Gordon Radowsky (RSA)

Gordon Radowsky was born in Cape Town in 1966. As an artist, he has been aware of beads and beaded adornment since early childhood, from the ethnographic collection in the South African Museum (Cape Town) to the travel souvenirs on the necks of the flower children to be seen on Cape Town’s streets since the early 70’s. He studied painting (1984-91) at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT, and held solo and group exhibitions of his work locally. He taught art at high-school level (1992-2007) and has been involved in, and written criticism on the South African art scene for decades.

In 2003, he was introduced to the Gambian bead merchant, Bakir Sillah, who visits Cape Town bi-annually with his remarkable collection of heritage beads and African art objects. Access to this extraordinary resource catalyzed his current and ever-intensifying research into and love for, beads and beading. He has held solo and group exhibitions of his necklaces, which are carried by several of Cape Town’s leading craft galleries. His work is collected and worn extensively both locally and internationally, and has appeared in fashion shoots and publications repeatedly.

 

#1

A 4-strand collar of Ghanaian amber glass tubular beads, accented with Czech glass “Vaseline” beads as worn by Dogon people of Mali and the Lobi people of Burkina Fasso. “Vaseline” beads in Violet, Lavender and Peppermint Green, are especially rare and prized.

POA

#2

A long, 6-strand rope of Venetian and Czech seed beads in old and rare shades of green, accented with Ghananian brass beads, two green Czech “Vaseline” beads and 2 tubular green Venetian “millefiori”. The terminal pendant is Ghanaian lost-wax bronze cast, depicting 2 twined mud fish, a symbol of abundance and prosperity.

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#3

A necklace of transparent cobalt blue Venetian seed beads accented with Czech and Venetian, old trade beads. The pendant is a brass cross of the Coptic (Ethiopian) Church.

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#4

A necklace of rare and exceptional quality antique trade beads consisting of: 21 rare turquoise colour irregular glass beads, made in the 18th century in Amsterdam and worn by the Dogon people of Mali, two large tubular 19th century Venetian “millefiori” beads, one 6-layer 19th century Venetian “Chevron” bead and a Baule, Ivory Coast lost-wax bronze Chameleon ring as a pendant. A unique and unrepeatable piece.

SOLD

#5

A necklace comprising of extremely rare and prized beads, including six rare “elbow macaroni” millefiori, two large tubular millefiori, all Venetian (19th century), 10 Lobi, Burkina Fasso “Vaseline” beads of Czech glass, 5 large Dutch, Dogon glass beads, 1 striped glass Venetian 19th century trade bead, 2 spherical transparent emerald green 17th “Plenga” beads, Venetian, as worn in Mauretania. And others, with a lost-wax bronze Dogon pendant depicting a deity atop a river turtle. A unique and irreplicable piece.

POA

#6

A necklace of 8 strands of Czech and Venetian glass seed beads, scattered with a variety of large Czech and Venetian trade beads. The collar is comprised of old striped Venetian tubular beads, Czech “Vaseline” beads and brass bead accents from Ghana and Ethiopia.

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#7

A three strand collar of 19th century lamp-worked Venetian yellow trade beads.

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#8

A long, multicoloured 12-strand rope of old Venetian and Czech small beads, with a centerpiece of a lost-wax bronze pendant, Baule people, Ivory Coast, depicting kissing chameleons. This piece is inspired by the knitwear fabrics of the house of Missoni.

SOLD

#9

A choker of red spherical Czech glass beads, 18th century Dutch blue glass “Dogon” beads and Ethiopian brass rings, with a lost-wax bronze pendant centerpiece depicting two coiled serpents, Baule people, Ivory Coast.

POA

#10

A three-strand rope of tubular Czech mauve glass trade beads accented with six cushion-shaped faux amber beads.

SOLD

#11

A five-strand collar of modern Czech glass transparent beads punctuated with green ‘macaroni’ beads, also Czech. The collar begins with two tubular Venetian “millefiori” and two Ghanaian brass bicones.

POA

#12

A twelve-strand lavender rope of various small Czech and Venetian tubular glass beads, interspersed with a scattering of various old Czech glass beads, and current Tuareg and Ethiopian white metal beads. The white metal clasp is a pendant ring from Niger.

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#13

A ten-strand multicoloured rope of striped old Venetian and small Czech glass trade beads.

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#14

A eight-strand rope choker of old yellow Venetian striped and lamp-worked trade beads. The rope is accented with four Bodom people, Ghana, “Akosa” powder glass beads and a Nigerian lost wax bronze bell pendant.

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#15

A six-strand necklace of various Venetian green striped old seed beads, with a scattering of Czech, Venetian and African beads comprising glass, faux amber, brass, horn and carnelian. The glass accent beads on this piece are all old and of the finest quality.

SOLD

#16

A long five-strand necklace of modern recycled brass seed beads, accented with a scattering of Czech and Venetian glass trade beads, spherical horn beads, faux amber and Ghanaian lost wax bronze beads.

SOLD

#17

A long six-strand necklace of old Czech “snake” beads, accented with a scattering of Venetian and Czech old trade beads in glass, Ghanaian lost wax bronze beads and a carnelian disc.

POA

#18

A choker of green Czech glass “sweetie” beads, also known as Mali Wedding beads. These are punctuated with Ethiopian brass beads and luminous green Czech “vaseline” beads.

SOLD

#19

An eleven-strand lilac Czech glass trade bead necklace, accented with a scattering of old Czech and Venetian trade beads. The white metal rings are Ethiopian while the pendant is from Niger.

POA

#20

An eight-strand roped necklace of tubular Czech glass, turquoise Dutch glass and Ethiopian brass beads with a pendant in brass of the Crucifixion, with a standing Virgin on the reverse, Turkish, early 20th century.

SOLD

#21

A necklace of bone beads, with a pendant comprising a bone Dinka people, Southern Sudan, ring. Rings such as these are stylized representations of cattle horns, examples of which are commonly worn by all Dinka men.

POA

#22

A four-strand long necklace of Czech, turquoise glass “snake” beads, accented with red spherical glass Czech trade beads, and tubular faux amber beads. The collar is of 18th century Dutch blue glass spheres, as worn by the Dogon people, and Ethiopian brass rings.

POA

#23

A necklace if tubular striped Venetian and Czech “vaseline” glass trade beads, with Ghanaian brass bicones and two cubic faux amber beads. The pendant is a Tuareg people brass and copper engraved amulet box intended to carry a piece of sacred scripture for protection of travellers.

POA

#24

An eight-strand necklace of rare, old, Venetian striped seed beads, a collar of Venetian millefiori, Dutch glass moonstone and Czech “Vaseline” beads and a pendant of lost wax bronze, Nigeria, depicting the “Ibeji” twins, probably Yoruba people. The pendant is rare.

SOLD

#25

An eight-strand rope of multicoloured, rare and old Venetian striped glass seed beads, with a collar comprising Dutch, Czech and Venetian old trade beads with Ethiopian brass rings. The pendant is lost wax bronze, Baule people, Ivory Coast, and is extremely rare.

POA

#26

A six-strand necklace of turquoise Czech and Dutch glass trade beads accented with azure Czech “Vaseline” beads. The collar comprises Dutch glass 18th century “Dogon” glass beads, dark turquoise Hebron-stone beads and brass rings from Ethiopia.

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#27

A necklace of Ethiopian white metal meads featuring a white metal ring from Niger and a Star-of-David pendant, also Ethiopian.

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#28

A 124-string “Tamba”, bright green seed beads necklace. “Tamba” are worn on the waist by women from all over West Africa for medicinal purposes, each colour having a specific diagnostic efficacy. “Tamba” in good condition rarely enter the market, as they are usually only sold once they have begun to disintegrate.

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#29

A six-strand rope of rare, old Venetian striped seed beads, punctuated by four lost-wax Nigerian bronze bells. The pendant is Dogon people, Mali lost wax bronze and depicts a shield with projecting sacred birds heads. Rare and old.

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#30

A three-strand necklace of tubular, 4-layer Venetian lilac chevron beads, with tubular Venetian “millefiori”, 6 Bodom people, Ghana, yellow powder glass “Akosa” beads and lavender Czech “vaseline” beads.

POA

#31

A four-strand rope of Dutch glass “padre” beads in turquoise, azure and dark blue, and Venetian striped beads. The rope is accented with large blue Dutch glass, “Dogon” beads and a Mandala-form pendant in lost wax bronze depicting a deity figure, Dogon people, Mali.

POA

#32

A necklace of Czech glass “prosser” beads, worn by the Hausa people of Nigeria and known as “Hausa buttons”. The yellow beads are punctuated by square Venetian “millefiori”, oval Czech orange glass beads, dark red long Czech “sakia” beads and white Dutch glass “Dogon” beads.

POA

#33

A necklace of Czech glass “sweetie” or Mali wedding beads with Czech glass faux jet and Bohemian crystal beads. The pendant is a 1930’s pressed glass Czech “talhakimt” pendant as worn by various peoples in the Sahara region.

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#34

A fifteen and thirty-strand seed bead rope of rare and old Venetian glass, punctuated with 5 lost wax bronze Nigerian bells and two Dutch glass “Dogon” terminals.

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#35

A necklace of modern transparent green Czech glass beads punctuated with various faux amber beads.

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#36

A necklace of rare and old Venetian white “millefiori”, accented with white and (a) blue Dutch “Dogon” glass beads, a red Czech glass bead and red Czech “yoruba” glass beads. The striped beads are 19th century Venetian and known as “Americans “ or “Manhattans”.

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#37

A choker of triangular Czech glass “sweetie”, or Mali wedding beads alternated with Czech glass faux jet beads. Inspired by geometric abstraction, Mondrian and the Bauhaus.

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#38 (Right)

A necklace of brass seed beads with accents of red Czech glass trade beads and a pressed glass Czech “talhakimt” pendant as worn by many Saharan peoples.

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#39 (Middle)

A necklace of brass seed beads with accents of pale blue and yellow Czech and Venetian glass trade beads with a pale blue pressed glass Czech ‘talhakimt” pendant, as worn by many Saharan peoples.

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#40 (Left)

A necklace of brass seed beads accented with green glass Czech and Venetian trade beads with a pressed glass Czech “talhakimt” pendant, as worn by many Saharan peoples.

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#41

A two-strand necklace of brass seed beads, accented with Czech ‘vaselline” and Venetian glass trade beads and a Czech pressed glass “talhakimt” pendant, as worn by many Saharan peoples.

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#42

A rosary-form necklace of brass seed beads with striped Venetian and Czech glass trade beads, Ethiopian brass beads and a brass Coptic (Ethiopian) cross.

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#43

A necklace of brown tubular Czech glass seed beads punctuated with 4 brass rings, two tubular “hippo teeth” made of camel bone and three rare Dinka people, Southern Sudan amulet pendants of bone. The clasp is a bone Dinka ring. This is a unique and irreplicable piece.

POA

#44

A necklace of unusually matched and lustrous red Czech oval glass trade beads with a central large 19th century 6-layer Venetian “chevron” bead. Chevron  beads are uniquely prized all over West and Central Africa, and are worn to convey the wealth and status of the wearer. They were the original (c. 1495) Venetian trade beads and are considered quintessential among collectors.

SOLD

#45

A necklace of striped Venetian tubular glass trade beads alternating with spherical Czech glass beads with Dogon people, Mali lost wax bronze crest-form pendant.

POA

#46

A three-strand collar of various Venetian glass striped trade beads, millefiori and other Venetian and Czech glass beads. The brass rings are Ethiopian, while the central tubular beads are Bodom people, Ghana yellow powder glass “Asoka” beads. In Ghana, such necklaces of yellow glass beads are associated with gold, the preserve of the royal elite.

POA

#47

A necklace of various Venetian and Czech glass trade beads, supporting a collection of various West African lost-wax bronze pendants and charms.

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#48

A serpentine-form necklace of grey-blue Ghanaian powder-glass trade beads, supporting four biconical Bodom people, Ghana yellow powderglass “Asoka” beads.

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#49

An 18-strand roped choker of old Venetian and Czech seed beads, punctuated with 6 large blue Dutch glass “Dogon” beads.

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#50

An eight-strand roped necklace of multicoloured tubular “macaroni” beads alternating with small spherical Czech glass beads, and with two large turquoise Dutch glass “Dogon” bead terminals. A collection of macaroni beads of this size and quality is rare.

SOLD

#51

A six-strand roped choker of Venetian and Czech glass trade beads with a lost wax bronze Baule people, Ivory Coast chameleon pendant centerpiece.

POA

#52

An eight-strand roped necklace of old green striped Venetian seed beads, punctuated with lost-wax bronze Nigerian bells and a lost-wax bronze Yoruba people, Nigeria pendant depicting 4 warriors with arms linked.

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#53

A long necklace of pink Czech small spherical glass beads, punctuated with alternating discs of German, Idar-Oberstein red carnelian and Czech clear glass faceted beads. The pendant is a white metal Coptic (Ethiopian) cross.

POA

#54

A long three-strand necklace of transparent seed beads articulated with bronze Nigerian rings and spheres of Iranian carnelian. The central ring has 6 pendant strings hanging from it, accented with carnelian, glass, crystal beads, and a shell. This necklace may be worn diagonally or doubled up.

SOLD

#55

A necklace of modern transparent and “eye” beads, Czech, with an old and worn cone shell pendant, probably from Ghana.

POA

#56

A long five-string necklace of alternating bands of transparent seed beads and bands of striped Venetian and Czech small glass trade beads. The pendant gather is an original old Idar-Oberstein, German banded red carnelian “talhakimt”, or Tuareg pendant, of exceptional size and colour.

POA

#57

A necklace of tubular Venetian glass striped 4-layer chevron beads, punctuated with spherical Czech glass beads and large oval yellow and orange Czech glass beads. The pendant is a Baule people, Ivory Coast lost-wax bronze depicting a coiled serpent.

POA

#58

A choker of black and white teardrop and triangular Czech “sweetie”, or Mali wedding beads mounted on white Czech glass trade beads.

SOLD

#59

A necklace of white, Dutch glass “padre” beads with a central West African cone shell ring, from which    are suspended three white seed bead strands accented with white Czech glass trade beads, terminating in two “sweetie” beads and an old West African white clam shell.

POA

#60

A choker of grey-blue powder glass Ghanaian tubular beads, punctuated with 5 biconical yellow powder glass Bodom people, Ghana, “Akosa” beads.

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#61

A four strand necklace of Czech and Venetian striped seed beads accented with 3 Dutch glass, “Dogon” turquoise “King” beads and 2 celadon pendants with embossed fish motifs, by the late potter, Hym Rabinowitz.

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#62

A rare Eastern Cape man’s pectoral necklace of 11 strings of periwinkle blue seed beads, c.1950, mounted on the original cowgut. A highly collectible piece.

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#63

A 51-string “Tamba” of black and white striped Venetian seed beads. “Tamba” are worn on the waist by women from all over West Africa for medicinal purposes, each colour having a specific diagnostic efficacy. “Tamba” in good condition rarely enter the market, as they are usually only sold once they have begun to disintegrate.

POA

#64

An 80-string “Tamba” of sunflower yellow seed beads. “Tamba” are worn on the waist by women from all  over West Africa for medicinal purposes, each colour having a specific diagnostic efficacy. “Tamba” in good condition rarely enter the market, as they are usually only sold once they have begun to disintegrate.

POA

#65

A ten-string necklace of tubular Czech ad striped Venetian seed beads, with a Banda Elephant Cult, Lobi people, Burkina Faso ivory pendant. These pendants are old, rare and sought after by collectors.

SOLD

#66

A massive collar of ceramic found object “beads” (electrical insulators, funnels etc.)

POA

#67

A necklace of camel bone “hippo teeth” beads, Cameroon.

POA

#68

A unique necklace of 3 strands of spherical bone beads, Nigeria, with 2 antique Dinka people, South Sudan ivory spacers. The pendant comprises 4 Dinka bone “cow pendants”. The large bone Dinka cow pendant at back acts as a counterbalance.

The Dinka are fervent pastorialists whose reverence for their cattle is reflected in their fashioning of these individualised pendants for each of their head of cattle. In recent years, these pendants have become increasingly rare.

POA

#69

A unique necklace of Nigerian spherical bone beads, a Dinka, S. Sudan antique ivory spacer, a Lega people, N. Congo antique ivory figure, a Dinka antique ivory pendant, a Lega ivory triangular pendant and a Lega ivory ring.

POA

#70

A necklace of Cameroon camel bone “hippo teeth”, Nigerian bone spherical beads, an antique Lega walking staff handle in the form of a female bust, and a clasp terminal in the form of a Lega people, N. Congo ivory ring representing cow horns.

POA

 

#71

A unique artwork in the form of a necklace, which takes it’s inspiration from a Zulu “Sangoma” necklace, in its use of amuletic found objects. These include objects from South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Tibet, Venice, Poland, Greece, Cameroon, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Israel, Britain and more.

The materials include copper, brass, bronze and silver, bone, agate, jasper, shell, wood, dried citron, tortoise shell, glass, amber and stone.

POA

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