This neckpiece displays the virtuosity and artistry of North Nguni women beadworkers in the late nineteenth century. The intricate and complex design incorporates two wooden discs which open to reveal an inset mirror. For a similar example in the Brenthurst collection, see Art and ambiguity,
Johannesburg, 1991, 662.
It is perhaps often overlooked that all south-east African beadwork is essentially a cross-cultural art form because all the beads were acquired through colonial trade and barter. In this example, evidence of the exchange of materials and ideas is more pronounced with the inclusion of the mirror case which would have been acquired through colonial trade.