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Genevra Kornbluth.
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Last updated
November 18, 2013

Historical Archive: Beads, Spindle Whorls, and Spindle Rods

Many are not yet digitized. The full list appears after the thumbnails below. Most will be posted after publication of my next book.
If you need an image before then, feel free to contact me and I will prioritize the requested object.


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collar constructed of Egyptian faience beads, c.650-300 BCE, KM 2001.01.0002
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collar constructed of Egyptian faience beads, c.650-300 BCE, KM 2001.01.0002
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jet bead set in gold as a bound pendant, 5th to 3rd c. BCE, from Maikop, RGM D351
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jet bead set in gold as a bound pendant, 5th to 3rd c. BCE, from Maikop, RGM D351
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spindle whorls, ceramic, Roman period, Chelles
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black glass Anglo-Saxon spindle whorl with red streaks, c.500-530, from Cleatham grave 34, NLM, Cleatham 2830
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amber beads from Rheinhessen, mid to 2nd half of 6th c., LMM O,4035
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Anglo-Saxon bronze small-long fibulae with amber and crystal beads (one a faceted whorl) from Barrington B, CMAA Z.21298
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glass and amber Anglo-Saxon beads with rock crystal spindle whorl from Selmeston 7, Lewes Castle Museum 52.42.6
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rock crystal faceted spindle whorl, Alfriston grave 65, c.500-560, Lewes Castle Museum
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rock crystal faceted spindle whorl, Alfriston grave 65, c.500-560, Lewes Castle Museum
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rock crystal faceted spindle whorl, Alfriston grave 65, c.500-560, Lewes Castle Museum
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glass melon bead from Rhenen, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 095 Ac
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glass melon bead from Rhenen, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 095 Ac
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 380, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 380 G
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 380, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 380 G
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 380, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 380 G
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 380, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 380 G
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 402, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 402
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 402, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 402
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 402, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 402
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 600, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 600 C
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 600, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 600 C
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 600, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 600 C
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glass spindle whorl from Rhenen grave 600, Merovingian, Leiden Rh 600 C
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glass bead from Rhenen grave 413, mid to early 2nd half of 6th c., Leiden Rh 413
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spindle whorls and beads from Rhenen grave 413: rock crystal, glass, amber, mid to early 2nd half of 6th c., Leiden Rh 413
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Merovingian rock crystal spindle whorl from Rhenen Donderberg grave 413 (Leiden Rh 413), fitted on to Carolingian bone spindle rod from Dorestad, Leiden
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rock crystal spindle whorl said to be from Jerusalem, “Tomb of the Prophets” (Merovingian?), BM 49/11-27/13
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rock crystal spindle whorl said to be from Jerusalem, “Tomb of the Prophets” (Merovingian?), BM 49/11-27/13
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rock crystal spindle whorl said to be from Jerusalem, “Tomb of the Prophets” (Merovingian?), BM 49/11-27/13
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rock crystal spindle whorl said to be from Jerusalem, “Tomb of the Prophets" (Merovingian?), 49/11-27/13
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needle and spindle rods from Dorestad, bone, Carolingian, Leiden
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rock crystal bead: reliquary with pilgrim/secular badges, wood and tin alloy, late 14-early 15th c., Tournai, treasury of Nôtre-Dame. This work has its own page.
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Memento Mori bead poss. from a rosary, ivory, c.1500 France or Flanders, PMA 2007-133-1. This object has its own page.
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Annunciation and Arma Christi, wood rosary bead, south Low Countries, early 16th c., Cluny: Louvre OA347
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Annunciation and Arma Christi, wood rosary bead, south Low Countries, early 16th c., Cluny: Louvre OA347
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standing cross, boxwood with pearls and glass, Greece c.1650-1800, UMMA 1961/1.177. This work has its own page.


Faceted Glass Beads and Spindle Whorls, Merovingian and Anglo-Saxon

blue spindle whorl from Basel Kleinhüningen grave 191, 5th c., HMB 1946.537

blue spindle whorl c.460-80, from the Entringen grave from 1927, WLM

blue spindle whorl from Entringen grave 1 from 1930, WLM, A 30/214

blue spindle whorl from Samson, Namur, Musée Provincial des Arts anciens du Namurois

fragmentary blue spindle whorl c.480-510, from Hemmingen grave 2, WLM

blue spindle whorl c.570, from Köln St-Severin grave III 73, RGM

blue spindle whorl from Lavoye grave 295, MAN 73309

blue spindle whorl from Alfriston grave 92, Lewes Castle Museum

blue spindle whorl from Castledyke South, NLM, RF 248

green spindle whorl from Deißlingen grave 28, WLM


Other forms of Merovingian and Anglo-Saxon Glass Beads and Whorls

green and white spindle whorl from Schretzheim, Stadt- und Hochstiftmuseum Dillingen

lobed green bead from Basel-Kleinhüningen, HMB 1906.835K

melon bead from Basel-Kleinhüningen grave 94, HMB 1935.509

yellow and red spindle whorl from Basel-Kleinhüningen, HMB 1906.835L


Faceted Rock Crystal Beads and Spindle Whorls, Merovingian and Anglo-Saxon

Alfriston grave 28, c.500-560, Lewes Castle Museum

Arcy-Sainte-Restitue: 2 whorls, MAN 36287, 36287

Basel Kleinhüningen grave 35, c.510-30, HMB 1933.486

Basel Kleinhüningen grave 230, c.480-510, HMB 1948.209

Brighthampton grave 49, Ashmolean AN 1966.111

Chaouilley grave 21, c.525-60, MAN, 78748

Chassemy grave 58, 2nd quarter of 6th c., MAN, Chassemy 36287

Deißlingen grave 16 (1930), c.530-55, WLM, F74,12

Fairford grave 27 or 29, Ashmolean 1961.43

Fairford grave 20 or 30, Ashmolean 1961-36

Fairford no context, Ashmolean 1961.158

Faversham II no context, BM, 1216.’70

Férebrianges grave 4, MAN, 67187

Fonaby, NLM

Frénouville grave 18, Musée de Normandie de Caen, 72.6.42

Fridingen an der Donau grave 150, c.530-55, WLM, F85,135

Great Chesterford grave 116, c.475-525, BM 1964,0702.357

Gültlingen no context, WLM, 11384,18

Harlton (probably), CMAA, Z 16284

Honnay-Revogne no context, Namur, Musée Provincial des Arts anciens du Namurois

Hunsbury Hill (near), Society of Antiquaries of London, 95a

Jerusalem “Tomb of the Prophets” (said to be from), BM 49/11-27/15

Joches grave 1, MAN, 68133

Kirchheim am Neckar no context, c.480-510, WLM, F64/1

Lackford no context, CMAA, 1950.85 B.2

Linton Heath grave 40, CMAA, 1948.1568

Little Wilbraham no context: 3 whorls, CMAA, 1948.1508, 1948.1498

Long Wittenham I grave 100, BM 1865,0310.260

Mucking II cremation grave 804: crazed fragments of a whorl, BM 1970,0406.1554

Mucking II inhumation grave 843, mid 6th c., BM 1970,0406.717

Pfullingen or possibly Kienlesberg no context, WLM, Pfull. S.U. 31,1593

Rill no context, RLM 30940

Ringlemere Farm grave 40, BM

Ringlemere Farm grave 41, BM

Schretzheim grave 33, c.530-55, Stadt- und Hochstiftmuseum Dillingen

Selmeston 7 no context, Lewes Castle Museum 52.42.6

Vieuxville grave 49, Jambes, Ministère de la Région wallonne, Direction de l’Archéologie

Wellin grave 19, 2nd to 3rd quarter of 6th c., Marche-en-Famenne, Le Musée des Francs et de la Famenne, MF/We/16

West Wight no context, BM, 2006,0305.62

Wheatley grave 14: 2 whorls, Ashmolean AN 1883.39.b

Unknown provenance: 2 whorls, RGM, Diergardt Collection 554, 555

Unknown provenance, Met Collection Morgan, 17.192.167

Unknown provenance, MAN, Diergardt Collection 1923, 70497


Other Crystal Beads

cubo-octahedral beads, 4th to 6th c. Ukraine, RGM

melon bead, RGM D136

strigillated bead from Oberstotzingen, Merovingian context, WLM


Other materials

agate bead set in gold as a bound pendant, unknown provenance (Anglo-Saxon?), BM, AF 519

amber sword bead from Gültlingen, Merovingian, WLM 10 102,5