Skip to Main Content »

You're currently on:

Search Site
Click on image above to zoom.

Yoruba Brass Beads Coiled West Africa

Product #: 112317
US Shipping: $2.98
Add Items to Cart

Title Yoruba Brass Beads Coiled West Africa
Other Names coil beads
Type of Object brass
Made In West Africa and Europe
Traded In Africa
Approximate Age Early 1900s or later
Overall Condition Good. Some of our beads have traveled at least three continents, and have graced numerous owners. Small chips, corrosion, and pitting are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.
Damage/Repair Bent, splits, and dented
Bead Size 5-6 mm diameter. Please see picture with penny for size comparison. U.S. penny is 19mm in diameter.
Strand Length 22 inches (includes string/raffia)

Additional information: For ages, brass and gold African beads have been made using the “lost wax method.” First a model of the object is made from beeswax, then dipped repeatedly in a solution of fine ash or charcoal powder mixed with water. This forms a mold, or “crucible,” which is allowed to dry and harden. In the case of beads with fine strings in their design, a syringe is used to produce the long, thin wax pieces which are then wrapped around charcoal to leave a hole during the heating process. As the molds harden,  channels are left in them  to enable the wax to drain out during the heating process which takes place in a kiln. As the wax melts and is “lost”, molten brass or gold is poured into the mold to form the bead or ornament. When the metal has cooled, the molds are broken open and cleared away and the new art object is thoroughly cleaned and shined before it is presented to the world. In some cases the final product is gilded for an especially rich finish.