Western Asiatic Carnelian and Gold Bead Necklace

£ 1,500.00

A restrung Western Asiatic necklace consisting of carnelian and gold beads. The range of shapes and hues varies with each bead, starting with small circular beads to the top of the necklace  and continuing with longer, oval varieties. Disk shaped spacers are placed between each oval bead to add variation to the expanse of carnelian. Gold spherical spacer beads also appear in the latter half of the necklace, adding further richness to the piece. The final embellishment is a long, tubular, striated banded agate bead. The necklace is finished with a gold plated clasp.

Measurements given are for an open necklace length. Choker-style necklace when clasp is closed.

Date: 1st Millenium BC - 1st Millenium AD
Condition: Excellent condition.

In stock

SKU: AH-1018 Category:

Carnelian is a translucent variant of chalcedony, and ranges in colour from light orange to dark brown. It is slightly softer than the likes of sard, and so is ideal for carving. The colour of stones was important in antiquity, with some varieties considered, through sympathetic magic, to increase fertility, ease childbirth, and provide relief and protection from afflictions (such as scorpion bites, stomach ailments, and eye disease). Written sources list a host of powers attributed to stones, for instance protection against the evil eye, the guarantee of safe travel, a better understanding of rhetoric, and even victory in court. In ancient Greece and Rome, carnelian in particular was believed to enhance passion, love, and desire. Fine jewellery was used as a status symbol in ancient cultures, and to possess a complete a set of beads in such good condition is truly a rarity.

To discover more about gemstones in Antiquity, please visit our relevant blog post: The History and Mythology of Jewellery in Antiquity.

Weight 34.7 g
Dimensions W 43.5 cm



Semi-Precious Stones


Reference: For Similar: Christie’s Auction House, London, Auction 5488, Antiquities, 7th October 2010, lot 188

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