Black African Trade Bead "Squiggle " Bead
Some beads can look ordinary and worthless unless you are a collector; I know that is obnoxious, but I think it is true. I have collected beads for many decades, and I have never had another quite like this. It is so simple but so smart. You come across "Zen" beads, black with the same kind of circular markings,and sometimes a touch of light blue, but this bead has tiny touches of light blue too, and is simply different...lovely. I visualize a lamp worker in Murano who has worked all day on the circular ones, making one of these for herself. Anyway, I have treasured it and, well, it's time. I didn't decorate it with any other findings.. It will either be seen for what it is, a rare and exceptional black and white bead, or it won't! It is on a cotton cord, although I took this picture when it was on a cable, not any more, now it's on a cotton cord with two sliding knots!
The cable I put it on is 18 inches. This is a wonderful man bead, more beautiful in the hand, where you can feel the silky cool surface.. I suspect, from looking at the hole through it, that it was made in the late 1800s to early 1900s.