Millefiori Trade Beads from Venice have always been coveted , both in West Africa, where they were shipped to starting as early as the late 19th century, and in Europe and North America. Many of you will know these beads as ‘love beads’ from the 60’s! Millefiori or ‘thousand flowers’ Beads are made by places slices of cane bead on a core of molten glass. Over the years these beads’ value have soared so it is no wonder other places started to make copies of these beads.
India has been making beads for centuries and started making beads that look like the Venetian Trade Beads from about 1980. These beads are generally larger than the original Venetian beads with larger holes .
These Indian Venetian Beads found their way to Ghana’s Bead Markets where Funky Frog found them and was captivated by their colourful and varied shapes. This strand of 20 colourful millifiori beads are about 11×18 mm. They are handmade so will vary in size, shape and colour.