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A Buried Treasure Rediscovered | by raaen99
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A Buried Treasure Rediscovered

This necklace is made up entirely of 1920s glass bugle beads that were made in Toruń in northern Poland (then Pomerania). There are some unique shapes, and being made of glass, they are very heavy.


However, what is remarkable about these beyond their amazing and unusual looks, is their equally amazing and unusual history.


Between 1923 and 1939, these beads and millions like them were produced from a very successful workshop on the outskirts of Toruń and sent to fashion houses both locally and in cities like Prague, Vienna and Paris. Then, with the coming of Hitler's invasion of Poland and the Second World War, the owners of the workshop closed their doors. They took the beads they had in the workshop and buried them in boxes in the ground beneath the floor of the workshop and then fled, hoping to return to reclaim them some day. And so the beads remained buried beneath the flagstones throughout the Second World War when the workshop was razed, and beyond during the re-building of post-war Poland. Although still in possession of the land on which the workshop had stood, the owners and their descendants never returned to Toruń to claim them, and the beads became a thing of legend. Nearly seventy years later, descendants of the original owners returned to Toruń to live, and decided to see if there was any truth to the stories of 'buried treasure'. Much to their astonishment and delight, what they uncovered beneath the flagstones were thirty great boxes, still well preserved in the earth, of 1920s and 1930s glass bugle beads!


The beads were split up amongst a few relations, including friends of mine who are artists. Knowing how much I love vintage clothing, beads and the 1920s, they made me a gift of three stunning necklaces made from the bugle beads in the ten boxes they inherited. This is the 'Naszyjnik Różany' or 'Rose Necklace'.


The theme for "Looking Close… on Friday" is "beads", so I thought this necklace of buried treasure was a suitable choice.

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Taken on September 1, 2020