Take a look at this beautiful antique strand of Venetian Millefiori trade beads! Celebrated among the most distinctive of beads, the Millefiori has become nearly synonymous with the West African Trade. Made from famed Murano glass, Millefiori beads derive their name from the Italian words for “Thousand Flowers” due to the characteristic floral motifs that decorate their surface. Millefiori beads were made throughout the 19th and 20th century primarily for export to Africa. Today they are found in many countries including Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Ghana where they are also known by their Ashanti name “Chachasao”. Most beads are commonly cylindrical in shape but other varieties exist including rectangular, oval, and sometimes even hexagonal beads.