A 1920s-30's "Miriam Haskell" Style Chinese Charm Necklace with Melted "Cinnabar"
Re: Chinese Carved Cinnabar Lacquer Beads 1930s vs 1970s vs 1990s -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
07/29/2017, 11:49:30

Continuing my perverse fascination with these necklaces, recently found another one on eBay, with two deteriorated "cinnabar" beads.

I removed the two charms missing their brass bob dangles and the icky cinnabar beads, and re-positioned the salvaged elements.

Then I took an exacto-knife to the smaller melted bead. The substance is so soft I can press a fingernail into it, and just being warmed in my hand was enough that I could feel the whole thing give under pressure.

The larger bead seems to show some traces of the original layered application of the goo, unless the lines are artifacts of a toothed carving tool. Note how the lower levels of the goo have melted, and seem to ooze like lava.

Anyone willing to take a guess as to what this stuff is, and whether the red color comes from rust or from vermilion?

Rosanna says a materials analysis starts at $75, and I can't really see paying that for what are, at bottom, junky old beads.

SAM_8087_(2).JPG (172.6 KB)  SAM_8088_(2).JPG (205.9 KB)  


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