River Pearls – Searching for Clues

So the answer when asking about the origin of pearls, is not particularly difficult to be normally.Most of today’s Pearl comes from Asia (China has overtaken since the former market leader in Japan). Natural pearls are found as before, if at all, especially in Arab countries. Special cases such as black Tahitian pearls or the silvery Austral Pearl betrayed in the name, where the largest deposits are located.

And in this country? The idea seems on first glance to be a little absurd. And yet: looking at medieval paintings, the ladies of the high society are so often in überreichlichem pearl jewelry to see. Pearl necklaces and beautiful earrings display the status of the wearer, explained by NonprofitDictionary. In fact, there were occurrences of Pearl-bearing shell of Margaritifera Magaretifira in many German rivers until not so long ago.

Most common were the pearls finds in Bavaria. Where the streams coming from the mountain slopes lose their slope, seem particularly happy to have felt the mussels.They need no miracle, but slow flowing water. Especially the area around Passau was famous for its pearls. Such a wealth of course woke up greed is obvious. Therefore, the coveted beads were placed under the mining law already in the 15th century.

One hundred years later the Prince-Bishop of Passau went a step further: he determined that the fishing pearls in the Bavarian Forest is permitted to him alone. The death penalty was temporarily on unauthorized fishing of Pearl. Since the monarch could not assume that his subjects could read the Decree, colorful prohibition signs announced the punishment to be expected – smouldering torture tools and gallows loops up to the hand chopped-off everything was banned there artistically on wood . The princely beads shelf was undisputed until well into the 18th century.

Pearls were discovered in the Fichtelgebirge mountains. Of course wanted to other landlords don’t stand back there and tried although strictly speaking not in Pearl breeding, but yet on the settlement of Pearl mussels. Elector Max III. 1758 tried to attract 10 000 Bavarian Pearl mussels in a duct system at Schloss Nymphenburg. The ambitious experiment was a flop. The entire population died after a short time.

Karl Theodor von der Pfalz had more luck when he set out the much smaller number of just 1200 shells in the Steinach in the Odenwald. Not only that the animals there over 200 years they started survived, even after a short time, actually to supply beads. However, this success was owed as any meaningful planning to chance more. The Freshwater Pearl Mussel requires a host fish to their reproduction. Trout takes outcast larvae of the mussels, which spend the winter there. In the Steinach there are trout in large numbers. Only when the growing water pollution played havoc with the fish in the middle of the 20th century, also the beads began to die out.

But elsewhere the Pearl fishing flourished. A legendary string of pearls from extremely uniform beads from the magpie in the Upper Lusatia is exhibited in the Green vault in Dresden, and the occurrence in the Lüneburg Heath were a like to use raw materials in particular for religious art. Especially in the Heath monasteries flourished in the 15th century the Perlenstickerei.Heute there is only in the river Lachte, a tributary of the aller, remnants of populations of margaritifera, and the also only because it simply not worthwhile, this insignificant Trickle to fish. Extensive protective measures here but slowly again lead to an increase.

And yet: who does the search, can still find traces of ancient beads wealth. Whether on the portraits of that time, where Pearl Jewelry often plays a role and pearl necklaces include virtually de rigueur, whether on the magnificent altar hangings and perlenbestickten Easter pillow. The village Schwienach near Uelzen carries two River pearls in his coat.