Western Asiatic Semi-Precious Stone and Gold Bead Necklace


A stunning restrung necklace formed of a variety of Western Asiatic beads. Diamond-shaped agate and carnelian beads alternate, gradating in size, to form the length of the band. The lower half also features six gold spacer beads with rounded tube bodies and rings of granules at either end. At the base of the necklace, a larger polished stone bead with cream and orange colouring, forms a central focus for the piece. The necklace is strung on a dark red thread and finished with a modern ‘S’ hook and coiled attachment rings.

The necklace is suitable for modern wear with care.

Date: Circa 1st Millenium BC
Provenance: Collected from 1969-1999. From the collection of the late Mr S.M., London, UK.
Condition: Excellent Condition. There are a few small chips and scratches to some of the beads, and some small dents to the surface of the gold pieces. One spacer bead varies in tone slightly, suggesting it may be electrum; a combination of silver and gold.

In stock

SKU: MJ-55 Category: Tags: ,

Many grand civilisations inhabited the area of Western Asia in Antiquity, and their wealth and prosperity are witnessed by the very sophisticated precious metal crafting of jewellery. Gold would have been hammered down to a thin layer and manipulated into different shapes, with gold and silver jewellery featuring gold granules, glass and semi-precious stone inlays and detailed engravings. Their fine detailed craftsmanship was later adopted by the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans.

Carnelian is a translucent variant of chalcedony, and ranges in colour from light orange to dark brown. Its slightly softer feature makes it 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.

Weight 48.2 g
Dimensions L 44.5 cm


Semi-Precious Stones



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