Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Beaded Angel

That's what Tom always called it, but it's not an angel at all.

This is the story of a family heirloom, that now resides over our refurbished mantel. 

Tom's Grandfather, Bill Anderson, created this piece in about 1900, when he was still a youth.  This was the late Victorian, early Edwardian age of classical revival art and embellishment.  The subject matter is a Greek or Roman boy admiring nature.
The background is needle point, done either by Bill or his mother.  Bill was a teenager in a time when beading was a popular home craft.  The whole figure is covered with tiny glass beads.  We have a few other pieces that he did that have survived as well.
 Tom inherited this work of art from his mother, who like her mother, was an accomplished seamstress and fiber artist.  She appreciated what it was and it hung over her mantel until her death.

 In fact, Tom took it because no one else wanted it.  Everyone thought it was ugly.  I wasn't sure either.  But just as we finally studied it enough to decide it was not an angel, we also came to appreciate it's beauty.  It is back in its place of honor.

Of course, our kids still think it's ugly.  Maybe one of them will admire it and want it some day.  And even though we know that it is not an angel, we have never come up with another name for it, so that's what we still call it, the Beaded Angel.


  1. The age of the person has a lot to do with ugly vs. treasure. I find the older I get, things I once thought ugly, I now treasure. Strange how our sense of beauty changes as we age. Interesting story.

  2. I think it is very pretty. Such an art----to bead that is. I feel the way Linda (above) does about how our thinking changes. MB

  3. I think Linda is right. A lot has to do with the age and interest of the person. This is a lovely piece and deserves a place of honor at your home.

  4. I hope it will make its way through to at least one more generation of your family to appreciate it, and to love it. I think it's an amazing piece of art, not ugly at all.

  5. I think that it is wonderful, Linda! I remember after Grandma died, there were several paintings left over that my Uncle John had made. They were not in the top position of being claimed by us grandkids, but I did take one. I am so happy now that I did that. It hangs in our dining room, and I love it. If your kids aren't too enthused, perhaps one of the grandkids will be someday.

    Kathy M.

  6. What's wrong with it? I think it is quite beautiful, even more so since an ancestor created it.

  7. I think it rightly deserves a place of honor in your home since it took untold hours to create with love and patience by someone directly related to your family! In this day and age of quick consumerism it's a gentle reminder what perserverance can yeild ( a lasting treasure for future generations to appreciate).It's neat to be able to look at something he looked at long after he has gone! I've never seen a beaded picture...only beaded purses so it's really neat!

  8. how interesting and more so because an ancestor made it!

  9. I too think things are appreciated more as we get older. This may actually have some antique value if you were to decide to sell it, which you probably wouldn't - Dave


I would love to read your comments. Since I link most posts to Facebook, you may comment there if you do not have an account. I have eliminated Anonymous comments due to spammers.