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Indonesian beads: are these old?
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Posted by: CoinCoin Post Reply
01/17/2017, 15:29:01

Seller says these are about 16x16mm and date to 600-1200 AD. Can anyone tell whether these are that old, or newer?

CanadaBeads.jpg (201.5 KB)  


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I would say negative, but this is from my limited experience from the "jatim" type of beads
Re: Indonesian beads: are these old? -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadbox Post Reply
01/17/2017, 18:14:11



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Negative
Re: I would say negative, but this is from my limited experience from the "jatim" type of beads -- beadbox Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Timbuk-2 Post Reply
01/17/2017, 19:11:27

I agree with "beadbox" - except for the word "would" and everything after the comma.

Nevertheless: Astounding what level of perfection these modern fakemakers have reached. Would love to see "Men At Work". Hopefully soon!



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Neither...
Re: Indonesian beads: are these old? -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
01/18/2017, 06:13:45

Neither is authentic, I'm afraid. The one on the right doesn't really come close as a copy - it would be very unusual to have a combination of different coloured eyes like this. The one on the left is a bit more convincing; the surface has been nicely "aged", but it's still wrong, as are the cutting marks around the perforation. The dates are off also; jatims were definitely not made into the Majapahit era.

Here (attached) is a group of authentic beads that range in size from 16-36 mm.

Best,

Will

Will:Jatim358-371.jpg (71.8 KB)  


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Authenticity
Re: Neither... -- Will Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Timbuk-2 Post Reply
01/18/2017, 06:50:40

Lovely selection, Will!



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Unusual Jatim With Multiple Cane Patterns
Re: Neither... -- Will Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/20/2017, 00:15:47

From the Lindstrom and Beck Collections.

nl_jatim_multi_canes.jpg (25.0 KB)  ub_jatim_multi_cane.jpg (69.8 KB)  


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Unusual Jatim
Re: Unusual Jatim With Multiple Cane Patterns -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Timbuk-2 Post Reply
01/20/2017, 08:10:13

I wonder how such rather big beads had been worn traditionally and by whom and when? Possibly too heavy (and precious) as daily jewelry, especially since a full necklace must have been rather heavy.

Authentic pieces like this ones - the two on the left side are exceptionally wonderful collectibles - never really got the full appreciation they deserve, I fear (not in the West, that is).

Another pity the fact that all this "perfect copies" seem to have destroyed the market. Jatim beads are not my speciality, but it is not only for that reason I would not feel confident to decide between old and new specimen. Speaks for the contemporary makers, not my knowledge, I guess!

Still wonderful beads - even the new ones!



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Re: Unusual Jatim
Re: Unusual Jatim -- Timbuk-2 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
01/20/2017, 14:27:59

- Thanks, Jamey, for the images. The beads in the lower photo are in Magical Ancient Beads, aren't they? They're lovely beads and rare; the use of different coloured eye canes is quite unusual, less than 1% of production I estimate. But in the modern reproductions they're everywhere, I guess because they're thought to be pretty and there's a demand for prettiness. The Lindstrom beads are very strange, both the surface and the apparently random mix of canes. Are they constructed in the traditional way?

- Scott, I've been looking for an example of what I was talking about with regard to the area around the perforation on the bead on the left hand side of your photo. I think what we see there is a relatively new way of trying to imitate the marks that were sometimes left when a bead was separated from a longer cane. I hadn't seen it before, but I just found these fake pelangis (first attachment) on eBay from a Thai seller; they're described there as "Majapahit", and it's the same kind of effect as on the one you showed. For an authentic bead that this is trying to copy, see page 106 in Magical Ancient Beads.

- Juergen: These Jatims were not buried with bodies so we don't know how they were worn (unlike a lot of mainland Southeast Asian ancient beads). The size of the larger ones seems to suggest that they were worn occasionally and as status symbols, like many bronze pendants from the region. (The huge Hellenistic-era beads that were made in southern Russia and Ukraine are found in association with horse harnesses in burial mounds in the Caucasus - another kind of status in nomadic cultures).

Regarding the question of whether the availability of good reproductions has frightened the market away from Jatims and reduced their value, I'm really not sure. It hasn't happened with dzi, has it? I don't pay much attention to bead prices, but I do think there's been a drift away from glass to stone, and this has affected the market for ancient glass beads generally.

The second attachment is of some Indo-Pacific and Jatim beads (and possibly some ancient Byzantine-era imports also) that were dug up further west of the usual Javanese sites where Jatims are found - quite unusual beads also.

Best,

Will

Jatim-fakes.jpg (133.7 KB)  Will:Jatim225as.jpg (63.4 KB)  


Modified by Will at Fri, Jan 20, 2017, 14:31:45

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2003 - How Jatim Were Made in Antiquity
Re: Re: Unusual Jatim -- Will Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/21/2017, 02:25:15

First presented at NBS Forum in 2003 using Fimo specimens made in ca. 1990. JDA.

reproduce_jatim.jpg (80.7 KB)  


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How Jatim Were Made in Antiquity
Re: 2003 - How Jatim Were Made in Antiquity -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Timbuk-2 Post Reply
01/21/2017, 06:55:18

Beyond amazing! I wonder why I did not know!

Incredible technique!

Thanks a lot!



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July 2006 - Jatim
Re: 2003 - How Jatim Were Made in Antiquity -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/21/2017, 13:53:38

bcn_7_06_jatim.jpg (41.7 KB)  


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October 2006 - Jatim & Pelangi
Re: 2003 - How Jatim Were Made in Antiquity -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/21/2017, 13:55:15

bcn_10_06_jatim.jpg (52.2 KB)  bcn_10_06_pelangi.jpg (35.9 KB)  


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2003 - How Pelangi & Zebra Jatim Were Made in Antiquity
Re: October 2006 - Jatim & Pelangi -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/21/2017, 14:10:50

nbs_zebra_jatim_manu.jpg (30.6 KB)  


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Nov/Dec 2008 - Hot-Pinched Beads
Re: 2003 - How Jatim Were Made in Antiquity -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/21/2017, 13:56:58

bcn_11_08_hotpinched.jpg (36.1 KB)  bcn_12_08_hotpinched.jpg (68.7 KB)  


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April 2009 - Hot-Pinched Beads
Re: 2003 - How Jatim Were Made in Antiquity -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/21/2017, 13:58:32

bcn_4_09_hotpinch.jpg (61.7 KB)  bcn_4_09_hotpinched_jombang.jpg (61.5 KB)  


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April 2009 - Jatim and Reproductions
Re: 2003 - How Jatim Were Made in Antiquity -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/21/2017, 13:59:58

bcn_4_09_jatim.jpg (32.1 KB)  bcn_4_09_red_jatim.jpg (43.0 KB)  


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Jan/Mar 2011 - Hot-Pinched Beads & Indo-Pacific Beads
Re: 2003 - How Jatim Were Made in Antiquity -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/21/2017, 14:01:54

bcn_1_11_hotpinch.jpg (30.2 KB)  bcn_3_11_i_p_bds.jpg (66.9 KB)  


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Hot-Pinched Beads
Re: Jan/Mar 2011 - Hot-Pinched Beads & Indo-Pacific Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Timbuk-2 Post Reply
01/21/2017, 17:24:31

One wonders - at least I do - how ancient beadmakers had been able to keep their base rods hot enough to apply their (eye) canes. Such rods were possibly os short length. Not?

The whole process must have been a very tricky one. One that required experienced workers and great skills.

Is known if each bead was pinched individually or was their a technique in place or tool available to pinch a number of beads at the same time (as has been the case with gold glassbeads)?

Who re-discovered this century old technique? Literature/papers?



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Beads were mechanically polished in Java—making them once again glassy. Conventionally hot-pinched.
Re: Re: Unusual Jatim -- Will Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/21/2017, 03:34:06

2_nl_jatim_nks.jpg (87.2 KB)  


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Naomi's Jatim were the prettiest ones I've ever seen!
Re: Beads were mechanically polished in Java—making them once again glassy. Conventionally hot-pinched. -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
01/21/2017, 08:56:54



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Mechanically polished in Java
Re: Beads were mechanically polished in Java—making them once again glassy. Conventionally hot-pinched. -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Timbuk-2 Post Reply
01/21/2017, 09:02:47

Any literature or papers on the matter of beadmaking? How was this technique recovered, when and by whom? Is that technique confirmed or a hypothesis? Is this the only known industry who made beads that way?

The manufacture of beads from canes is just....wooow, an enormous achievment. Wonder how they are able to make very simelar types now at the torch. Or do they still use this old technique, you showed in your other post?



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Java meets Mauritania
Re: Mechanically polished in Java -- Timbuk-2 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Timbuk-2 Post Reply
01/21/2017, 13:37:05

There is a linear distance of 9350 miles between the two places, but a very simelar technique has obviously been used in the two industries of Java and Mauritania, to create eye-beads.

Beyond fascinating!

PL_99-B.jpg (173.2 KB)  


Modified by Timbuk-2 at Sat, Jan 21, 2017, 13:59:19

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Polished beads
Re: Indonesian beads: are these old? -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
01/22/2017, 13:33:51

I'm wondering how other collectors feel about the practice of polishing ancient beads. I'm in two minds about it myself. With almost all other antiques that I can think of, from coins to bronze to furniture, it's frowned upon, and can have a substantial negative impact on the artefact's value. The same can be said for ancient stone beads (though there's a bit of leeway with ancient jade from China as long as the repolishing doesn't affect the patina).

But when jatims were introduced to the North American market in - when was it? I'm guessing - the late '80s or early '90s, it seems that a lot of them were quite heavily polished, and it appears that this enhanced their value in comparison to weathered examples. I had very little interest in beads at that time, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't see evidence of the same practice on the same scale with ancient beads from west Asia. Does anyone here have any thoughts about why that was the case? Is it perhaps because the excavated condition of jatims was often so poor as a result of the volcanic soil in which many of them were buried that there wouldn't have been much of a market for them without their being polished? That may be one reason, but there must be others, surely.

Later in the 90s and early 2000s, as the new copies from Java became better, the practice seems to have diminished, perhaps because the ancient wear was now a simple way of separating the authentic from the fake. More recently, as the modern copyists found new ways to age their beads, that simple criterion in its turn no longer applies. Nowadays, I'm quite happy to find a bead with old polishing marks because, ironically, it's more likely to be authentic!

I've also noticed, that of the authentic jatims I've bought from North American sources a good 50% have been polished, whereas it's fewer than 10% with the ones acquired in Indonesia itself, or indeed with beads that I've seen in Indonesian private and public collections. Ultimately, I think I prefer beads that carry their history with them, and I don't much care for the glossy finish on some, though not all, of the beads from the Lindstrom collection. It's too much like cosmetic surgery!

But in the end it's very hard to be definitive about this, isn't it? One of my own beads that pleases me most is a huge (49 mm) pelangi that was polished (though not to a glossy sheen) when it was collected by a friend in Java in 1991 or '92 (attached here). But another is a large (39 mm) blue and white pelangi that is severely damaged and fragmentary (next attachment). I value it almost as much.

Cheers,

Will

Will:JatimNecklace_(m).jpg (0 bytes)  Will:pelangi:177b.jpg (61.1 KB)  


Modified by Will at Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 13:34:51

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Re: Polished beads (image that didn't stick)
Re: Polished beads -- Will Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
01/22/2017, 13:36:25

JatimNecklace-l_(s).jpg (53.6 KB)  


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And the one that has definitely not been polished
Re: Polished beads -- Will Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
01/22/2017, 13:41:36

39 mm each way



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Re: And the one that has definitely not been polished - sorry, images this time (I hope)
Re: And the one that has definitely not been polished -- Will Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
01/22/2017, 13:42:51

Will:Jatim396as.jpg (66.1 KB)  Will:Jatim396b.jpg (63.5 KB)  


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