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Ancient Lapis Lazuli Tube Beads with Bifurcated Lapis Pendant




Lapis Lazuli, 20k gold


The necklace is 25 inches (64.1 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 19 gm.







A necklace of thirty gold tubes alternating with lapis lazuli barrel beads faced with pairs of gold granulated ring beads, one hundred twenty-four in all. Each of the gold tubes is faced with a lapis disc bead. There is a pendant of lapis lazuli with an elongated tear drop shape with a notched bottom. A straight line groove extends from the notch straight up the front and back faces but stops at about the level of the perforation hole for suspension. The pendant is 1.4 cm in height and 7.2 mm in width at the widest point. It is 4.2 mm in thickness and the drill hole diameter is 1 mm. The lapis barrel beads range in size from 4.2 mm to 6 mm in length, and are 2.9 mm -3.2 mm in diameter. The disc beads are 3 mm 3.8 m in diameter and 2 mm in length. The drill holes are 1 mm in diameter. The gold tubes are 7.5 mm in length and 2.5 mm in diameter as are the granulated ring beads. A set of gold beading tips and a hook and eye clasp complete the necklace. The gold is 20k. The symbolic meaning of the pendant is unknown. Various interpretations include a tooth, petals of a medicinal flower, and an insect, with the two wings folded and pointing down. There is a precedent in ancient Egypt. A mark of rank was the Order of the golden Fly, which first makes its appearance during the early New Kingdom under increased influence from Asia. This award, which was of military significance was given particularly for valor. The fly pendants of ancient Egypt were made of gold and not of stone, but the idea may be similar. Pendants of this form have also been reported made from agate and of a larger scale.