This is from a SCA researcher, who did a rather spectacular bit of research into those amazing gold German cauls you see often. Sometimes they look like beads, but sometimes they don’t, and here is a bit of info on what they are!
I will just send you there since it’s not entirely beads, even though a decorative thing with a hole technically qualifies, but it is late to post period so – off you go!
Flinderhaube – project documentation
Ironing crown (belongs to the head reliquary of St. Walburga)
Location: Scheer, Catholic parish church of St. Nicholas & former collegiate church
Material / Technique:enamel, pearl, gemstone
Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London Item page: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O11072/jewellery-case-edlin-martha/
Panel of a Coakatrice, 1673
Signed by Martha Edline, dated 1673. Padded lid covered with white satin and embroidered with glass beads and colored silks in tent and roccoco stitches. Lined with Pink Satin.
Place of origin: England (made)
Date: 1673 (made)
Artist/Maker: Edlin, Martha, born 1660 – died 1725 (maker)
Materials and Techniques: Wood, covered with embroidered silk satin with coloured silks, metal purl and glass beads, padded, lined with silk and paper, parchment, silver braid
Shire Album # 57 “Beadwork” Pamela Claburn Says:
A cockatrice within a wreath, flowers, and the inscription “Martha Edlin” Dated 1673. Satin embrodered with silk, glass beads and stiffened ribbon; tent and roccoco stitches and couch work. Detail: 12″x14″ (30.5×35.5 cm), Detail of the lid of a embroidered jewel case.”
Source for some pictures: The Victoria and Albert’s Textile Collection: Emroidery in Britain from 1200 to 1750 Donald King and Santina Levey Canopy Books, 1993, A division of Abbeyville Press, Inc. ISBN: 1-55859-652-6