VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Sample card with glass beads
3407-1a-100
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This collection of beads is overwhelming by its quantity. It is a unique and very important reference collection.

History of the Object
From the very moment man created beads there has been a lively trade in beads. The earliest and most important centres for bead making were in Venice, Bohemia and Holland. From the 17th century onwards, the history of beads is closely connected with the urge for expansion of the European powers. Beads were relatively cheap and were a much coveted commodity in the newly 'discovered' countries. Beads were exported to Asia, Africa and North America. The heyday of the colonial trade in beads was in the period ca. 1850-ca. 1940. Beads in Southeast Asia were important symbols in village life; they were used to strengthen political alliances and they served as amulets. Besides jewellery they were used to adorn clothing. By the 16th century European traders became the main source for glass beads. The beadwork of the Dayak people of Borneo for instance is world famous. Beads from Venice became very popular in Indonesia from the 19th century onwards. They are found i.a. on Java and Borneo.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
Glass, cardboard 
Measurements
25x37 cm 
Creator name
Venice glass industry/Fa. J.F. Sick & Co Amsterdam 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Italy; Netherlands; Venice/Amsterdam 
Geography
Italy 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1920-1929 
Function
Part of a collection of 22.000 trade beads, forming the reference collection of the trading firm J.F. Sick & Co. (1910-1964). 
Acquisition
This collection was donated to the Tropenmuseum in 1964 by Fa. Hagemeyer & Co. Fa. Hagemeyer & Co. bought Sick in 1959. 
Copyright
No information, data or images may be published or reproduced without written permission of KIT Tropenmuseum. 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam 
Museum
Tropenmuseum 
Credit line
©Tropenmuseum 

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