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The History Of Beads : From 30,000 B.C. To The Present (Concise Edition)

In its original hardcover edition (1987), this remarkable book was the first comprehensive history of beads ever published. It includes several thousand examples of beads, beaded jewelry, and beadwork representing 30,000 years of history and drawn from every major culture and region of the world. Now largely unavailable in hardcover and still the most authoritative book on the subject, it is finally available in paperback at a very attractive price. For thousands of years, beads have played an important role throughout the world, from Japan to Cameroon. This highly unusual and innovative volume surveys the fascinating story of their evolution: beads have been used as a medium of trade, as talismans, as personal adornment, as status symbols, and as religious artifacts. They are capsules of cultural, historical, and technological information. This ambitious survey of beads and their unique contribution to history features more than 380 illustrations, most in full color, a spectacular illustrated time line of bead history, detailed maps, a chart of bead shapes, and a highly readable text by Lois Sherr Dubin. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Hardcover: 136 pages

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (September 30, 1998)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0810981785

ISBN-13: 978-0810981782

Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.7 x 12 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,768,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #596 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Jewelry #1356 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Beauty, Grooming, & Style > Style & Clothing #1756 in Books > Arts & Photography > Decorative Arts & Design > Textile & Costume

This book comes in two versions: a concise version and a huge hardcover version. I own both, but find the unabridged version to be head and shoulders above the paperback "bead history lite" one. This huge tome is a labor of love, and is one of the best books available to learn why every culture devised by man has valued these little objects with holes in them.There are plenty of photos, and the book follows the parallel paths of humans and beads throughout history. It can be startling and amusing to discover that what we consider to be new and exciting has been done many times in the past by people in cultures everywhere. I personally found it facinating to discover that one of the first things that humans do when we discover a new material is to punch a hole in it and wear it as a bead.Intrinsically, beads are mostly worthless, but this book shows how they bind us all together and add to our knowledge of the people share our planet, both now and in the past. A must read for the serious bead artist.

Lois Sherr Dubin's 32,000 year history of beads book appeals to both lay person and scholar. Gorgeous color photos and striking black and white photos enhance the reader's imaging delight. The author's all-encompassing focus on the multi-faceted technological achievements of the human imagination in creating beads throughout the millennia is both astounding and inspiring. In addition, the comprehensive time line, table, notes, bibliography, and index make this an invaluable research tool as well as an illuminating work of art. I cannot recommend this book more highly

This book carefully traces the travels and roles of beads throughout human history. It is organized mainly by geography, but it also has chapters on special bead types (amber, pearls, eye beads and prayer beads). The photos of historic beads and jewelry are worth the price of admission all by themselves, and can be very inspiring for creative folks. It is also an eye-opening history: I was a history major in college, and I learned A LOT from this book. If you create with beads, Dubin's book will show you what the human race has done before you. If you collect beads, you will learn much about the people and places your prizes may have passed through on the way to your hands.

I had often borrowed the hardcover edition of this book through inter-library loans, so I was thrilled to see it available in soft cover. It covers the broad scope of world history from the perspective of beads--from materials and processes used, through their purposes and uses. A valuable addition to any collection.

I hope this edit supercedes my previous review as the author was correct and I feel like an idiot for not doing my own research correctly and voicing criticism very inappropriately. The book is, as described by previous reviewers, quite gorgeous, and, along with Robert Liu's book, one of the few available serious efforts at a comprehensive history.

I own a great deal of books on the subject of beads. I can easily say that I find myself returning to this book again and again for both reference and entertainment. Although some information may require a bit of updating, the work itself is easily one of the best books on the subject, making it an absolute 'must have' for anyone interested in beads, jewelry, or the history of adornment in cultures throughout the world. Although there are two wonderful editions of this book, I recommend the unabridged vesion, as it obviously contains the most amount of information. Overall, this book is concise, well-illustrated, and an overall entertaining read!

I first met this breathtakingly beautiful book several years ago while working at a beadstore. It was an absolute treasure trove of information while I was studying the history of beads and beadwork. The photos of historical and cultural projects are a wonderful source of inspiration and knowledge. The pull-out chart of the bead time line is beautiful. a beautiful coffee table book and useful reference.

This is a handsomely put together paperback--large size format--that is filled with color photos and detailed information on beads through the ages. It was originally a very expensive hardback, one which I would have hesitated to have my elementary students handle. Now we all refer to it--especially the beautiful removable bead time-line poster inside.

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