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Ancient Crystal and Lapis Lazuli Beads with Crystal Drop Pendants


Swat Valley


Rock Crystal, Lapis Lazuli, Silver


The necklace is 24 inches (62.2 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 105.5 gm.







A necklace of thirty-seven rock crystal beads and thirty-eight lapis lazuli beads of various shapes. The rock crystal beads include ten pendant beads of tear-drop shape. They are narrow when seen from the front and wider in side view. Several of them have one wide side which is flatter than the other, probably a consequence of the method of shaping. They are roughly shaped and then tumble polished to round all of the edges. The largest of these is 1.65 cm in height, 1.4 cm in width at the widest point and 6 cm in thickness at the bottom tapering to 3 mm in thickness at the drill hole. The drill hole diameter is 2 mm. Most of these are about 1.5 cm in height 1.1cm 1.2 cm in width, and 6mm - 8mm in thickness. The beads range in size from 1.5 cm to 8 mm in length. There are many variations in shape: round and flattened spheres, short bi-cones with six sides, barrel shapes and faceted barrel shapes. The smaller beads towards the back of the necklace are the more precisely cut, with the facets of equal size. One such example is 8.5 mm in length, 9 mm in width and with a drill hole diameter of 1.2 mm. There are eight planes arranged equally around the drill hole and then a second register of sixteen triangles around the circumference at he equator. There are four such beads in the necklace. There are three more of this level of craftsmanship, but of a different design, being short bicones with eight facets around each hemisphere. The largest one is 1 cm in length, 1.4 cm in width at the center and with a drill hole diameter of 1.5 mm. The larger beads give the impression of being roughly shaped and then wheel cut with flat planes and facets, with no attempt at overall symmetry. The lapis beads are similarly rough in shape, being short barrels and flattened spheres. The center bead is angled slightly on the sides being 1.3 cm in length at the bottom and 1.05 cm in length at the top. The width is 1.25 on one end and 7 mm on the other. The drill hole diameter is 3 mm. Once again, the impression is that the makers were making as little alteration to the pieces as possible in order to maximize the size of the beads. The beads graduate in size from the from of the necklace to the back , from around 1 cm to 5 mm in length, and 1 .25 cm to 7.5 mm in width. These seem to be made for the common people rather than for the sophisticated elite. The very regular alteration of the lapis and crystal as well as the ten pendant beads bring an order to the rather large and crudely shaped beads.