Mixed African King Bead Strand


Another amazing strand of mixed Venetian King Beads! These beads were manufactured in Italy during the early 19th century and sent to Africa for use as trade goods. Prior European explorers had noted that African chiefs -- or Kings -- valued a particular type of sand-cast bead called Bodum beads. Bodum beads were generally yellow with black cores and the European King Beads were made to look like these rare African beads. The imitations were a hit and European traders reported that Chiefs were often willing to trade gold for these beads, resulting in their also being known as traded-for-gold beads.

This strand features alternating brick-red, yellow, black and green King Beads, including some very rare examples.  Most of the beads are in good shape, although many are missing some part of their decorations or show minor chips.  The middle and lower parts of the strand feature some really beautiful large bicone King Beads.  The upper part of the strand features an array of smaller fancy Venetian trade beads.  

The strand measures a whopping 35 inches long (not including the cord).  There are 67 beads total.  The center bead measures approximately 22 mm in diameter by 18 mm in width.  The smallest beads measure 8 mm in diameter.    

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