6 Layer Chevron Cobalt Seed Trade Beads Necklace India Smith Collection
This necklace includes 7 (seven) 6-layer blue chevron beads, two smaller red beads, and blue seed beads.
Venetian Chevron beads are highly regarded as the most beautiful and collectible among Venetian "Trade Beads." Produced through a multi-step process involving layering different colored glasses in a 12-point star mold, Chevron beads are also known as "Rosetta" and "Star" beads. The earliest versions from the late 1400s had seven layers, evolving over time to include 8, 9, and 10 layers in the 1500s, and later 3 and 5 layers in the 1600s-1700s. The peak production in the late 1800s and early 1900s featured 4 and 6-layer beads.
Chevron beads, traded globally, gained popularity in Africa, with Dutch traders introducing them in the late 1400s. Some rare 7-layer Chevrons found in Peru are attributed to Christopher Columbus. Although still crafted in Venice, production is limited, with variations in India and China. Renowned contemporary Chevron beadmakers include Art Seymour in the United States and Luigi Cattelan in Italy.
Counting Chevron layers is from the innermost (around the perforation) to the outermost layer, typically identified by different colors. Despite challenges, Chevron beads remain popular globally, with significant private collections in Africa, Europe, and America. In Africa, they signify prestige, are worn at ceremonies, and are even buried with the deceased.
Provenance: The Smith Collection
A passionate collector, Dave Smith was first introduced to the trade bead industry in the 1970's. It was during this decade that he fell in love with trade beads for the next twenty years. Trade beads became a priority in his life, and he attended many rendezvouss, both buying and selling. At his core, Dave was a healer and he was an esteemed bodyworker, using alternative approaches to healing the body. Dave's bead collection has been in storage for more than 20 years...the condition of the beads is superb. Africa Direct is honored to be able to share its collection with the world.
Approximate Age: Late 20th Century (beads are older)
Strand Length: 29 inches (including string/raffia)
3-22 mm diameter. See picture with ruler for size comparison.
Made In: Asia