Bohemian vintage glass beads necklace

29,00 €

  • Height 40 cm


A very fancy Bohemian glass beads necklace from the 1920’. Glass masters from Bohemia and Moravia have been producing glass beads from more than ten centuries. Of course also during the European colonial period exporting large quantities of trade beads. Very precious for locals in West Africa for its fancy colors and numerous shapes. Elegant!


We use the term trade beads to refer to the European made glass beads that were used by the European merchants and explorers in the trade in Africa as from the 15th century and continued during their colonial expansion.


The history of trade beads in Africa takes us then to the 15th century and the arrival of the Euro-pean, mainly the Portuguese, to the coasts of West Africa. The European discovered quite soon how much the people they met there fancied beads and saw they an opportunity for trade. Amongst the beads that captivated the African people most were glass beads since the techniques for their making had not yet been developed locally. The locals fell for the precious and colorful glass beads such as Venetian millefiori or chevron beads that the European traders had on offer and bartered them for commodities such as precious woods, ivory, gold and even used, ignomi-niously, in the slave trade. The increasing demand in Africa of European made glass beads conti-nued quite until the first half of the 20th century and it had a boosting effect in the production in cities such as Venice which glass beads became very popular and coveted.