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Antique Trade Beads - Glass, Shell, Bone

Since ancient times, peoples of all cultures, races, and religions have used beads for personal adornment, protection against evil powers, and to display wealth and power. The first ones were thought to be worn as talismans to protect from evil forces. Beads have been made of every conceivable type of material known to man. Some of the oldest known beads are 37,000 - 38,000 years old made from Ostrich Shells and bones. Many other ancient beads have been found made from readily available materials, such as teeth, rocks, seeds, wood, ivory, horn and some plant resins. Later as glass and metal production began, those materials were used for beads as well. They have long been valued, traded, and adored by millions of people around the world.
Sandcast Beads - The process of making these beads is unique to Africa and has been used for over 1000 years. Pulverized glass of various colors is poured into a clay mold, using a cassava stem for the bead's hole. The mold is placed in a furnace and heated until the glass particles congeal without actually melting and the stem burns out. The Ghananians have been making beads in this manner since the 1600s. Prossers are molded beads that are created by pressing a finely powdered dry mixture of clay, feldspar and flint into a mold which is then heated in an oven until the material fuses and forms a glass bead. Prosser Beads are named after its inventor, Richard Prosser, who developed the process in Bohemia in the 1830s. Prosser beads can be recognized by the barely visible seam that runs around the center of the outside edge of each bead and by the uniformity of shape and size of beads in a single strand.

Antique Mali Wedding Beads Millefiori Italian Glass Cylinders- Yellow & Brown Millefiori Italian Glass Trade Bead Tubes - Multi-colored

Antique Mail Wedding Beads Trade African

Mali wedding beads made in Bohemia in the early 1900s. Interesting bulbous shape with an avg size of 15x25mm. Hole across the top so it can be strung as a pendant. These large antique beads show some signs of wear, which adds to their beauty and story. Mixed colors in a package of 6.

Size: 15x25mm

$15.00 for 6 beads


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African Millefiori Trade Beads

These beads are antique Italian/Venetian Millefiori from the early 1900's. The Italians are famous for making these beads. They have red and yellow spots with a black core. They are 13mm in diameter, the longest bead is 35mm. You are getting a set of 4 beads. See another view.

Size: 34x13mm

$28 for 4 bead set

Vintage millefiori red and yellow trade beads glass tubes

These beads are antique Italian/Venetian Millefiori from the early 1900's. The Italians are famous for making these beads. These tube shaped beads are multi-colored with wonderful red stars on a white background. They have a black core and average 10mm in diameter, the longest bead is 20mm. You are getting set of 4 beads. See another view.

Size: 20x10mm

$14 for 4 bead set

Watermelon Venetian Awala Chevron Trade Beads Green & White Venetian Striped Awala Trade Beads Green & Red Venetian Striped Awala Trade Beads

Antique Watermelon Chevron Trade Beads

Early 20th century Venetian 4 layer watermelon chevrons in a barrel shape with flat ends. Also called Awala or Awally beads these Venetian Chevron or star beads are the most beautiful, recognizable and collectable of all of the African "Trade Beads". These beads are named watermelon because of the their red green and white colors. Nice quality beads made for trade in Africa. Package of 12 See view A, B

Size: 4-5mm

$4.00 for 12

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Green and white striped Venetian African Trade beads 4mm

Early 20th century Venetian green and white striped glass beads in a barrel shape with flat ends. Also called Awala or Awally beads these beads are nice quality and were made for trade in Africa. Package of 12 -See another view.

Size: 4mm

$3.00 for 12

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Antique African Green Red Trade Beads

Early 20th century Venetian 4 layer striped beads in a variation of the watermelon bead. Also called Awala or Awally beads these glass bead are barrel shaped with flat ends. These beads have 4 colors, bright lime green, red, yellow and white. Excellent quality beads with very even stripes, made for trade in Africa. Package of 12 -See another view.

Size: 5mm

$4.00 for 12

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Red & Black Glass Striped Trade Beads Millefiori Glass - Multi-colored Millefiori Italian Glass Trade Bead Tubes - Multi-colored

Antique Venetian Striped African Trade Beads

These African Trade Beads are Venetian cylinder beads. They are brick red, white and black with a dark green core or heart. There are wonderful even stripes on these glass beads that were made for trade in Africa. You are getting a set of 6 beads. They are 13mm in diameter and 6-10mm long. These antique beads show some signs of wear, which adds to their beauty and story. See another view.

Size: 6-10mm x 13mm diameter

$8.00 for 6 beads

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Vintage Venetian Millefiori Trade Beads

These beads are antique Italian/Venetian Millefiori from the early 1900's. The Italians are famous for making these beads. This set is multi-colored with wonderful white stars with a red center. It has a navy background and a dark black core. They are 10mm in diameter, the longest bead is 12mm. You are getting a set of 4 beads.

Size: 12x10mm

$12 for 4 bead set

Vintage Italian Green Millefiori Tube Trade Beads

These beads are antique Italian/Venetian Millefiori from the early 1900's. The Italians are famous for making these beads. These tube shaped beads are multi-colored with wonderful blue eyes on a green background. They have a black core and average 10mm in diameter, the longest bead is 20mm. You are getting set of 4 beads. See another view.

Size: 20x10mm

$14 for 4 bead set

Ruby Red Translucent Barrel Trade Beads African Antique

Red and White Venetian Chevron Trade Beads

Facetted Green Vaseline Trade Beads - Antique

Antique Cranberry Red Translucent Trade Beads African

These barrel beads are old European glass beads that were traded in Africa in the late 1800's. They are a lovely ruby red translucent glass beads. They are a barrel shape with flat ends and are available in two sizes. Sold in packs of 6 beads. Due to their age these beads have small chips, and pits that are normal for their age and extensive use.- See another view.

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Early 20th century Venetian 4 layer red and white chevrons in a tube shape. Venetian Chevron or star beads are the most beautiful, recognizable and collectable of all of the African "Trade Beads". Nice quality beads made for trade in Africa. Package of 6 See view A, B

Size: 5 x 25mm

$5.00 for 6 beads

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Vintage green vaseline Czech glass beads

Facetted translucent emerald green glass trade beads. These bicone beads are old Czech beads that were traded in Ethiopia, Africa in the late 1800's. They were made of uranium glass, more commonly known as Vaseline glass, its popularity can be traced to the 1830s. Vaseline glass typically has a yellow-green hue in daylight and radiates a bright, bold fluorescent green under a black light. The glowing properties are from the uranium oxides and additional fluorescing colorants such as manganese and iron infused into the glass at the molten stage. They are15-16mm in width. Sold in packs of 6 beads. Due to their age these beads have small chips, and pits that are normal for their age and extensive use.- See view A, B, C.

Size: 15-16mm

$12.00 for 6 beads

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Green Kancamba Molded African Trade Beads - Uranium Glass Antique Cobalt Blue & Red Trade Beads- Prosser Rounds Antique Cobalt Blue Trade Beads- Rounds and Barrels

Green Kancamba Molded African Trade Beads

These are Kancamba (Kokomba) Molded Trade Beads from Africa. They are a deep green color with splashes of white through out. The beads are molded glass rondelles made in Europe and traded to Africa. The rondelles are uniform in size, 14mm across and 4mm thick. They were made of uranium glass, more commonly known as Vaseline glass, its popularity can be traced to the 1830s. Vaseline glass typically has a yellow-green hue in daylight and radiates a bright, bold fluorescent green under a black light. The glowing properties are from the uranium oxides and additional fluorescing colorants such as manganese and iron infused into the glass at the molten stage. See View A, B.

Size: 14 x 4mm

$6.00 for 6 beads

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Vintage cobalt blue Prosser Trade beads African


Mixed strand of antique round Prosser glass beads in deep cobalt blue and red colors. This blue color is often called "Russian Blue" and is just gorgeous. These are old European made round beads that are nicely matched in size within the strand and generally have large holes. Prosser Beads are named after its inventor, Richard Prosser, who developed the process in Bohemia in the 1830s. Prosser beads can be recognized by the barely visible seam that runs around the center of the outside edge of each bead and by the uniformity of shape and size of beads in a single strand. This strand is 22" long and is from the mid to late 1800's from Czech Republic. You get this exact strand that is pictured. See view A, B.

Size: 5-7mm

 

$28.00 a strand

Antique cobalt blue prosser beads


Mixed strand of antique round Prosser glass beads and glass barrels in a deep cobalt blue color. This color is often called "Russian Blue" and is just gorgeous. These are old European made round beads that are nicely matched in size within the strand and generally have large holes. Prosser Beads are named after its inventor, Richard Prosser, who developed the process in Bohemia in the 1830s. Prosser beads can be recognized by the barely visible seam that runs around the center of the outside edge of each bead and by the uniformity of shape and size of beads in a single strand. These strands are approximately 22" long and are from the mid to late 1800's from Czech Republic. See view A, B.

Size: 5mm

 

$28.00 a strand (one left)


Quantity:

Antique Yellow Prosser Trade Beads 6mm African Blue Sandcast Beads African Green Sandcast Beads

Antique yellow glass Prosser Trade Beads

Strand of antique round Prosser glass beads in a rare lemon yellow color. These are old European made round beads that are nicely matched in size within the strand and generally have large holes. Prosser Beads are named after its inventor, Richard Prosser, who developed the process in Bohemia in the 1830s. Prosser beads can be recognized by the barely visible seam that runs around the center of the outside edge of each bead and by the uniformity of shape and size of beads in a single strand. These strands are approximately 22" long and are from the mid to late 1800's from Czech Republic. See view A, B.

Size: 6mm

 

$28.00 a strand


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Vintage African Blu sancast beads

These are sandcast glass tube beads in the Akoso style. They were made in Ghana from pulverized glass in turquoise, white and brown colors. The molten glass is poured into a clay mold. These are beautiful colors and will add a wonderful ethnic look to your jewelry. The Ghananians have been making beads in this manner since the 1600s. The strand is 23" long. See another view.

Size: 7mm x 9-12mm

$14.00 a strand

Vintage green African Sandcast beads

These are sandcast glass tube beads in the Akoso style. They were made in Ghana from pulverized glass in Kelly green colors. The molten glass is poured into a clay mold and decorated with red and black stripes. These are beautiful colors and will add a wonderful ethnic look to your jewelry. The Ghananians have been making beads in this manner since the 1600s. The strand is 23" long. See another view.

Size: 8mm x 15-18mm

$14.00 a strand

Blue & White Venetian Striped Awala Trade Bead Strand Red & White Venetian Striped Awala Trade Bead Strand Antique Padre Blue Turquoise Glass Trade Beads

Vintage blue and white glass striped trade beads

Early 20th century Venetian blue and white striped glass beads in a barrel shape with flat ends. Also called Awala or Awally beads these beads are nice quality and were made for trade in Africa. See view A, B. Strand is 27" long.

Size: 4mm

$20.00 for strand

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Vintage Red and White Venetian Awala Trade Beads

Early 20th century Venetian blue and white striped glass beads in a barrel shape with flat ends. Also called Awala or Awally beads these beads are nice quality and were made for trade in Africa. See view A, B. Strand is 23" long.

Size: 6mm

$22.00 for strand

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Antique blue padre trade beads glass

Padre beads received their name from the Spanish word for "father," by the priests who founded the Spanish Missions in California. Turquoise blue "padres" were first made in China in the 17th and 18th centuries, carried across the Pacific to the Americas and from there on to Europe and Africa. The color of the turquoise beads within a strand varies from a greenish turquoise to a bright robin’s egg blue. They generally have large holes and vary in size and shape within the same strand. This strand is 20" long and from the mid to late 1800's. See view A, B

Size: 9-10mm

$30.00 a strand (one left)

Antique Cobalt Blue Prosser Trade Beads 7mm African Fish Vertebrae Beads White Heart Trade Beads

Antique cobalt prosser bead strands African

Strand of antique round Prosser glass beads in a deep cobalt blue color. This color is often called "Russian Blue" and is just gorgeous. These are old European made round beads that are nicely matched in size within the strand and generally have large holes. Prosser Beads are named after its inventor, Richard Prosser, who developed the process in Bohemia in the 1830s. Prosser beads can be recognized by the barely visible seam that runs around the center of the outside edge of each bead and by the uniformity of shape and size of beads in a single strand. These strands are approximately 22" long and are from the mid to late 1800's from Czech Republic. See view A, B, C, D.

Size: 7mm

 

$30.00 a strand (one left)


Quantity:

African Fish Vertebrae bone beads

These are beads made from dried fish vertebrae bones. Thought to have protective powers they are weird, unique, organic ... not seen on your everyday necklace. They are very light weight and will add some great features to your jewelry. Vintage from Gambia - 1-2mm holes. Also used in traditional Mauritanian jewelry. Come in two sizes. See another picture.

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White Heart Trade Beads

Venetian Beads made for trade with Native Americans and Africans. They are usually called "Red White Hearts". The beads are two layer wound beads that are red on the outside and have an opaque white core. Each bead was handmade so the shapes and size vary. Late 1800s, early 1900s

Size: 5-8mm
 

$4.00 for 12

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Baoule Face or Mask Pendant

Recycled Paper Beads Mix

Vintage Carved Scented Resin or Paste Beads

Antique Brass African Mask Pendant

Beautiful brass pendant made by a Baoule artisan. It is a face pendant or "maskette". It resembles the traditional ceremonial facemasks the Baoule use. These were favored by men to wear on their hips. They are thought to give power to the wearer. It is finely cast and molded in high relief. See another view. See the back. Nice patina, has oxidation.

Size: 1 ¾ x 2 inches

$15.00

African Recycled Paper Beads Mix

Handcrafted by a women's fair trade cooperative in Africa, these unique beads are lovingly made of recycled paper. Each strip of paper is measured, cut, rolled, the end glued, strung, dipped in varnish, and dried--it's quite a process. Because of their handmade nature, the beads vary in shape, color and size, but that makes them so much fun! The beads help women in impoverished areas of Africa earn an income that improves their lives and the lives of their families. See another view. See an example of a necklace made from the beads.

Sizes: Vary

$3.00 for 12 beads

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brown resin beads

These natural looking beads resemble dyed bone, but they are handcrafted out of a very light weight resin. They are sometimes called scented paste beads. Their sizes vary from bead to bead, but are approximately 20 x 10 mm. Designs vary as well (shown). Use them alone or with other beads. The scent has faded. Vintage Mauritania.

Sizes: 20 x 10mm

$3.50 for 24 beads

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