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Ancient Carnelian with Notched Lapis and Large Center Bead


Swat Valley


Lapis Lazuli, Carnelian, Silver


The necklace is 20 1/8 inches (51.2 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 49.4 gm.







A necklace of seventeen carnelian beads alternating with sixteen lapis lazuli beads. The carnelians are all barrel shaped of various proportions except for two round beads at the very back of the necklace. The large center bead is 3.5 cm in length, 4.8 mm in width and 8.5 mm in width at the ends. The hole diameter is 2.3 mm. There are four circular “eye” spots in the bead, one of which is a very light blue color. There are a pair of carnelian beads 1.8 cm in length and 1 cm in width at the center. The remaining beads graduate downward in size towards the back of the necklace. The lapis lazuli beads are of various shapes: a pair of notched triangular beads that frame the center carnelian bead, elongated cornerless cuboid beads, long barre shaped beads, beads with flat backs and a domed front (like a turtle shell), and a tabular bead with tapered edges. Some of the lapis beads have very old looking granular surfaces; the iron pyrite inclusions in these have been exposed and glitter as they reflect the light. These beads come from the Swat Valley in what is now northern Pakistan, between the Indus River and the Karakoram Mountain range to the north and Kashmir to the west.