Short Necklace of Very Small Ancient Tabular Agate Beads and Tabular Gold Beads
Agate, 20k gold
The necklace is 22 inches (56 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 15.4 gm.
A necklace of twenty-three ancient stone beads alternating with twenty-two tabular 20k gold beads. There are forty-six gold tube beads; each stone bead is faced with a pair of tube beads. The stone beads are tabular (except for two barrel beads) rectangular, trapezoidal and oval shapes and are around two thousand years old. The beads come from the Swat Valley of what is now northern Pakistan but what was two thousand years ago the Buddhist kingdom of Gandhara. The center bead in the necklace is a trapezoid shape, 1.05 cm in length, 8 mm in width at the center, 3.8 mm in width at the ends and 5 mm in thickness at the center. The bead is flattened on the back and domed on the front. The drill hole diameter is 1.9 mm. The beads graduate in size to the back of the necklace; the smallest stone bead at the back is 5 mm in length. The tabular gold beads are similarly graduated in size: the largest is 7.5 mm in length and the smallest is 5 mm in length. The beads are made by fusing two oval shaped thin gold sheets that have a raised ridge running down the center. When the two pieces are joined, this results in a hollow channel through which the bead can be strung. The gold tube beads are 5mm in length and 2 mm in diameter. Spacing the tabular beads with the tubes allows the shapes of the stone beads to be seen more easily. The necklace is lightweight and delicate. The scale of the components is small but the reflective surfaces of the “winged disc” gold beads give it a dramatic presence, the shimmer of high carat gold and the glow of translucent agate, carnelian and quartz.