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Ancient Etched Carnelian Barrels with Cornerless Cube Lapis Beads and Gold




Carnelian, Lapis Lazuli, 24k gold


The necklace is 17 inches (45 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 39.3 gm.







A necklace of sixteen closely matched etched carnelian barrel beads alternating with seventeen cornerless cube shaped lapis lazuli beads. Each stone bead is separated with a granulated two tier ring bead of 24k gold. The granulated beading tips and hook and eye clasp are also 24k gold. The barrel shaped etched carnelian beads graduate in size slightly towards the back of the necklace. Twelve of the beads have five stripes, four of them have four stripes and one has three stripes. The largest are 1.5 cm in length, 1.75 cm in width at the center and 1.62 cm in width at the ends. The smallest is 1.2 cm in length, 7 mm in width at the center and 3.5 cm in length at the ends. The drill hole diameter is 1.3 mm. The largest cornerless cube bead is 8.0 mm in length, 8.5 mm in width, and with a drill hole diameter of 2.2 mm. The smallest is 5.5 mm in length, 5 mm wide and with a drill hole diameter of 2 mm. The etched carnelian beads are probably from the middle period from India and what is now present day Pakistan which would make them about two thousand years old. Horace Beck attributed the specimens known to him to three main periods: Early (before 2000 BC), Middle (300 BC to 200 AD), and Late (600 to 1000 AD). Francis has expanded and revised this dating as follows: Early (2700 BC to 1800 BC), Middle (550 BC to 200 AD), and Late (224 to 642 AD).