Trade beads sampler panel - ROM2004_1311_1


Trade beads sampler panel

Maker: Nissin Namer Company
Medium:Paper, string, glass beads
Geography: Made in Italy, collected in Sudan
Date: c. 1870
20.5 x 40.5 cm
Object number: 907.31.1
On view
Gallery Location:Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific
DescriptionA sample sheet of `Nissin Namer' trade beads, of Italian make, mounted on cardboard, showing about 200 varieties. Until the arrival of the Portuguese on the West African coast in the 15th century, long-distance trade connecting Europe and sub-Saharan Africa was carried out by Arab merchants travelling along desert routes. Beads and textiles were among the most commonly traded items beginning in the Roman era. However, it is in the 18th and 19th centuries that the trade of Dutch and Venetian beads reached its peak. These were considered prized items among a number of African peoples and became an integral element of local art and aesthetics.
Global Africa
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