All the brass in this piece has been made using the Lost Wax Casting method- that is each has been sculpted in bees was first- before the recycled metal is melted and cast in the mold!. I mixed them with remarkable and rare vintage trade beads another one of my favorites! These are very high-end trade beads/currency in Africa and are pieces of art themselves. This is longer necklace than most. The colors are vibrant.
Beads as currency*
The history of African Trade beads as currency dates to the 15th century when Portuguese trading ships arrived on the coast of West Africa to exploit its many resources, including gold, slaves, ivory and palm oil. At that time glass beads were a major part of the currency exchanged for people and products. The beads proved to be a cheap and efficient trading currency, especially since there were already well-known glass bead-making factories throughout Europe that just increased their production as a result of the growing African demand. The success of this form of currency can largely be attributed to the high intrinsic value African people put on decorative items. Africans often used beads for currency (often referred to as African money) and wealth storage, and social status could be easily determined by the quality, quantity and style of jewelry worn. This created a high demand for trade beads in West Africa and resulted in quite an extensive catalog of designs that has remained to today. Some designs can be given a more precise provenance through dated sample cards, sample books or bead catalogs produced by European bead trading houses in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries now held in museum collections.
Necklace Length: 21″
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