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Original Message:   Re: Unusual Jatim
- Thanks, Jamey, for the images. The beads in the lower photo are in Magical Ancient Beads, aren't they? They're lovely beads and rare; the use of different coloured eye canes is quite unusual, less than 1% of production I estimate. But in the modern reproductions they're everywhere, I guess because they're thought to be pretty and there's a demand for prettiness. The Lindstrom beads are very strange, both the surface and the apparently random mix of canes. Are they constructed in the traditional way?

- Scott, I've been looking for an example of what I was talking about with regard to the area around the perforation on the bead on the left hand side of your photo. I think what we see there is a relatively new way of trying to imitate the marks that were sometimes left when a bead was separated from a longer cane. I hadn't seen it before, but I just found these fake pelangis (first attachment) on eBay from a Thai seller; they're described there as "Majapahit", and it's the same kind of effect as on the one you showed. For an authentic bead that this is trying to copy, see page 106 in Magical Ancient Beads.

- Juergen: These Jatims were not buried with bodies so we don't know how they were worn (unlike a lot of mainland Southeast Asian ancient beads). The size of the larger ones seems to suggest that they were worn occasionally and as status symbols, like many bronze pendants from the region. (The huge Hellenistic-era beads that were made in southern Russia and Ukraine are found in association with horse harnesses in burial mounds in the Caucasus - another kind of status in nomadic cultures).

Regarding the question of whether the availability of good reproductions has frightened the market away from Jatims and reduced their value, I'm really not sure. It hasn't happened with dzi, has it? I don't pay much attention to bead prices, but I do think there's been a drift away from glass to stone, and this has affected the market for ancient glass beads generally.

The second attachment is of some Indo-Pacific and Jatim beads (and possibly some ancient Byzantine-era imports also) that were dug up further west of the usual Javanese sites where Jatims are found - quite unusual beads also.

Best,

Will

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