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Matched Indus Carnelian Beads with Gold Mulberry Beads




Carnelian, 20k gold


The necklace is 16 inches (42.5 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 44 gm.







A necklace of seven long tapered carnelian beads with gold capped ends alternating with large gold granulated beads of five layers. The necklace is completed by gold beading tips and a hook and eye clasp. The seven carnelian tube beads that make up this necklace are from the Indus Valley, located in present day Pakistan and India. The beads are remarkably consistent in size and shape; matching sets of these beads are rare. The constricted cylinder drills that made it possible to drill such long holes, and bead making debris have been found at the workshop city of Chanhudaro in the Indus Valley. There is also evidence of production of these beads at two great urban centers, Mohenjodaro and Harappa. They may have only been made between 2450 to 1900 BC at Chanhudaro, a period of just a few hundred years. Constricted cylinder drills were less likely to seize up during the drilling of the hole,but often the holes were stepped to smaller sizes as they progressed, sometimes leaving three channels within the bead, each smaller than the last and then stepping up to a larger size (or sizes) from the center out to the end of the bead. These beads appear to be drilled from each end with the two holes meeting in the center. The beads are unusual in several regards. The form is slightly different from the typical long Indus carnelian tube beads. They are slightly shorter and the proportions are more exaggerated. The width in the center is proportionally thicker; the centers almost appear to bulge. The bead caps taper in at the ends to a smaller diameter than the ends of the beads which accentuates the effect. There are six large gold granulated beads 7.5 mm in diameter and 6.2 mm in length. They are made of five layers of rings of eight granules each. The granules in the center ring are the largest and each ring decreases in size to either side of it, moving to the ends of the bead; the number of granules stays the same but their size decreases. An eight-ball ring separates the last bead caps from the beading tips. The beading tips are open ended cylinders, the closed end with a hole for the string to pass through. The knotted ends are hidden in the cylinders. A stirrup of flattened wire attaches to the sides of the cylinders providing a loop for the attachment of the hook and eye clasp. The gold is 20k and has been patinated.