At 'The Tribal Jewelry & Textiles Fair' authentic and quality jewelry of a respectable age will be presented and offered for sale. The ethnic jewelry presented comes from Africa, Asia, the Near-, Middle- and Far East. Also to be seen is an extended and divers collection of traditional textiles from Afghanistan, China and India.

For the interested visitor an impressive collection of (old) books on beads, jewelry and textiles will be offered for sor sale.


Each year we also introduce a few new dealers with ethnic jewelry and textiles.


This special jewelry and textiles fair will be held in the beautiful restored church De Duif, Prinsengracht 756, Amsterdam. An inspiration to stylists, interior-decorators and collectors.


For more information

Information on beads, old jewelry and textiles

This part of the site will provide information on the back groud of beads, jewelry and fabrics that are shown and are for sale on the fair in "De Duif".



They are eye-catching, pleasant to touch and often appear to be miniature pieces of art on which experienced craftsmen have worked patiently for hours and sometimes days.

But even more fascinating is their story about the long journey they have made through time and across the globe: in these little mysterious objects the secrets of humanity can be found, its technology, spiritual, religious and cultural context and last but not least the trade routes that developed over the world over the course of thousands of years.
The bead was the first manifestation of human creativity about 40,000 (!) years ago, the second – namely the engraving of mammoth tusks - only developed 5,000 years later.

In the beginning, easily available natural products such as seeds, pips, flowers and feathers were used, which later became bones, teeth and claws. The discovery that the rotary motion could be used to manipulate objects meant an important step forward - man managed to make perforations into hard objects. But still: the manufacturing of just one neolitical quartz bead took on average three days! Approximately 5,000 years ago, by a rare coincidence, a blacksmith discovered that the silica-containing sand in its furnace, contaminated with plant ash and clay, clustered into a solid substance which was the first step in developing glass. A small step for this blacksmith, a huge step in the development of the bead industry!



gefossieleerde zee-egels uit de Sahara, waarschijnlijk meer dan 100.000 jaar oud
Jatim kralen uit Indonesië, circa 600 na Chr.
Ceramische kralen uit Mali, waarschijnlijk zo’n 150 jaar oud


From left to right: ancient fossils of sea urchin, used as beads; Yatim beads from Indonesia; Ceramic beads from Mali

As humans evolved, the story of the bead became more complex and the route from producer to consumer became longer.

There is a continuous line from the Prehistoric days where the hunter held a claw of a cave bear around his neck in the hope to assimilate the forces of the animal to the more recent times with labourers digging the raw material, transporting it, to the artisans working it and to the craftsman who made the final product. Where merchands came in to trade the beads before it in the end reached its final owner.


Eye beads uit het Midden-Oosten, tussen 600 en 1.200 na Chr.
Faillance kralen uit Afghanistan of Perzië, circa 1.000 jaar oud
Kralen uit Murano / Venetië, rond 1.880


From left to right: Eye beads from the Middle East; Faience beads from Afghanistan; beads from Murano

Although beads are known mainly in their role as parts of jewelry and necklaces, this was of secondary importance in its long history, since very different values were assigned.
Beads played a major role as a spiritual object: for various ethnic groups protection, strength, fertility and prosperity were dependent on the possession of certain beads. Also, beads showed someone's social position, marital status and possessions, while other peoples used strings of beads as messenger, by stringing beads in a particular order. But probably the most important feature of the bead was that of means of payment, a function beads fulfilled from the early beginning to around 1930. Because of their long history, these small perforated objects have gained a special intrinsic value.


Chevrons uit Murano, circa 1860
Murano kralen, circa 1.880
hedendaagse ‘recycle glas’ kralen uit Ghana


From left to right: Chevrons from Murano, circa 1860; Murano beads, about 1880; contemporary 'recycled glass' beads from Ghana

Pleasant to see and touch, durable, available in an endless variety and affordable: they are top collectibles - and you can wear them as well.