Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trade Ya

I intentionally left these out of yesterday's post as I think they deserve attention all their own.  The first picture is of African trade beads, more specifically Dutch donuts.  They are from the late 1800's and most likely were used in the slave trade.  A lot of these  glass beads were made in Thuringia Germany and Europe and were used as barter for trade in Africa.The seller had one strand left in this beautiful cobalt blue.
This next picture is of beads known as Padre beads getting their nickname from the time when European and Spanish priests came to America and gave them to the American Indians in their efforts to convert them to Christianity. 

The next strands of beads are the pinnacle of my hunting and gathering.  They are called tradewinds beads.  They were of course pricey and the seller had 3 strands, I picked up 1 but upon hearing of their age and history promptly went back and picked up a second strand!  They are about 2000 years old, they hail from a time when the tradewinds carried sailing ships in season and they had to wait for the tradewinds to shift to carry them home. They were used to purchase spices and incense and other wordly goods. Their age is very evident in all their beautiful imperfections!

The last picture is of Roman Glass shards. I was actually searching for them when I came upon all of the above beads. It was a very reputable dealer and i felt confident that I was getting what I was paying for which is very important if you should choose to purchase some yourself. Roman glass is antique shards of glass that have recently been found during site excavations. Due to the high mineral content of the sand and water in the mideast, the glass has taken on an iridescence on the surface.

Now the hardest part will be to actually USE these beads and not hoard them away!

1 comment:

  1. Those beads are so beautiful, I especially love the tradewind beads. People were admiring them 2000 years ago! It is sad to think about the horrors of slave trade behind all those beautiful trade beads...when buying old beads we buy a piece of history. Those beads really deserve to be cherished by a person like you. Marielle


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