8990

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    Unusually Ample & Long Indian Glass Trade Bead & Brass Bead Necklace

    Andhra Pradesh, India
    19th century

    circumference: 128cm, weight: 820g

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    Provenance

    private collection, UK

    This fine necklace is of dozens of strands of hundreds of tiny white and red white-heart glass trade beads produced in Murano, Venice before and probably well before 1880. The necklace is of unusually large proportions, attesting to the wealth of the original owner.

    The beads are not of uniform size, which is another indicator of their relatively early nature. Venetian glass beads were produced in their millions and exported right around the world. They are seen in ‘tribal’ necklaces from Borneo, to the Himalayas to the Americas.

    Red white-heart glass beads were manufactured first as tiny white glass beads which were then dipped in molten red glass to give them their milky-red colour.

    The dozens of strands of tiny glass beads are accompanied by six pyramidal brass beads with smooth surfaces and another six with ribbed surfaces, in groups of three. These brass beads are characteristic of Andhra Pradesh.

    Such necklaces were worn by Gondh women in Andhra Pradesh (Untracht, p. 84).

    The example here is threaded onto the original twisted cotton thread. The necklace is robust, wearable, and has a superb patina.

    References

    Untracht, O., Traditional Jewelry of India, Thames & Hudson, 1997.

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