Four Thousand Year Old Agate Barrel Beads with Complex Gold Spacers (2)
Agate, 20k gold
The necklace is 22 1/8 inches (56 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 69.8 gm.
A necklace of fifteen tapered agate barrel beads alternating with spherical gold beads decorated with lines of granules separated by bands of gold wire. A set of gold beading tips and a hook and eye clasp complete the necklace. The agates are all Bronze Age beads from what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are about four thousand years old. The long tapered tubes and the large diameter drill holes are diagnostic of this period. The material is carefully chosen and worked to reveal the banding and striping in the stone. There are fourteen spherical gold beads. The largest size (one on each side of the center agate bead) is 1.1 cm in diameter and 7.6 mm in length. The next largest is 1.0 cm in diameter and 6.2 mm in length. The smallest is 8.5 mm in diameter and 5.8 mm in length. They take the form of flattened spheres with five lines of fine granules encircling the beads, bordering them with six circles of wire. The gold beading tips are cylinders with an open end, the other end being pierced for the beading string to pass through and be knotted. Stirrups of flattened wire form loops which are attached to either side of the cylinders. These are the attachment points for the hook and eye clasp.