Glass beads ”Vaseline” jonquil

280 €

Czechoslovakia/ West Africa, 19th century, private collection from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dating back in 19th century, vaseline beads are attractive jonquil/ greenish yellow beads whose gorgeous color is attributed to the presence of uranium salts. These beads tend to fluorescence under ultraviolet light and turn a violent green. Traders call these vaseline beads because their translucence resembles the look of the petroleum product. Originally created in Czechoslovakia, these amazing vaseline beads will have traveled at least four continent before they are here.

Trade beads were used as a currency until the end of the 19th century. After that they took on new roles within West African society primarily with respect to their aesthetic value. The quantitity, quality and the style of beads one possesses or wears shows one’s importance and wealth in Ghanaian and West African society. An inventory of antique beads is given only to someone who will appreciate this remarkable historical legacy and understands its value.

Made from high quality glass, vaseline beads are known for their unique faceted bicone shape. It is rare to find vaseline beads in this jonquil/greenish yellow color. String is modern manufacturing. Beads have beautiful old patina with some chips & digs. Traces of handling and wearing over many years. Dirt and dust. Size of the strand approx. 79,0cm with 78 unique glass beads.