SCOTT SEMANS WORLD COINS
AFRICAN CHARMS AND AMULETS

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AFRICA: ANTIQUITIES

TRADE BEADS

BACKGROUND   Virtually all African art objects, as well as most items of daily use, have supernatural elements as part of their shape or decoration. Even the arrangements of beads and pendants within a necklace hold significance, as do the placements of beads and objects within the hair or clothing. Offered here are smaller brass or iron objects whose sole function is to attract good fortune (charms) or ward of ill fortune (amulets).
    I know very little about the attribution or significance of these items, so my descriptions are limited to my own guesses, or what my suppliers tell me. There are a number of books on African charms and I leave it to the buyer to do further research. If you can recommend works which are substantial and useful, please do, and I will try to obtain them and learn more about this field.
    How old? Often these are traditional designs and similar objects have been made for centuries, but my guess is that worn pieces are mid to late 20th Century, and unworn are made within the last 20 years.
    Multiples are often available for less expensive, unworn items.

ILLUSTRATIONS:   Click on the thumbnail to see a larger scan. Scans are actual size unless description notes "enlarged" and are of the actual item being offered unless description notes "sample" in which case yours will be very similar.

PLACING AN ORDER:   I charge only the true USPS postal rates, no inflated handling charges. To order (or just inquire), copy and paste the entire line for each item into an email. I will respond with an invoice within a couple of days. Or click the ORDERING INFO link for more details. In a hurry? Glad to take your phone order: 425-369-1725 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM USA Pacific.
CLICK!
STOCK#
NAME
DESCRIPTION
US$
BAOULE, BAULE - Ivory Coast
200 Mask/Pistol/Scimitar one-sided 45.00
201 Double Crocodile. One foot missing. nice dark tone 40.00
202 Dangler bacelet numerous suspension loops 40.00
203 Kola nuts? Or beehives? One Trader said he thought it was goat teats! Available: 203a      203b      203c 29.50
204 Long sword 120mm long; not holed or looped 40.00
205 Scorpion Long, upward-curved stinger does not show well in image. 45.00
207 Drum Set pair of drums, drum sticks, and kneeling bolster behind? 45.00
208 Bird on Pyramid Flying bird on top of Akan gold-dust weight in pyramid shape 35.00
209 Bird & Cannons Bird with spiky crest, knot body, cannons at sides. Nicer than image! 40.00
213L Lot of 3 Three nicely made but appear modern. Largest is 40mm tall with loop. 20.00
285 Coin-like Charms Round, looped brass with braided rope background overlaid in concentric half and quarter circle designs. Nicely crafted, coinlike pieces, 45m. Bought this group several years ago and have not seen since. 285s) Set of five A - E $23.50; 285F-L) Scarcer F-L types $6 Each; Types A to E Each: 5.50
742 Charm Necklace Long necklace of old brass charms & unusual beads. Some of these charms are still made, but not in this quality. Showing lots of wear; cleaned. Super long 44" strand 275.00
743 Cosmology Beads Baule. Ivory Coast: Modern necklaces with modern brass charms & bead spacers: 743a Round 20x11mm, 28" strand; 743d Round 36x24mm, 32" strand; 743r 3Cosmos 22x17mm, 23" strand no spacers; 743q 3Cosmos 15x11mm, 32" strand; 743p 3Cosmos 15x11mm, 26" strand.      Your choice or mix: $17.50 Each / 3+, or 20.00
212 Mask Shown 150%. Well-made piece showing some age. 35.00
ASHANTI / ASANTE / AKAN - Ghana
837 Charm bead strands Brass charm beads of various amuletic designs. Fair casting quality. Measurements in scan are (approximate) length x width / # per strand. All have good-sized holes. Newly made. Strands 20-24" long. Quantities are limited of some types. OK to mix types for quantity discounts: Per 10 strands: $10.00 each; Per 3 strands: $12 each; Single strands: 15.00
Gold-dust Weights Although these were functional objects within the monetary system, the themes of geometric pieces are usually spiritual, and they are small and portable like charms. HERE is my sale offering.
LOBI - Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Nigeria
215 Lobi Mini-charms Bronze, small animals with loops. Probably modern, but nicely made via lost wax process. Mostly 20-22mm long. SAMPLES shown for each animal type: a) Wide lizard, b) Narrow lizard, c) Crescent lizard, d) Bird, e) Turtle, f) Mule Each: 7.50
403 Scriber's Compass?? 90mm tall 45.00
BOBO - Burkina Faso
501 Crocodile bracelet 82mm (3.25") across; 4 crocs (two side by side) 50.00
FULANI - West Africa
701 Miniature Masks Shown 150%; Unworn. a) Large 42x34mm excluding loop; b) Small 23x20mm excluding loop; c) Variant small SAMPLES shown, details may vary. Price for a) is $6.50; for b) and c): 4.00
705 Double lizard Shown 150%; Unworn, newly made 4.00
854 Cosmos bead strands Newly made, polished brass hollow beads, round with Cosmos design. Partial strands shown. Large enough to use as pendants. Sizes: 854a) Length 25mm plus 3 larger 28-32mm beads $35;    854c) Length 34mm, 21 beads: $55;   854e) Length 37mm, 20 pieces: $65
855 Cosmos bead strands Newly made, polished brass hollow beads, rounded triangles with Cosmos design. Partial strand shown. Each 55-61mm long x 38-40mm. Holes at "shoulders" so can be hung as pendant. 65.00
KIRDI - Cameroun, Nigeria, Chad
901 Double Cosmos Rope Shown 150%; looped at end; a) Unworn 55mm; b) Well worn 45-50mm; Protective charm, brass, with cosmic spirals, ropelike stem & loop. Among Lobi & Bobo worn by children; among Kirdi worn on hip by women. Either type: 2.50
SENUFO - Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali
1005 Three figure plaque, 57mm high Shown 150%. A common amulet. See Blandin p.83. Well made piece showing age & large for a charm. 65.00
IGBO, IBO - Nigeria
896 Amulet necklaces Charms with stars, crescents & other Islamic motifs. Seeking more information. Aavailable: 896a   896f    896c   896d   896e Each: 35.00
TUAREG - Northern Sahara
2001 Triangle Shown 150%; Well-worn, used throughout Westerm Africa as a protective amulet. SAMPLES SHOWN 5.50
2012 Talhakimt: Glass Most familiar of Tuareg amulet forms, these are Bohemian glass copies, ca. 1920-30s? of native stone and metal pieces. A. Fisher Africa Adorned p.186 , and beadazzled site. Called Niger glass, Tanfouk, or Zinder beads. Range 47-54m tall. Red & green available; other colors not presently in stock. Special: $8.50 each 10.00
2018 Talhakimt: Agate Most familiar of Tuareg amulet forms, lovely agate specimens from Europe or India, almost certainly older than the glass. The scans can not show the bands and swirls of orange, brown, and off-white visible when held to the light. Best history I've found is at the beadazzled site. aa-ad) (avg. 110x42mm) $45; ae-ak) (avg. 85x37mm) $35; am-as) (avg. 80x35mm) $30; bb-bm) (avg. 67x32mm) $25. Take 15% discount for 2 or more. 25.00+
2019 Talhakimt: Agate, imperfects These specimens are shown enlarged, worst side visible, with descriptions of the cutting irregularities or damage. I could have passed up this group when buying the lot, but wanted to show that these ARE old, used beads.   Priced by size: fa) (92x40mm) $35; fb-fe) (smallest is 62x42mm) $25; ff-fj) (smallest is 65x34mm) $20; fk-fm) (61x33mm) $20. Take 15% discount for 2 or more. 20.00+
GAN - Burkina Faso
2260 Gan Animal Pendants Dark bronze, great detail, modern but treated to look old; looped. Gan people of Burkina Faso. Others sell at $100++. Longest dimension noted in scan. Back sides plain or with loop. Scans at 200%.    Snake 2260S1 $55;    2260S2 $35;    2260S3 $40;    2260S4 $45;    2260S5 $35;    2260S6 $25;    2260S7 $25;    2260S8 $40;     Crocodile 2260C1 $35;    Scorpion 2260K1 $40;    Warthog 2260W1 $35;    Felines 2260F1 $45;    2260F2 $35;    2260F3 $35;     Horned Animals 2260H1 $45;    2260H2 $40;    2260H3 $40;    2260H4 ring $30;    Humans 2260P1 $50;    2260S3 $40 25.00+
ETHIOPIA
2501 Coptic Crosses Looped white-metal crosses in a wide variety of styles, mostly 40-50m high. Silver versions are generally older, but are hard to find now. I can not supply the exact pieces shown in the scan, but if you advise a preference I will try to match, otherwise just give you the largest in stock.   ($4.50 each per 5+) Inquire for larger quantities of either size. 6.00
UNATTRIBUTED
3502 Lid pendant Shown 150% Probably a basket lid, sith symbol in rasied dots on inside 12.00
3503 Beehives? Shown 150% Pair of cones with design. The pair: 9.00



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