A review by Sarah Corbett
When the passion of a collector and the precision of a researcher meet, the results have the potential to be spectacular.
When that collector has the discerning taste to enable him to gather a beautifully curated set of related pieces and that researcher carries out his studies with diligence and precision a truly important book is born.
Wild beads of Africa showcases the bead collection of songwriter Billy Steinberg. Billy’s niche area of collecting is African powderglass beads, which are produced in Ghana and used by the Krobo and Ashanti People. Over 30 years Billy has gathered a superb collection of these beads, he rightly considers these beads to be miniature works of art.
The photographs were taken by Fredrick Nilsen, they capture an astounding level of detail and are presented beautifully in this sumptuous book.
The icing on this cake is the depth of knowledge imparted by respected bead historian Jamey Allen.
Jamey has studied beads and beadwork since 1967 and there is no one better placed in the world today to bring the history of these personal and important pieces to life. Jamey’s insightful and thorough explanations bring this collection alive and his pricise and accurate details give the reader a full understanding of this topic.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy this book, and I urge you to do so, as a historical lesson, as a coffee table edition which is bound and produced to a high standard and as a tribute to those artisans who created these small works of art.
All images are by Frederik Nilsen
You can purchase the book here