19th Century Venetian Whitehearts with Inlaid Floral Vines Pattern Strand

  • These extravagantly beautiful beads with a startlingly finely detailed Floral Vines pattern inlaid into a deep rose red base bead which was spun over a hand wound white base bead, creating one of the most complex of Trade Beads; a Two Layer Inlaid Floral "White Heart".
  • Fashioned by hand in the mid 19th in Venice and brought to Ethiopia, East Africa as Trade Beads. They became treasured high level Prestige Bead Currency and Dowry Wealth.
  • Originally created in Venice and Murano Italy, a torch or high intensity flame glass lamp was used to melt glass canes or rods. Once in a molten state, the glass bead was formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. Often a winding technique can be seen in the body of the glass bead. Intricate patterns, (especially favored were floral motifs), were created by melting or inlaying other colored canes of glass into the base bead.
  • These rare and "foreign" glass beads were highly valued trade commodities in Africa, and became the highest level Prestige and Dowry Currency throughout the Continent. The most rare and beautiful were often collected and worn by African Kings and their Royal Courts. Interestingly, this rare patterned Inlaid White Heart pattern was only ever found in Ethiopia and Mali.
  • Length : Approx. 42"
  • Bead Size : Approx. 11mm
  • The condition of the beads on this strand is superb and they were lovingly restrung on a fresh cotton cord by our New York City staff.


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