African Trade Beads

Glass beads made in the milllefiori  technique originating from Venice, Italy around 1800 A.D. Millefiori beads, meaning 'a thousand flowers' in Italian, are made by annealing several layers of glass in different colors around a central glass cane.  These decorative beads would have been used as a form of currency to exchange for goods such as gold, ivory, palm oil, timber as well as services between the 16th and 20th century in Western and Northern Africa.