These old glass beads are likely of Venetian origin. The well worn glass has graced many owners and passed through many hands. Old glass beads in this deep blue color are rare and hard to find. Trade beads were brought to Africa by European explorers, adventurers, and merchants where they were exchanged for goods and influence between the 15th and early 20th centuries. The value that many traditional African cultures placed on the ornamental arts made beads a highly coveted commodity. Today trade beads are still worn as part of traditional costumes and are desirable by collectors alike.