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Warring States Beads @ Auction?
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Posted by: beadstore.com Post Reply
04/17/2017, 06:20:08

Auction_Warring_1.jpg (172.8 KB)  Warring_Auction_2.jpg (179.3 KB)  


Modified by Admin at Mon, Apr 17, 2017, 06:26:30

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Re: Warring States Beads @ Auction?
Re: Warring States Beads @ Auction? -- beadstore.com Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadstore.com Post Reply
04/17/2017, 06:20:40

And two more pictures.

Warring_Auction_3.jpg (179.8 KB)  Warring_Auction_4.jpg (200.8 KB)  


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Approximate pre-auction estimates in US Dollars:
Re: Warring States Beads @ Auction? -- beadstore.com Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
04/17/2017, 21:34:39

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Are these the most valuable glass beads ever sold? Similar examples
Re: Warring States Beads @ Auction? -- beadstore.com Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
04/18/2017, 12:50:38

Thanks, Abe, for showing these, and Fred for digging up the prices.

The Chinese texts are mainly descriptive, with some rather poetic stuff about the connections to the divine through the symmetry of the patterns. Nothing really about provenance except to refer to 173 similar (?? beads having been excavated from a Warring States tomb near Suizhou.

I can't see any obvious reason to doubt their authenticity. There are a few beads of the same exquisite quality in equally good condition in museum collections. I'll attach a couple of photos, the first from the Shanghai Museum (photo by Robert Liu) and another from the Miho Museum (the most beautiful museum in the world, incidentally). The pictures in transmitted light are really convincing.

BUT one also has to ask how reliable the auction house is. They're a fairly new business (nothing wrong with that); they specialize in jade, but some of the archaic jade they have listed doesn't convince me completely, and sometimes they seem to have quite a few unsold lots. The Chinese auction scene is so complicated, with elements of money-laundering amidst government attempts to suppress corruption, and there are bound to be unanswered question about who owned them and how did they get them, who is selling and why, and who is buying and why.

Meanwhile, I'm sure the glass beadmakers in Jember are already hard at work figuring out how to make convincing copies (if they haven't done so already!).

Best,

Will


WS:3cm:RLiu:ShanghaiMus.jpg (28.3 KB)  MihoWS1b.jpg (24.2 KB)  


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Museum and copies
Re: Are these the most valuable glass beads ever sold? Similar examples -- Will Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: floorkasp Post Reply
04/18/2017, 13:39:28

From what I know, these are the best copies of Warring States beads coming out of Java at the moment.
Interesting, but not convincing.

I visited the Shanghai museum when they had an exhibit on Warring States beads. I took pictures of all the beads and the digital presentation they had. If you like a PDF of these pictures, let me know. It is a large file, that I can send to your email with Wetransfer.

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Museums originals turn out to be copies from time to time.
Re: Museum and copies -- floorkasp Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: mosquitobay Post Reply
04/18/2017, 14:19:25



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Thanks, Floor...
Re: Museum and copies -- floorkasp Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
04/18/2017, 19:23:57

... for showing these. They're better than any that I saw last year in Jember, but their construction is all wrong, isn't it? I'm sure they'll get better with time, but first the beadmakers will have to figure out how to make the very precise stratified eyes that the Warring States makers perfected.

I'd really like to see the photos from Shanghai. I've left you a private message with my email.

Best,

Will



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Don't forget Christies Auction $86,000 Phoenician head pendant about 10-15 years back
Re: Are these the most valuable glass beads ever sold? Similar examples -- Will Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: mosquitobay Post Reply
04/18/2017, 14:21:46



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Lankton's known replicas
Re: Warring States Beads @ Auction? -- beadstore.com Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: mosquitobay Post Reply
04/18/2017, 14:16:02

Below are two examples of replicas or fakes if you care to use that description that came from the James Lankton collection. I do not know the source, but they have been around for some time and I am pretty sure they did not come from Indonesia.

These beads are just too rare to judge what is real or not by photography even though the pictures are excellent. I wouldn't touch these with a ten foot glass rod without some serious provenance.

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But these are such obvious fakes...
Re: Lankton's known replicas -- mosquitobay Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
04/18/2017, 19:43:11

... and in no way comparable to the auction beads. As I said before, I can't see any flaws in them, but like you, Jan, I wouldn't think of bidding without serious provenance. But hey, I'd never be able to afford that, anyway, would I?

However, I'd love to have the chance to touch them (without your ten foot glass rod!). Here (attached) is one I did get to hold last year in the Royal Ontario Museum, but with the little cotton gloves that everyone has to wear nowadays, you seldom get to actually "touch" anything unfortunately. This one is definitely authentic; it was collected for the museum in the 1930s. Interestingly, the devitrification bears a resemblance to the artificial patina that is sometimes said to be a distinguishing mark on a lot of the fakes made in the last 15 or so years in China.

Best,

Will


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When the hammer falls......
Re: But these are such obvious fakes... -- Will Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: mosquitobay Post Reply
04/19/2017, 06:17:13

You are right, maybe I am being too negative. I have had over one hundred Warring States beads in my collection at one time or another. But I have never been able to see or touch any like these. I have seen similar examples from a Japanese collection though. Maybe these are from that collection.

There is a lot of new wealth in Asia these days, and W.S. beads are very popular there for obvious reasons. It will be interesting to see what happens when the hammer falls.

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All together now
Re: Warring States Beads @ Auction? -- beadstore.com Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
04/18/2017, 20:50:21

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Modified by Frederick II at Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 20:57:57

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Why pay $72,000 when you can pay $0.99?
Re: Warring States Beads @ Auction? -- beadstore.com Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
04/21/2017, 09:35:00

Exceptional deal on eBay 132165899713.

Of course shipping is extra.

WarringStatesReplica.jpg (47.9 KB)  


Modified by Rosanna at Fri, Apr 21, 2017, 09:36:00

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one day...?
Re: Why pay $72,000 when you can pay $0.99? -- Rosanna Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: stefany Post Reply
04/22/2017, 01:52:35

patiently waiting to find one in an antique market being sold by someone who isn't interested in beads- surely will turn up one day... meanwhile even the hunt is usually fun-



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Is hunting for Warring States Beads (WSB) a blood sport?
Re: Warring States Beads @ Auction? -- beadstore.com Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
04/22/2017, 11:24:32

It is more likely you will find a fifty thousand dollar Warring States bead for a cost of one thousand dollars. -and never a fifty dollar one for a penny.

But you need big bucks to buy the big beads. And then you need even more luck finding a buyer who thinks the same way you think.

In any case, don't worry; all bead collectors go to heaven.



Modified by Frederick II at Sun, Apr 23, 2017, 22:13:09

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Re: nobody needs get hurt-
Re: Is hunting for Warring States Beads (WSB) a blood sport? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: stefany Post Reply
04/22/2017, 12:42:54

Fred -eventually i have found many rare beads of possible value in the bargain boxes at antique markets, - so simply change the term in my comment to "search" instead of "hunt" -with some knowledge and plenty of patience, that's how good things turn up!



Modified by stefany at Sat, Apr 22, 2017, 12:45:12

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Searching for rare beads of possible value
Re: Re: nobody needs get hurt- -- stefany Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
04/22/2017, 19:19:57

Stefany,

More than any other place I have shopped, London seems to have the most hidden treasures. How could you explain this? I presume this is because there are so many auction houses; Christie's, Sotheby's, Bonham's and many other auction houses serve as the "clearing house of the western world."

Especially in London, and other places in Great Britain, there is a complete cross-section of antiques of all sorts. The finest pieces sell from one top collector to another through these auction houses. While lesser antiques trickle down into the street markets such as those on Portobello Road.

So, with knowledge and patience, rare beads have turned up for you, Stefany, and others. Hopefully, each of us has been helping to sort out, identify and preserve rare beads for posterity.

Thank you,
Fred



Modified by Frederick II at Sun, Apr 23, 2017, 04:31:00

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Searching for beads in London…
Re: Searching for rare beads of possible value -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
04/22/2017, 22:16:50

From a Google search:

"Local UK antique auctions and auction houses are probably the best place in the world to search for and to buy antiques because of the country’s rich history of invasion, conquest, trade and invention.

UK Antique auctioneers probably stock and sell more genuine antiques per square mile than any other country.

Almost every British town and village has an antiques shop and almost all UK cities hold reputable local antique auctions."



Modified by Frederick II at Sat, Apr 22, 2017, 22:25:59

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Re: Searching for beads in London…
Re: Searching for beads in London… -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: stefany Post Reply
04/23/2017, 06:26:23

well, i'd perhaps say rather because here we haven't been totally "invaded" for about 10 centuries, so have accumulated and hoarded lots of stuff or booty that might have had to be dumped if we'd needed to relocate in a hurry- many here live in elegant homes at least 200 yrs old... plenty of overseas friends aspire to having a home here...
and maybe some are comfortable enough to enjoy hobbies and interests...
its a privilege that might be taken for granted, so i'm reminded occasionally to be grateful...



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Shopping for the best beads -on a budget.
Re: Re: Searching for beads in London… -- stefany Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
04/24/2017, 19:08:19

Dear Stefany,

Most of us did not live and shop in London but we have benefitted by the books you have published. Because you have been searching for hidden treasures, we can see a number of beads which otherwise may have fallen into the hands of those who would not recognize their place in history.

I believe you have searched for beads of possible value in London throughout your career -perhaps the past forty years. Shouldn't your readers consider the beautiful beads in your books to be representative of the best you have personally discovered as a buyer on a budget?

Fondly, Fred



Modified by Frederick II at Wed, Apr 26, 2017, 15:29:56

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Shopping....?
Re: Shopping for the best beads -on a budget. -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Timbuk-2 Post Reply
04/27/2017, 15:00:49

Beads and shopping!

Two antagonistic words in the same sentence!?
Just words, or a state-of-mind?

My experience tells me that beads at a decent price* cannot be found in some multi-searched "bead-box" of any big city. Instead as close to the source, as close to the diggers - to say it as-it-is - as possible.

It always depends on what one is looking for, of course, but rare ancient beads of value cannot be found for pennies in London, Paris, NYC or Berlin. One needs a visa, time, experience, guts for adventure and connections.


* I am not sure "low prices" should be the goal for anyone. "Fair prices" sounds better to me! There's not only the buyer, there's also the seller. And he, most likely, has a bigger hole in his pocket!



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Good purchases ?
Re: Shopping....? -- Timbuk-2 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: stefany Post Reply
04/28/2017, 14:47:47

i purchased the first necklace a few years ago in a London antique market i don't remember exactly how much i paid but it was certainly under £100.- its in my book.
the dealer wasn't interested in what any of the beads were.
they are from several different ancient and antique origins, put together most likely for tourists during the mid 20th C.

also in my book is this choker of ethnic-looking metal links with a surprising mix of ancient glass, banded agate, etc dangly elements and drop-shapes- also much under £100- if the beads were separated they would be easier to identify as well.
The price asked has no relation to their value and relative rarity.

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Re: Good purchases ?
Re: Good purchases ? -- stefany Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: stefany Post Reply
04/28/2017, 15:12:39

sorry it escaped the first time...

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Is this an Islamic Era bead mounted as a pendant?
Re: Re: Good purchases ? -- stefany Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
04/28/2017, 15:15:44



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Re: Is this an Islamic Era bead mounted as a pendant?
Re: Is this an Islamic Era bead mounted as a pendant? -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: stefany Post Reply
04/28/2017, 16:41:11

well, could be earlier...
in the early '90s there was a huge important auction at Christies in London of the "Per Neb collection" of antiquities mostly from ancient Egypt. i only heard about it after it had happened, and i got the catalogue.
among the items illustrated were millefiori glass fragments, face beads and a set of items like this disc, which fetched a very high price. i found the stories of Constantine who had this symbol in a vision just before he conquered Turkey- he understood it to be a christian symbol= the cross and 4 loaves, and vowed that if he won that battle he would convert to christianity. so he did and he did; its called the cross of Constantine. but it was Gabrielle Liese who explained to me these flattened discs with a sizeable central hole were used to fasten garments in those earliest Byzantine christian times.
now you may be able to find this information online.
converting this one into a necklace centrepiece may have been done without the craftsperson having any knowledge of its specialness. the metal isn't gold.
all these discoveries are part of the thrill of rummaging in less likely places and finding "treasure"
that we recognise because of our shared researches here and with other bead friends.



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Thank you Stefany,
Re: Re: Is this an Islamic Era bead mounted as a pendant? -- stefany Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
04/28/2017, 16:59:51

for sharing these treasures! Besides having a fantastic and knowledgeable eye, much experience and good taste, you also have the "home field advantage" of London as your searching ground. Here, in our specific area, it's been years since a really exciting find for me - the only fertile searching ground for collectible beads is a huge once-a-month retail market. So I vicariously enjoy your pictures and stories a lot!



Modified by Joyce at Fri, Apr 28, 2017, 17:03:21

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Re: Searching for beads in London
Re: Searching for beads in London… -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: stefany Post Reply
04/28/2017, 14:53:32

small local auctions are sometimes good but if you aren't there you have to trust the catalogue descriptions and they are often confusing-



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If not fun, don't do it because there's seldom enough profit. Life is too short and getting shorter…
Re: Re: Searching for beads in London -- stefany Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Frederick II Post Reply
04/28/2017, 15:10:35



Modified by Frederick II at Fri, Apr 28, 2017, 15:20:38

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Warring States
Re: Warring States Beads @ Auction? -- beadstore.com Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Timbuk-2 Post Reply
04/27/2017, 14:42:23

The ultimate precision and beauty - especially of bead Nr. 1 - is unsurpassed. Not often have I seen such perfection in a glassbead, leave alone lots of COLD-WORKING is involved here!

IMPOSSIBLE they could be fakes or repros!!!

From all unanswered questions on ancient beads, this would be my first one:

"How did you do this, guys? How "the holy ***k" did you do this?"



Modified by Timbuk-2 at Thu, Apr 27, 2017, 17:34:32

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