Western Asiatic Carnelian and Gold Necklace

£ 2,000.00

A restrung Western Asiatic necklace featuring carnelian and gold beads. It consists of beads of varying shapes and hues, starting at the top with oval varieties, separated by disc shaped spacers, to add variation to the expanse of carnelian. Circular beads alternate with indented oblong beads towards the latter half of the necklace. They are separated on each side by three gold ovoid beads, consisting of either a single or double row of delicate granulation on either side, adding further richness to the piece. The final embellishment is a large, rhomboid, striated agate bead which rests at the centre, its flattened surface showcasing the varied veins of stone. The necklace is finished with a gold-plated clasp. (Please be aware clasp has not been professionally tied).

Date: 1st Millenium BC - 1st Millenium AD
Provenance: Ex SM, Mayfair London collection 1970-99, thence by descent.
Condition: Very fine condition. Some markings on beads.
Product Code: NES-135

Many grand civilisations inhabited the area of Western Asia in Antiquity, and their wealth and prosperity are witnessed by the very sophisticated precious metal crafting of jewellery. Gold would have been hammered down to a thin layer and manipulated into different shapes, with gold and silver jewellery featuring gold granules, glass and semi-precious stone inlays and detailed engravings. Their fine detailed craftsmanship was later adopted by the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans.

Carnelian is a translucent variant of chalcedony, and ranges in colour from light orange to dark brown. Its slightly softer feature makes it ideal for carving. The colour of stones was important in antiquity, with some varieties considered, through sympathetic magic, to increase fertility, ease childbirth, and provide relief and protection from afflictions (such as scorpion bites, stomach ailments, and eye disease). Written sources list a host of powers attributed to stones, for instance protection against the evil eye, the guarantee of safe travel, a better understanding of rhetoric, and even victory in court. In ancient Greece and Rome, carnelian in particular was believed to enhance passion, love, and desire.

To discover more about jewellery in the Ancient World, please visit our relevant post: Jewellery in Antiquity.

Dimensions L 44.1 cm



Near East (Western Asiatic)

Semi-Precious Stone

Agate, Carnelian

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