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Wild Beads of Africa: Old Powderglass Beads from the Collection of Billy Steinberg

This is the first book dedicated to African powderglass beads, with over 180 photographs of gorgeous pieces from a collection assembled by songwriter Billy Steinberg (co-writer of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”).

Most of the pieces showcased in this handsomely designed volume are West African beads often referred to as Bodom or Akoso, and were made by Ashanti and Ewe people in Ghana and Togo during the 19th century using finely ground glass sourced from broken bottles, windows or other beads, creating brightly colorful pieces in shiny colors with a handmade textural quality.

Highly detailed photography by Fredrik Nilsen provides a comprehensive look at the collection, along with texts by scholar Jamey D. Allen about the history, classification and glassmaking technologies employed in the varieties of beads covered in the book. A glossary provided by Allen also makes this a useful reference title. Hardcover, 216 pages.

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