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Previous Exhibits, including the Sick Catalog

Previous Exhibit of
The J.F. Sick & Co. Bead Color Catalog, 1921

Enter The ExhibitThis exhibit features the pages of the Sick catalog made in 1921( for page 1 through 40). The pictures are taken from catalogs both in the Billy Steinberg collection and the one housed in the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium. The catalog consists of 49 pages of color pictures of Venetian, Bohemian, German and French beads as well as two pages entitled "cheap jewelry" and one page of buttons. It seems that the catalog was specifically geared to the African market and that most of the beads with few exception are commonly seen there.

Both of the catalogs are incomplete. Pages 4 and 41 are missing in both . Pages 9 through 14 are missing from Billy's. However the millefiori in those pages are so repetitive (basically the same beads in different sizes) that we did not include them except for page 12. Pages 12, 39, 40, 44 as well as the buying advice page are taken from the Tervuren Museum's catalog.

It is interesting to note that the millefiori and other Venetian beads are all sold by bunch of 100 beads except for the finest fancy and chevron. Most of the Bohemian beads are sold by 1000. Idar-Oberstein products are sold by the dozen.

This was one of the first color catalogs ever made. The two-holed pages are held together with string in such a way that pages could be taken or added. The size of the catalog is 10.75 x 6.5 inches (26.2 x 17cm). All illustrations in the catalog are actual size.

The Sick & Co., a bead brokerage house, was founded by Mr, Sick, a German, in the early 1900s. Its main office was in Hamburg, Germany, until 1927 when it was transferred to Amsterdam. In 1928 Mr Sick left the firm and it became a Dutch company under the name N.V. Handelsmaatshappij vorheen J.F. Sick & Co.

This leads us to believe that pages 42 to 49 were added at a later date by the new owner as the top of the pages show the new company name. The company was very active in Africa. They had five offices in Nigeria, three in Ghana, two in Cameroun and an office in Venice.

We are grateful to Billy Steinberg and the Tervuren Museum for their cooperation to make this exhibit possible and give some interesting information to bead collectors.

We will continue our exhibit on millefiori later on.

Enjoy! Click on the sample page above to browse the exhibit pages.

John and Ruth Picard

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