Elegant, colourful and full of history, this necklace is made of 24 antique African chevron trade beads. I have hand wrapped these in plated copper wire, ensuring the layers are visible-- the layers give the beads their star appearance, but are also essential in dating the beads. Most of these have 6 layers, which means they possibly date from the early 20th century.
Originally traded through West Africa, these beads beads are rich in history-- many are marked and worn by their mysterious journey. These beads came to me all together in a random lot of vintage beads from an estate sale, originally belonging to someone who had traveled widely throughout Africa. I have decided to keep them all together, though they differ slightly in age and colour. Grouped from the tiny, highly detailed 1/4" beads to the satisfyingly weighty 5/8" large central bead, the beads have been hand wired in a classic incremental links.
Necklace measures 19" including silver plated pewter hook and eye clasp.
This style of bead was originally used by Dutch merchants in the late 15th century. Large quantities of the beads were used as ballast on trading ships. Manufactured in Venice until the 1950s, this style of bead is still highly prized by collectors.
Price includes insured, tracked shipping via Royal Mail.