Two Necklaces – Part 1; The Bronze Pendant
I’ll be heading to the US next week, and one of the things I’m looking forward to is attending the Oregon Country Fair. It’s one of the biggest craft shows in the US, and my son has a booth there. Over the last forty years I’ve always made it a point to look for antique beads wherever I travel, and I travel quite extensively. It wasn’t hard to put together a couple of stands of rare beads. Since each bead has a story, I thought I should break this post into two parts, one for each necklace. The first one I’ll cover is the most expensive, with the Bronze-Age Bactrian animal figure as the pendant.
Since the beads mirror each other on the individual strands I’ll start my guided tour with the Bactrian animal pendant and then describe the beads from the right to the left.
I’ll start with the most important bead on the necklace, the Bronze-age Bactrian animal bead that I acquired from some Muj tomb raiders outside the walls of Balkh in 2002. This pendant was probably made between 1,000 BC and 2,000BC. At first I thought it was a bird, since I had seen several U-shaped bird bronzes before, but a closer look showed a thin curled tail and a long face with a tall ear, which could indicate a camel. The camel was domesticated about 2,500 BC and camel caravans were ubiquitous along the early Silk Road.
To the left of the Bronze camel is an etched carnelian, probably from Buddhist Taxila, in Pakistan, and 1,800 to 2,000 years old. The blue disk is Afghan lapis lazuli, probably Islamic period. The amber is Tibetan, which means traded from the Baltic and made 250 to 500 years ago. The Tibetan turquoise is probably from a similar time period. The coral is Tibetan, which means South China Sea. The carved lapis is Bactrian and 2,500 BC. The paler orangish-red coral is from old Kazak jewelry and and about 250-500 years old. The coral originally came from the Mediterranean.The black banded agates are about 2,000 to 2,500 years old.
The large oval Tibetan turquoise is perhaps 250 years old, the coral is Kazak and the flared-bottom lapis is probably Islamic. The faceted carnelians are from Ban Chiang, Thailand, and date from 1,500-500 BC. The faceted lapis lazuli are about 2,000 years old. The round black-banded agates are from the same era. The Tibetan turquoise nuggets are the same age as the others. The long, fluted lapis is Bactrian, about 2,000 BC. The cylindrical lapis is not as old, probably 1,000-2,000 years old. The grayish, round agates are older than the black-banded ones, probably Bactrian and from 2,500 BC. The flat turquoise are from Northern Afghanistan and about 1,800 years old.
The agates, lapis and turquoise are all the same as previously mentioned. The large, oval agate at the end is Bactrian, and from 2,000BC. The yellow bead that the very end is peridot and from an Islamic set of worry beads. It is about 250 years old.
I plan to ask $7,500 dollars for this unique, one-of-a-kind necklace. All bids are welcome.