Beadmaking in Bohemia
Historically, the Czechs are best known for their molded beads and those decorated by grinding such as the "cut blues". They are the world's biggest seed bead makers.
My first (1979) and second (1988) books on Czech beads are long out of print.
Bohemia is a plateau in central Europe ringed by mountains. It was an early Celtic region and glass beads were made in southern Bohemia by ca. 250 B.C.
Bohemia's power waxed and waned. It was a full member of the Holy Roman Empire and later was incorporated into the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After WW 1 it was united with Moravia and Slovakia into Czechoslovakia. After the fall of Communism in East Europe, Moravia and Bohemia formed the Czech Republic and Slovakia struck out on its own.
The native people are Czechs or Bohemians. They speak Czech. The beads are Czech
In the 14th century, as people began to populate the more mountainous north, glass factories appeared in this region (they had only been in the south before). The area has natural resources, especially wood for furnaces. It also has abundant waterpower. The later came to be used for cutting glass, which had great ramifications for the later bead industry.
The village of Turnov was (along with Prague) a center for cutting pyrope garnets. By the early 18th century the cutters had figured out a way to imitate the rich red color in glass.
Small Bead Businesses | Beading & Beadwork | Ancient Beads | Trade Beads