Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What is Cherry Brand? History and Provenance of Vintage Japanese Beads and Cabochons


What is “Cherry Brand”? You may have noticed several items at Bumbershoot Supplies labeled “Cherry Brand”. We have beads on wire, rhinestones and cabochons, all glass and all labeled "Cherry Brand".


These items often arrive wrapped in tissue sealed with an orange gummed sakura blossom label.


We love to obtain vintage beads and cabochons labeled Cherry Brand since the label helps us in dating and locating the supplies, providing information about their history and provenance.


My source for information about Cherry Brand comes from Dolce Street Arts and Crafts, a Japanese site. I recommend visiting this link for an English question and answer fact sheet about Cherry Brand. Here is a summary of the information provided.


Cherry Brand was used to label beads and cabochons made by a group of glass artisans in Osaka, Japan, from 1945 to 1952 during the US Occupation of Japan after WWII. Some glass beads and cabochons marked Cherry Brand were made earlier, but the vast majority of currently available items come from this period. Cherry Brand was not a factory per se, rather a large group of individual artisans who were rice farmers during the day and glass workers at night and during the off season.


At the end of WWII, American dealers brought samples of items they were interested in and commissioned these artisans to make similar beads and cabochons. The samples were European, usually Czech and Venetian. This is why you will see vintage and antique Czech cabochons from, for example, the 1920’s and 1930’s reproduced by Japanese glass artisans in the 1940’s. It is very interesting to look through Sibylle Jargsorf’s book Baubles, Buttons and Beads. The Heritage of Bohemia because you will find examples of beads and cabochons that were subsequently reproduced by Japanese Cherry Brand artisans.


In addition to being able to date and locate Cherry Brand beads and cabochons, we also love to obtain them for Bumbershoot Supplies because with Cherry Brand, we can always expect extraordinary beauty, as well as remarkable quality and craftsmanship. When an item is marked Cherry Brand, we know that within is contained a glass treasure, almost always made between 1945 and 1952, in Osaka Japan, by glass artisans working from their homes. Plus with these beads and cabochons, there is a direct connection to the original glass artisan – from their hands to yours. Does that thrill you? It does me!


Products related to this history can be found right here at Bumbershoot Supplies.

2 comments:

  1. What a wonderful article on the provenance of your supplies! Thank you very much for this information.

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  2. thank you for this info.

    ReplyDelete