Jean Felix Batterposses was an entrepeueur, an inventor, a landowner a patriach and a businessman.
His impact on the development of the French town of Briare was huge.
His factory produced beads and buttons in Briare from 1851 he had factories in other locations previously where he manufactured these wares.
The Beads which were made in the factory in Briare, and later in the Czech Republic and Germany are nowadays mostly referred to as ‘Prosser beads’, after the inventors of the pressing technique used for the beads, British brothers Richard and Thomas Prosser.
Jean Felix Baterposses himself would not use the name of other men to describe the beadshe so proudly made. At the time of production, the term that was mostly used was ‘Oriental beads’ and this description can be found on many sample cards to describe the beads.
The Czechs call the beads ‘Sinter beads’ which refers to the sintering of the ingredients. Another term often used is porcelain beads. The technique and the end result of the bead production can be seen as somewhat between glass and porcelain. Depending on the mix of ingredients and the use of feldspar as the main ingredient the product is either closer to glass or to porcelain. When looking at the majority of beads from the Batterposses factory the beads have a very ‘glassy’ feel and look.
The Prosser method was invented by those seeking a method for making porcelain buttons, and the first buttons were pottery. However after the beads started being made ion Briare, glassmakers from Germany and Bohemia would continue making the beads. The beads came from a history of porcelain, but were eventually sold alongside glass beads.
The beads made at the Batterposses factory were mostly intended for international trade.
Examples of the Prosser beads can be found in Ethnic jewellery around the world.
The Rubbish tips around the factory make great hunting grounds for beads.
Extract from the book Beads of Briare by Floor Kaspers
available to purchase here