Mandarin Necklaces
Re: Question about determining the material used for a necklace cord -- jrj Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
09/07/2019, 20:28:17

In brief terms, this is what I can tell you.

The Chinese did not like the Manchus who ruled the Xing Dynasty. And they did not (supposedly) really enjoy the required dress and bead ensembles that State Officials (Mandarins) were required to wear. Once the Manchus were out of power, the Chinese stopped wearing these things. Many many Court-style necklaces were disposed of. Many were taken apart, and stored.

Much later, when someone realized that Count necklaces could be a collectible item, and knowing that few intact pieces remained, it became a challenge to recreate "Court necklaces" from stored parts. This included the various beads, drops, cloud beads, counting beads—and EVEN THE CORDS OR LINES (!).

Consequently many ersatz "Court necklaces" were reconstructed from disparate parts. Often enough, parts that would not have been together originally. It was not unusual to find that these necklaces had been strung on original fibers (including nice flat woven tapes); OR were strung onto lines that resembled the originals.

And, by the way, "Court necklaces" were also made using beads that would not have been available in the Xing Dynasty—such as Boshan factory-made beads, that are very nice, but not like any Court beads.

You can burn "silk lines" to determine if they are silk. They will tend to smolder rather than burn easily, and give an organic burning aroma. The closest thing to silk is rayon. (Rayon is actually "artificial silk.") When you burn rayon it melts and makes a synthetic aroma.


Modified by Beadman at Sat, Sep 07, 2019, 20:30:47

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