Vintage mid- to late 1920s loom-beaded sautoir necklace in light green, red, black and silver-grey glass beads features a zigzag pattern with tasseled, spring green bobbles at either end. The six strand tassels are done in half black and half green, with silver-grey at the very bottom.
Loomed beadwork—much more efficient than that done with painstaking nineteenth century methods—became widespread after the Apache Beadwork Loom was patented in 1903. The looms remained popular well into the 1920s, with the Native American-inspired designs worked on them used to create the fashionable accessories of each decade--everything from purses, lorgnettes and watch fobs to belts, necklaces and trims for clothing.
An article in the Dec 2, 1927 Cincinatti Enquirer states that “If this were a scene of some 20 years ago, we could say that Ritzy Rosy was making a watch fob for one of her fortunate admirers. But even though she is using the old-fashioned bead loom, she is weaving some very new neck accessories for Christmas gifts. Thus does the revival of an old craft attract the attention of the younger generation.”
Photo #7 shows a design in an early Apache booklet similar to the one used in this necklace, which was made by a local Massachusetts seamstress in her girlhood.
Measuring 36” from end to end and ¼” wide, with the bobbles in 1” diameter, this lovely sautoir is in excellent condition, little to never used.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild