Re: Kika's bead - looks authentic to me
Re: Warring States Beads -- floorkasp Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
10/22/2015, 20:03:59

Iím very hesitant about disagreeing with Fred because I know how good he is at sniffing out fakes (and at much else besides, of course). But I had a little time this afternoon and found myself looking at the pics of this bead several times before making up my mind. Thatís to say - as much as it ever makes itself up!

One of the problems is that most of us have very little experience with Warring States glass beads - as opposed to the ones with composite or clay cores which are much more common. Personally, Iíve only had the chance to handle them a few times, mainly in museums wearing cotton gloves. But I do know the acid-finished fakes of East Java intimately, and as I looked at Kikaís photos closely, her bead seemed substantially different. The wear at individual spots - the white of the heart-shaped leaves, the concentric lines at the ends with the indentation at the top of the bead on the left side of the first photo, the rims of the air bubbles and the crack lines - all of this looks absolutely typical to me.

Itís worth checking the beads that Pipane showed on this forum several years ago; the surfaces of several of them are quite similar. And when we compare it to the hundred odd pages of Warring States beads in Simon Kwanís Early Chinese Glass, we can see that the kind of dull, even surface on Kikaís bead is absolutely typical of the wear on most very good Warring States glass.

Also I checked out a few Chinese online sites. Ali Baba and Ali Express, for instance, have a lot of fake Warring States beads listed, frequently at high prices, but none of the ones that I found had anything like the quality of Kikaís.

It all adds up. I could be wrong. I often am. I think I would be sure immediately if I had it between my fingers.

Incidentally, I think the heart motif is probably more probably a leaf. It could be both, of course, but I donít know of heart symbolism in China anything like as early as this. There are two almost identical beads on page 179 of Kwanís book (though theyíre not in as good condtion). Kwan describes the leaves as a persimmon calyx, which they certainly resemble. For the last thousand years or so (and possibly before) the persimmon has been a symbol of happiness in Chinese art.

There it is. Iíll attach a photo of the most beautiful Warring States bead Iíve actually touched - or rather, it touched me when I got the chance to examine it in Japan. They really are amazing beads; Iíve always marveled at the Phoenician stratified eye beads which preceded these, but the Warring States beads at their best outdo them in their brilliant precision.



Will:WarringState63b_(1).jpg (24.2 KB)  

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