Re: Please help with bead ID
Re: Please help with bead ID -- baca-cara Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Mail author
09/06/2014, 13:58:42

Some random thoughts and questions:

Thanks, everyone for this interesting thread. Sorry to be so late getting into it.

Brigitte, as you say, your bead appears to be ďcore-formedĒ - which means the glass has been trailed, shaped and marvered around a clay core. That certainly seems to be true from what one can see of the perforation. But that technique, which was used for the making of Hellenistic alabastrons in the first millennium BCE, was never, as far as I know, used for making any beads that resembled yours. Beads such as the beautiful one on Fredís necklace are, as I understand them, wound, trailed, combed and pinched (is that the right word for the vertical indentations?), and they almost always have applied glass rings around the perforations (usually yellow, sometimes green). So like many reproductions, your bead seems to imitate the appearance but not the technique of an ancient bead.

I donít think your bead resembles any of the reproductions of west Asian beads that Iíve seen in recent years in East Java. Sometimes it seems as though weíre attributing all the fakes that appear to Java (which I guess testifies to the adaptability of the beadmakers there), but, like Joyce and Hans, I think this bead is much more likely to be from Syria or Lebanon. It looks very similar to me to the fake alabastrons that are produced for the antiqities market. Iíll attach a photo of one that I bought there about fifteen years ago. I got it in a glass factory in Beirut for $10 or so, and later the same day I saw an almost identical one (no more convincingly aged) selling for $1300 - which would have been cheap if it had been authentic. Youíll notice how similar the cracks are to the ones in your bead, with the same residue of what I imagine is a mix of limepaste and adhesive.

As Fred says, the size of your bead ought to be one of the suspicious elements with your bead. I certainly havenít seen an authentic one that was anything like as large. But I donít have a problem with the yellow. Though most ancient yellow glass is a more mustardy colour, there are many lemon shades in ancient canes too.

As to the bead that you asked for opinions on, Fred, like you I have my doubts. Iíve bought authentic items from this seller in the past (not beads), and thatís always a positive factor for me. But ithe bead itself is quite puzzling. The design seems more Phoenician than Islamic in its strictness, but the glass, especially the yellow, doesnít resemble the Phoenician glass that I know at all. (It doesnít look like the modern Chinese copies either.) But itís very pretty and very well done. Fred, can I ask what your own suspicions are based on?

And finally, Fred, could we please have some close-ups of that beautiful necklace?

All the best,


FakeAlabastron.jpg (45.9 KB)  

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