Glass-Bead Snake

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Object Detail

Ornamental snake, consisting of a flexible (textile?) core oversewn with glass beads, approx 2mm dia, coloured white, light blue and dark blue, with brown quilting (?) in mouth. Made by Turkish prisoners of war in Egypt during WW1.
CH classification ORNAMENTS Glass ornament
Production place
L435 x W 15 x H25 mm
Weight: 32g
Media/Materials description
Glass beads on a textile (?) core.
History and use
Beadwork or beaded snakes were commonly made by Ottoman prisoners of war during World War 1 (WW1). Although they were often called Turkish beaded snakes, they were made by POWs in any of the British POW camps anywhere from the Balkans to the Sinai.
POWs made the snakes and other beadwork items to pass the time, to trade and as gifts.
This snake was donated by Miss Jean Hardie, whose brother Dr John Hardie served in the Australian Army Medical Corps from 1915 to 1919. Captain Hardie spent time in Egypt in 1915-1916 and it is likely he acquired the snake during this time.
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