Enquiry about object: 5727

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Central or West African Necklace with Trade Beads

West Africa, possibly Congo
late 19th-early 20th century

total length: 55cm, weight: 159g



UK art market

This attractive, wearable necklace comprises beads – glass, agate and metal – of types favoured in Central and Western Africa, possibly by the Kuba People of Congo.

The large central bead is a chevron glass bead from Murano, in the Venetian lagoon, probably dating to the 19th century. The ends have been re-ground to give the bead a more spherical shape and to reveal more of the inner layers.

The necklace includes beautiful red-white glass heart beads that most probably were manufactured in Venice before 1900. It also has cylindrical carnelian beads – these show their age with old chips and so on but are characterful.

The necklace has a later (more stable) catch.


Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.

Panini, A., Middle Eastern and Venetian Glass Beads: Eighth to Twentieth Centuries, Skira, 2007.

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