We are extremely lucky to come across a cache (7 strands) of these blue fancy Venetian "Arabesque" trade beads. These rare beads are often affiliated with Mauritanian Kiffa Beads, and closely resemble the blue "turtleback" variety of Kiffas. Who imitated who? Did the Venetian beadmakers see the beautiful blue Kiffa beads and decide to make their own version? Or were the Mauritanian bead makers taken with the European beads and decide to develop their own version? Of course, we will never know, but it's a safe bet that the creative process was linked somewhere in the past.
Overall, these are fabulous strands, even thought the individual beads are of mixed quality. Most strands have some truly fabulous examples, but there are also a number with ends that are slightly chipped or trail-decorated designs that have worn away over the years. The beads vary between a very dark blue and a slightly lighter version that are slightly translucent under bright lighting. Still, we are putting these beauties up at a fabulous price -- so hopefully you will be able to enjoy them yourselves.
Beads measure on average 15 mm long x 14 mm wide x 6 mm thick. Strands measure approximately 26 inches long. We will pick the best strand from the bunch -- so order soon!
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