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Blue and Green Islamic Ancient Glass Eye Beads, Mali and Mauritania- Rita Okrent Collection (AG110N)


34 items in stock

Blue Islamic Ancient Glass Eye Beads, Mali and Mauritania.

These very special ancient excavated eye beads are found in Mauritania and Mali, specifically in the caravan towns of Timbuktu, Mopti, Djenne and Gao. They vary in design and wear, and iridescence and are from the Islamic Period.

Glass eye beads have circular decorations that look like an eye, and are produced using lamp work, inset or mosaic techniques. Eye beads have been very much valued for centuries, actually they still are, among not only Islamic people but also African people as they were regarded as strong amulets to avert the evil eye and for their alleged prophylactic and magical properties.

Varying condition/finishes.

Prices vary by finish, wear, eyes, and color.

Sold individually.

 Sizes generally range from 7-14mm. Let us know your size requirements, and we will do our best to fulfill them, based on our inventory.


As per bead expert, Jamey Allen: Islamic Period beads are ca. 1000 years old. Dating from between ca. CE 900-1200. They might be as early as CE 700, and as late as 1400. In 1400, Western Asian glass industries were destroyed by Tamerlane. And soon after, Egypt desisted as well. This is when Venice stepped in and became the glassmaker for all of Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.

As bead researcher and expert, Robert K. Liu writes in Ornament Magazine: “The term Islamic Period Glass Beads is used, similarly to Roman Period Beads, to classify groups of ornaments from specific geographic areas and time periods, with recognizable characteristics including patterns and techniques. In the case of Islamic glass beads we know they originated in the Middle East and flourished mostly between the seventh and twelfth centuries. Their designs display a wide mix of techniques and styles: millefiori/mosaic (including pierced mosaic pad beads), trailed, filigreed, combed, fused rods, segmented/blown, folded (an Islamic innovation, Holland and Holland 2006) and those derived from amulet shapes, like charm case beads with loops.”Islamic glass beads traveled from their sources of production in the Middle and Near East together with the expansion of Islam to North Africa, Southern Europe (Spain), India and the Far East and they reached areas well beyond Islam’s actual limits of expansion such as Northern Europe. They also flowed into Sub-Saharan Africa, where they were valued and cherished for centuries in the Malian ancient kingdoms as a symbol of status and played an important role in the communities’ rites and ceremonies such a burials, initiation or dowries.


Ancient Item 110N
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    Joi K.
    United States United States
    Rita Okrent's Beautiful Jewels

    The Rita Okrent Collection is my go-to shop when I need a special old bead or beads to complete a project. Often as I am looking I also see something beautiful that I have to have just because it is beautiful. The owner is a a pleasure to work with and always adds an extra special touch to the experience.

    Ron P.
    United States United States
    Eye Beads

    The items purchased far exceed my expectations. Customer service/satisfaction feels to be a priority. Inquiries received quick response. Definitely recommend The Rita Okrent Collection.

    Anna C.
    United States United States
    Excellent as always

    I am a returning customer - again and again. As always excellent service and excellent products. A pleasure to work with!

    Anna C.
    United States United States
    excellent products and excellent service

    Great products, exccelent communications, great prices. Very reliable and honest seller

    Amy R.
    United States
    great service and shipping was fast!

    Pictures were accurate and the beads were rapped in a perfect amount of rapping to make sure there was no breakage. Will purchase again. Great customer service and friendly!

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