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Trade Beads


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Venetian Millefiori Trade Beads (C) - Sold
A set of nine mixed colour Venetian Millefiori trade beads from the 1800's. I have several sets for sale and I've categorised them by size and colour as much as I can. These are mixed though.

This set vary between approx. 11-13mm across and 7- 11mm high. The beading hole is 3mm.

Please do not expect perfection in these beads. They are very old, very roughly cut and may contain the odd chip here and there, which due to their very nature, actually adds to their beauty.

Price: 24.00 - Sold

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History of Millefiori beads

Millefiori trade beads are Venetian, meaning they were all made in Venice. They got the name from the fact that they had floral patterns. The floral patterns were included because of the intrinsic value Africans placed on decorative items.

The first Millefiori trade beads were used in Africa in the late 1800s, but they could have been used in the mid 1800s. These beads continued to be used through to the early 1900s. They were made on commission basis by Europeans who wanted to ease their way through Africa. Each commission had different specifications and this explains the difference in design and color. They were mostly used in West Africa where most of the slave trade took place.

Africans were enthusiastic about these beads because they placed a lot of intrinsic value on decorative items and because they thought they were genuine currency. They used them to trade among themselves and for various other uses.

* * * * *

Many people are making trade beads that mimic the original trade beads. To get the genuine beads, do not expect flawlessness, buy from an established online or offline store.
 


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Venetian Millefiori Trade Beads (B)
A set of four Venetian Millefiori trade beads from the 1800's. I have several sets for sale and I've categorised them by size and colour as much as I can.

This set are approx. 13-14mm across and 11-12mm high. The beading hole is 3mm.

Please do not expect perfection in these beads. They are very old, very roughly cut and may contain the odd chip here and there, which due to their very nature, actually adds to their beauty.

Price: 14.00

* * * * *
History of Millefiori beads

Millefiori trade beads are Venetian, meaning they were all made in Venice. They got the name from the fact that they had floral patterns. The floral patterns were included because of the intrinsic value Africans placed on decorative items.

The first Millefiori trade beads were used in Africa in the late 1800s, but they could have been used in the mid 1800s. These beads continued to be used through to the early 1900s. They were made on commission basis by Europeans who wanted to ease their way through Africa. Each commission had different specifications and this explains the difference in design and color. They were mostly used in West Africa where most of the slave trade took place.

Africans were enthusiastic about these beads because they placed a lot of intrinsic value on decorative items and because they thought they were genuine currency. They used them to trade among themselves and for various other uses.

* * * * *

Many people are making trade beads that mimic the original trade beads. To get the genuine beads, do not expect flawlessness, buy from an established online or offline store.
14.00 €            


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Venetian Millefiori Trade Beads (A)
A set of eight Venetian Millefiori trade beads from the 1800's. I have several sets for sale and I've categorised them by size and colour as much as I can.

This set are approx. 12-13mm across and 10mm high. The beading hole is 3mm.

Please do not expect perfection in these beads. They are very old, very roughly cut and may contain the odd chip here and there, which due to their very nature, actually adds to their beauty.

Price: 24.00

* * * * *
History of Millefiori beads

Millefiori trade beads are Venetian, meaning they were all made in Venice. They got the name from the fact that they had floral patterns. The floral patterns were included because of the intrinsic value Africans placed on decorative items.

The first Millefiori trade beads were used in Africa in the late 1800s, but they could have been used in the mid 1800s. These beads continued to be used through to the early 1900s. They were made on commission basis by Europeans who wanted to ease their way through Africa. Each commission had different specifications and this explains the difference in design and color. They were mostly used in West Africa where most of the slave trade took place.

Africans were enthusiastic about these beads because they placed a lot of intrinsic value on decorative items and because they thought they were genuine currency. They used them to trade among themselves and for various other uses.

* * * * *

Many people are making trade beads that mimic the original trade beads. To get the genuine beads, do not expect flawlessness, buy from an established online or offline store.
24.00 €            


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African Trade Bead - Mid 1800s - King Bead - Made in Venice
An antique wound lampwork King Bead that has visited three continents in it's lifetime so far. And here it is in Ireland.

This bead has a black core with wonderful mustard yellow, brick-red, green, and lavender or white glass painted design. It has recently come from the Ghana African bead trade where it has represented currency, status, and position.

Folklore has it that this glass bead type is a King Bead because it was worn and sought after by the tribal chiefs in Ghana. In Africa the King Beads fetch a high price.

They have become very popular with bead collectors in recent years. This bead is in wonderful condition. There is a slight chip on one end, due to age.

The Venetians were, and are, famous for their production of the old collectible trade bead styles. They were known for their glass and bead making expertise. They began holding the monopoly on the world bead trade in the late 1400's and continue to produce beads to this day.

The King Beads were made in Venice by expert bead makers that had to closely guard their bead making secrets or risk death and imprisonment from the government. Kings are very classic trade beads. They have educational and historical value.

Size: approx: 18 x 15mm The beading hole is approx. 3mm
Price: 18 euro
18.00 €            


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Frosted /Clear Vintage African Glass Round Melon Beads (15mm) - Vintage Beads - 1900
This listing is for a set of eight frosted/clear very old African glass ridged melon beads from the 1900's. They are 15mm rounds. May show slight signs of wear from age. I have tried to show all of the imperfections in the photographs. They are all solid in real life. Any lines /cracks are internal only.

A lovely bead for your ethnic designs, and they feel really nice to the touch. I don't believe them to have been Trade Beads, but I've categorised them as such due to their nature and age.

Size: 15mm
Price: 8 euro
Stock: 1 set
8.00 €            


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African Trade Beads - Green Bohemian Vaseline Bi-Cones
Three old green glass bi-cone Vaseline beads that have come from the African bead trade.

These beads are delicious! They have a lovely smoothed patina that has developed with age and time.

In Africa they have represented status, currency and position. They were strung on long pieces of rafia for neck wear.

These 16 mm green bi-cone Vaselines were made by expert bead makers in Bohemia in the early 1900's where many of the older collectible trade bead styles originated. They have a distinctive saucer shape and size, and are a collectible trade bead.

What was historically called Bohemia we know today as the Czech Republic.

Size: 16mm
Price: 8.50 euro for the set
8.50 €