Imitation Zi
Re: General ID Tutorial -- Josh Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
12/18/2019, 19:27:19

I agree that this is a plastic imitation of a zi, probably made in Nepal. These are considerably less than 100 years old. They were first published by Robert Liu in the premier issue of The Bead Journal (1974), and were not necessarily new beads at that time. They were also the topic of my presentation at the International Bead Conference (1985) aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. And, of course, I show a reasonable variety of them in my article for Arts of Asia (2002).

Let's say you thought this might be a Chinese reproduction (agate) zi bead. It would still be well under 100 years old. These came into the marketplace (out of Taiwan) in 1992. Only twenty-seven years ago. (I own the first one to come to the US—also in my zi article.) Nevertheless, by the first decade of the 21st C., these were routinely misrepresented as being "50 years old," and then "100 years old"—and then "ancient," by unscrupulous (mostly Chinese) bead sellers.

I recommend my AoA article, as well as my article, currently in-press for Ligabue Magazine (Venice), that will be released soon. Also the first decent report on zi beads, by Ebbinghouse and Winston (Ornament, 1982) is a very important paper.


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