Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Baby King Venetian Trade Beads Black Yellow African

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Title Baby King Venetian Trade Beads Black Yellow African
Other Names Rosetta or star beads
Type of Object Wound and decorated glass
People Kirdi
Made In Venice
Traded In Africa
Approximate Age Mid 1800s to early 1900s
Overall Condition Good. Chipping, pits, scratches, general wear. 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 Pits, chips, pigment loss, and scratches.Some beads have been repainted.
Bead Size 12-13 mm in diameter. See picture with penny for size comparison. U.S penny is 19mm in diameter.
Strand Length 12 inches of beads
Brand Unbranded
Style Beaded
Type Necklace

Small black bicones most commonly referred to as "King" beads.

Additional information: "King Beads" are wonderful old Venetian wound and marvered bicone beads. Sometime in the past, probably in the heyday of the import of African Trade beads in the early 1970s, these were given the name of "King" beads. The legend has it that these were worn by African "Kings" (Chiefs)"King" beads come in a large variety of colors, trailing designs and sizes but always in a bicone shape. The earliest versions of these beads can be dated back to the mid 1800s and represented on Moses Lewin Levin bead sample cards which were donated to the British Museum in 1865. (See THE HISTORY OF BEADS (Dubin)). These old Vehetian "King" beads were made up to the 1920s and later versions are represented on Sick and Co. bead sample cards from this period. Still revered in Africa today, these old beads are on prominent display in Dipo Intiation ceremonies in Ghana, where the yellow forms , in particular, represent maturity and prosperity (See AFRICAN CEREMONIES (Beckwith/Fisher)) . This would explain the popularity of the yellow striped "King" beads. "King" beads are highly collectable and there are some spectacular private collections of these beads in America, Africa, Japan and Europe.To see some rare and fabulous examples of these old Venetian bicone beads see VOLUME IV, RUSSIAN BLUES, FACETED AND FANCY BEADS FROM THE WEST AFRICAN TRADE (Picard)