White Hearts, Antique Oval, Samburu 12x9mm on 23-inch Strands


Regular price $295.00

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  • Antique Venetian oval White Hearts 12x9mm
  • In excellent condition on 23-inch strands
  • Often called Samburu White Hearts because the Samburu people of Kenya had a particular appreciation for this shape of White Heart
  • Named for their white core covered by a thin layer of translucent red glass, these beads were traded from Europe to every continent, and known variously as Cornaline d'Aleppo for their resemblance to carnelian beads coming east from India through Syria and Turkey or Hudson Bay Beads because early settlers in that area traded them to Native Americans for fur pelts
  • Developed in the 1600s, and produced in Italy, Bohemia (now Czech Republic) and France, they had a lovely soft red color until selenium replaced gold in the mix in 1890s, giving them a much brighter, harsher red. Selenium was abandoned in the 1930s because it was more expensive than gold at that time, but by then the global bead trade was winding down so it's safe to say that essentially all the softer red beads are pre-1900.