I have used gorgeous vintage glass Millefiori 'Thousand Flowers' Trade Beads from Ivory Coast in West Africa, along with yellow hand faceted Jasper beads, blue smooth round Lapis Lazuli beads, and a variety of Copper beads to create this stunning necklace. The colorful trade beads are in great condition, with slight pitting and some irregular edging as a result of their age. I have protected the beads, using copper wafer thin spacer beads. The rich earthy colors of this necklace is meant to paint a picture of the majesty of the African continent and its open blue skies. This colorful necklace comes with a pair of matching Lapis Lazuli earrings. dangling from hypoallergenic Niobium earwires.
Glass beads made between the 16th and 20th Century were widely used by European explorers as a form of currency to exchange for goods, services and even human slaves, particularly across the African continent. Most of these beads were produced in Venice, Italy. The most commonly traded beads were known as MIllefiori or Thousand Flowers, produced by creating stripes or flowers from glass canes, which were then cut or moulded to a core of solid colored glass. As they are hand made no two beads are identical and carry slight imperfections that add to their charm.
Length: 19.5 inches.
Beading Wire: 0.19"/49 strand clear-coated stainless steel professional quality beading wire with copper wire guards, crimps and crimp covers.
Bead size: 8 mm Lapis rounds; 12 mm yellow Jasper; 4 x 6 mm beaded copper spacers; 8 x 11 mm puffed copper coins; Trade beads vary from 10 mm x 15 to 25 mm.
Clasp: Copper=plated round toggle made by US artisan Patricia Healey.
Earrings: 1 and 3/8th inches from your piercing. French ear hooks are of hypoallergenic Niobium with a Copper bead. All ear wires from Sundancegems come with a clear medical grade PVC ear clutch or stopper. These fit snug on the ear wire, and prevent you from loosing your earrings.
Care: Clean with soft fabric, or non-abrasive polishing cloth. Avoid direct contact with perfumes, hairspray, and deodorants. Jewelry should be worn after application of cosmetics. Store wrapped in soft fabric or sealed in plastic bag.
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Photographs by Michael Santerre.
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