2,2558mm, 1 Rhine line = 2,179mm, 1 Viennese line = 2,195, 1 English or Russian line = 2,116mm (Neuwirth 2011:24). Most of my Prosser bead boxes have 00, one bundle has 000 and one package 8 (that looks bit like 3, I'm not sure). So it turns out that those nulls on my Prosser bead labels are actually Kernel numbers that are connected to the so-called line measurements mentioned by Neuwirth. In the book there is a table with Kernel numbers, lines and corresponding millimeters when calculated Parisian lines (Neuwirth 2011:28). So I took it as reference and checked my beads.

The sample cards below have measurements in Parisian lines and if I compare with the correspondent millimeters from the table, the results are exact. Or as exact I can see with my ruler that has1mm accuracy.

Not so easy with Prosser beads though. Some of my nr 00 sized Prosser beads are measuring a bit more, others a lot more. Table says that size 00 should be 3,94mm, my beads are more like 4-5mm. Sized 000 should be 3,34mm, but are 3-3,8mm. Sized 8 should be 9mm, but are 7,5-8,1mm. But Prosser beads are not uniform in size, some are bigger, other smaller. Comparing same size (00) beads it seems that Czechoslovakian beads are bit bigger than French Prosser beads.

Klaashelmeste ajalugu
Antique sample card with glass sew-on stones, all with foiling
and frosted surface. On the left there are size in Parisian line
and right are color numbers.
klaashelmeste ajalugu
French sample card with jet nailhead beads, article number
on top sizing on left. T
hese actually look like they have been
faceted by hand not molded, because
the corners
of facets don't always align and the surface of the facet 
has slight lines from grinding.
klaashelmeste ajalugu
 Sample card with no-hole molded glass buttons in light and dark
amber color. Same logo at top left corner suggests the same
distributor like the first card components. Glass seems to be
molded with different top and bottom part molds and has
wire attached. Sample card has long wood pieces behind and
 wire of each button goes through the card into the wood.

klaashelmeste ajalugu
Antique faceted glass beads from Czechoslovakia. I didn't received
the package full 
so I don't know what numbers stands for the amount.
But 3 1/2 means the size  for 7,8mm as according Parisian lines.
klaashelmeste ajalugu
Selection of French (Briare) Prosser beads with no sizing.
I have them
loose in boxes or cloth bags and some strung
into long strings or interesting hanks.
klaashelmeste ajalugu
French Briare Prosser beads in cardboard box:
color 950, size nr 00 and amount 5000 pcs
klaashelmeste ajalugu
 Remnants of a big bundle of French Prosser beads.
Beads are strung into long strings. According to the tag
color is 3774, size 000 and original amount 25 000 pcs.
Redlhammer Brothers klaashelmeste ajalugu
Original packages of Prosser beads from
Redlhammer Brothers, Czechoslovakia.
Both are with round beads article 3362 and in color 891.
Box has size 00 and amount of 5000 ("5 Mille") loose beads.
Wrapped package has size 8 (looks a bit like 3?) and amount
1000 pcs on string (10 strings, each with 100 beads, "1 Mille").
klaashelmeste ajalugu
Comparison of black French and milky Czechoslovakian
Prosser beads. Both beads came from original boxes
labeled with size 00. 
But as you can see, the milky ones are bit bigger.

Kui veab, saan helmeid nende originaal pakendites ja seetõttu puutun kokku mulle veidi imelikena tunduvate numbritega. Et mis mõttes on suurus 3 1/2? Helmes ise oli umbes 7mm? Nii et see ei saa olla ei meetrisüsteemis ja tollidega ei suutnud ma seda samuti siduda. Või suurus nagu 00?

Appi tuli üks tark raamat. Pealkirjaks "Beads from Gablonz", autor Waltraud Neuwirth.

French line (Parisian line) on mõõtühik, mis oli seotud tolliga nii, et 1 toll =12 lines. Erinevates riikides oli selle vastavus millimeetritega erinev (ma ei hakka ingliskeelest tõlkima): 1 Parisian line = 2,2558mm, 1 Rhine line = 2,179mm, 1 Viennese line = 2,195, 1 English või Russian line = 2,116mm (Neuwirth 2011:24). Enamus minu Prosser helmeste karpidel on suurus 00, ühel helmeste puntral oli silt 000 ja ühel pakil 3 (mis paistab nagu 8). Tuleb välja, et need nullid, mida just Prosser helmeste juures näha, on osa nn Kernel'i numbrite süsteemist, mis on omakorda  seotud ülaltoodud line suurustega. Raamatus on ära toodud tabel, kus Kernel'i number on viidud vastavusse Parisian line ja millimeetritega (Neuwirth 2011:28). 

Näiteks ülal toodud näidiskaaartidel ongi suurusteks Parisian lines ja kui võrrelda tabeli järgi suurust millimeetrites, siis oli vastavus täpne. Või nii täpne, kui minu silm seletas 1mm täpsusega joonlaua järgi.

Nii lihtne pole aga Prosser helmestega. Osad nr 00 suuruses Prosser helmed olid natuke suuremad, osad rohkem. Tabeli järgi peaks nr 00 olema 3,94mm, mul olid 4-5mm. Suurus 000 peaks olema 3,34mm, aga mul on 3-3,8mm. Suurus 8 vastavalt 9mm, aga minul on 7,5-8,1mm. Prosser helmed on enamjaolt suuruse koha pealt ebaregulaarsed, et ühe suuruse all on nii väiksemaid kui ka suuremaid. Üldiselt tundub, et Prosser helmed on reeglina suuremad, kui tabelis ja Tšehhoslovakkia helmed omakorda Prantsuse helmestest suuremad.

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