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Drawstring purse made of ‘sablé’ glass beads, France, 18th century


A special series of pouches, purses, wallets and other sorts of bags from the 18th century is made of tiny beads the size of grains of sand, between 0,5 and 0,6 mm in diameter. Today, this type of beadwork is called sablé, from the French for ‘sandy’. The beads strung on a silk thread were so small that a needle could not pass through them: a horse’s hair had to be used as a needle.

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