Vintage Czech Bohemian CHRISTMAS Trade Beads African Trade Beads One Strand

+ $6.50 shipping
+ $6.50 shipping
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Preparation takes 3-5 business days
Arrives from the United States


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Vintage Czech Bohemian CHRISTMAS Trade Beads African Trade Beads One Strand

Gorgeous multi colored Bohemian Czech Christmas Trade Beads strand ready for your crafting pleasure or simply slip the strand over your head and you've got a necklace!! I've worn these twisted up and secured at the back of my neck with a simple S hook.

Age : Early to middle1900`s

Made in: Bohemia

Made of : Glass

Provenance : Africa

Measurements : Several sizes mostly 2 to 3 mm diameter x 1 to 5 mm h-h. see pictures with coin

Strand length : Approximately 34 inches from bead to bead excluding raffia

.Condition : Good, high grade, minor chips minor corrosion. See pictures for a better description

.You will receive: 1 strand from the bunch of pictured strands


Africa’s fascinating bead history predates the African Trade Bead era by over 75,000 years; the first known examples found in the Blombos Cave, on the South African coast (near Capetown) in 2004. Archaeologist Chris Henshilwood uncovered a wealth of ancient artifacts, including the first known beads for decorative purpose – made from the shell of ostrich eggs.

Similar beads thought to be over 12,000 years old have been found within Kenya, Libya and Sudan adding evidence to the history of the Turkana people who once recognized such beads for their value as currency. Egg-shell beads would be presented to women as part of their dowry prior to marriage. It is also thought such bead-strands were exchanged for cattle and goods in the region. Cowrie shell beads and Bone Beads are thought to be among the first types of beads used for trade purposes within Africa, until the 4th Century B.C when glass beads found their way into Africa from Egypt and Western Europe.

Evidence of the glass bead production which dominated the African economies for nearly 700 years has been found within both Egypt and South Africa, dating back to the 9th Century. These minuscule beads were woven into the opulent collars, head-dresses and robes worn by Royal family members, courtiers and those of nobility. Burial sites such as the Valley of The Kings have allowed us to uncover a significant wealth of jewelry and decorative artifacts which were made from glass. Glass beads also made their way into Africa from Portugal during the 4th Century, the unofficial beginning of Africa’s booming trade era.

It is not until the 12th Century that we see real evidence of glass bead production within the notable manufacturing areas of today, such as Ghana, the Krobo, Ethiopia and Nigeria. The methods used within this production are not dissimilar to those practiced today for Recycled Glass Bead production; where ground particles are compacted prior to firing. The early method is referred to as wet-core powder glass bead production and was a painstakingly slow process. Such beads allowed tribesmen to ply trade with neighboring regions, but were predominantly used for rituals, rites of passage ceremonies and holistic healing.

Awalleh White Chevron Beads

From the 14th Century, explorers began landing upon the shores of South Africa bringing with them colorful glass beads to trade for the safe passage through regions – and eventually for the riches of this foreign land which included palm oil, fur and spices. The market for slaves is also thought to have developed during these early years, and would soon become fundamental in boosting Africa’s regional economies. The production of Africa’s currency began to increase within Venice during the 1500′s. Striped Chevrons were the most common product of this era, although Millefiori Beads found particular favor with African tribal chiefs during the close of the century. The Millefiori boom would last a further 400 years.


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Average review
My beads came with a very touching card that contained beautiful gold stars. I'm very much in love with my beads & will treasure them always. I show them off all the time & have even been stopped in the store by people complimenting them & asking where I got them. They are definitely an attention getter.
Sep 11, 2013 by Pictish

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Preparation takes 3-5 business days
Arrives from the United States
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I am a Master Photographer (with over 35 years of experience) and take great care in photographing my items with attention to detail and color as well as carefully weighing and measuring each item. What you see in the photos is what you are purchasing. The ONE thing beyond my control is the color calibration of computer monitors, the color of my items may appear different on your monitor.