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This Tibetan hair bead is splendid for its extraordinary size, its quality, and also for its patina and obvious significant age.
Such beads were worn in the hair by upper class women in Lhasa.
The bead features fine silver wirework, pearled wire, and granulation work. At its centre is a large turquoise cabochon.
The reverse is of copper sheet.
The copper sheet is neatly folded around the base and there are no gaps in how it meets with the silver upper section (which is unusual).
A similarly large example is illustrated in Geoffrey-Schneiter (2012, p. 70.)
The bead here is in excellent condition. The apertures are clean and go all the way through. The bead is a delight and a pleasure to handle.
Casey Singer, J., Gold Jewelry from Tibet and Nepal, Thames & Hudson, 1996.
Geoffrey-Schneiter, B., Bijoux des Toits du Monde de la Chine au Caucase, Foundation Baur, Musee des Artes D’Extreme-Orient/5 Continents, 2012.
Ghose, M. (ed.), Vanishing Beauty: Asian Jewelry and Ritual Objects from the Barbara and David Kipper Collection, Art Institute of Chicago, 2016.
Seiwert, W.D., Jewellery from the Orient: Treasures from the Bir Collection, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2009.