Thought to be between 50 and 100 years old …
Here we have a 20-piece antique necklace strand of 20x30mm old flat brass wheat sheaf-like beads with a central threading cylinder tube.
The beads on this strand have been cast using the lost-wax technique by the Ashanti people of central Ghana.
They are incredibly beautiful and provide the potential for creativity for those artisans with a bent for creating an amazing tribal or boho-inspired ethnic style or statement Jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets, and leg bangles.
Collectors of these beads may prefer to display the strand in a prominent position.
The Ashanti and to a lesser degree the Baoule tribal people from the Ivory Coast create this beautiful brass and bronze beads using traditional lost-wax methods – the same labour-intensive metal-casting process that their forefathers used since the 3rd millennium BC.
And the results today are as stunning as they were two thousand years ago – confirming that incorporating modern methods with ancient techniques, works exceptionally well.
The strand containing 20 beads weighing in at 112 grams – has been discounted with each bead now working out to cost $4.00.
The accompanying photos illustrate what to expect in your order. Please also be aware, that the beads have been enlarged to illustrate detail - while the visual quantities may also be less than what you will receive.
The Ashanti, Baoule, Krobo, and Yoruba tribes are the main bead-making people of West Africa.
The main difference between the four ethnic groups, see the Krobos and Yoruba tribes specialise in bead-making with recycled glass, while the Ashanti and Baoule people prefer metal.
Lost-Wax casting is one of the oldest known metal-forming techniques in the world which date back more than 6,000 years – and the Ashanti have the technique perfected down to a veritable art form.
The bead-making process first calls for the construction of specially designed bead molds made out of waxed models - into which hot molten metal is poured.
The hot liquid causes the wax mold to melt and drain away - and in doing so the beads are formed and created after the metal sets.
A proven technique that is so simple and so clever is why the lost-wax casting process has survived for so long.
It is well used in the 21st Century, particularly by the dentistry industry, which uses these ancient methods to create crowns, inlays, and on lays – but with modern technology.