20 Baule Face Venetian Trade Beads
Baule face trade beads are a type of glass bead originating in Venice, serving as currency during the Baule Kingdom in present-day Ivory Coast. Produced in Venice from the 15th century, these beads were extensively traded throughout West Africa from the 16th to the 20th century. Crafted through wound glass bead making, they feature distinctive face designs, attracting the Baule people, known for their trading prowess. The vibrant colors and intricate designs made these beads highly prized, and used as currency for various transactions, from taxes to purchasing slaves. Today, they are coveted by collectors, considered valuable artifacts of West African history, and continue to be incorporated into contemporary African jewelry. In summary, Baule face trade beads are a visually stunning and culturally significant part of West African history, showcasing the intricate global trade networks of medieval and early modern times, and their enduring popularity underscores the timeless connection between art, craftsmanship, and cultural heritage.
Approximate Age: Late 19th-Early 20th Century
Made In: Europe