Antique African Trade Bead Necklace with Cinnabar, Chrysocolla Jasper, and Bone
Colorful antique African trade beads made in the early 1900's in Europe were used for bartering with African people. African trade beads came about as a result of the need for traders along the route between Europe and Africa for a currency to trade with the Africans.
Over the years I have purchased many of these fascinating beads. Investigating the history of African trade beads is a tricky task. The antique Millefiori and Chevron beads are easily identifiable and many beads feature tell-tale signs of antiquity, such as pitting and small fractures. There are some beads, which to the trained eye, can be dated based on certain aesthetics; the way they are cut, their shape, and even designs can be indicative of the century, or era they were made.
Although many countries made their own beads to trade, those made in Italy are some of the most beautiful. The large center and 2 side Venetian Millefiori beads are a classic example of the ones made in Italy.
Several other elements including large Cinnabar rounds, antique yellow trade beads (origin unknown) dark blue Snake beads, Chrysocolla Jasper, bone, wooden disks, and dark blue Krobo beads complete this one of a kind Ethnic style necklace. The necklace is 17-1/2 inches.