Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Moroccan Necklace Faux Amber Silver JK BROWN COLLECTION

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Materials Silver unknown metal, phenolic resin
Made In Morocco
Traded In Africa
Approximate Age 20th Century
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.
Object Size 17-22mm beads
Necklace Length 26 inches (including string/raffia)
Strand Length 26 inches (including string/raffia). Please see image with penny for comparison.
Brand Unbranded
Style Beaded
Type Necklace

From the JK Brown Collection:


Kathie and Jerry Brown have been collecting trade beads for more than 50 years. They had a business selling them for many years, called “Thunder and Lightning.” According to Jerry, “Kathie was the lightning, and I was the thunder!”  


Their collecting began in 1967 when they met a Peace Corps volunteer who was selling his collection to finance a school for African children - and the Browns bought it all. Over the years, they've amassed thousands of strands of Venetian and other European trade beads, as well as made-in-Africa beds and jewelry. They sold at Mountain Man rendezvous and other events. Africa Direct is very proud to be the new owners of this extraordinary collection.

Additional information:

The term "Trade Beads" typically applies to beads made predominately in Venice and Bohemia and other European countries from the late 1400s through to the early 1900s and traded in Africa and the Americas. Many of these beads have been attributed to being made in Germany, France and the Netherlands as well.

The heyday of this "trade" period was from the mid 1800s through the early 1900s when millions of these beads were produced and traded in Africa. The Venetians dominated this market and produced the majority of the beads sold during this time. The J.F. Sick and Co, based in Germany and Holland was one of the largest bead brokers/importers during this period. Moses Lewin Levin was a bead importer/exporter who operated out of London from 1830 to 1913. You can see 4 of the Levin trade bead sample cards from 1865 in The History of Beads (Dubin)

One of the most intriguing aspects to these beads is how they have survived a hundred or more years of wear and the travel through at least three continents. Another mystery is who wore them before us who will have them next.......after us.

Recommended reading: HISTORY OF BEADS (Dubin)

"Folk" name-amber. Beads sold as "amber" by traders include beads made of amber, copol, resins binding powdered amber or copol, resins, and plastics. Some of the oldest pieces , showing wear on the sides from many years of wear, are not amber. Superb ethnic jewelry, including pieces from China, Tibet, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Mali, among others, are made from these "amberoids." I don't know the chemical makeup of these beads, and do not want to be will say they are "described as amber."