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Seal Bead? Check out the great pixs!!!
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Posted by: Carole Post Reply
04/24/2012, 18:44:51

We are getting ready for the Global Village Museum "Beads and Baskets" show in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. Mike (the snowflake photographer) has been taking pictures of beads, as I had mentioned before in this forum. Here is a seal bead that he photographed that I always wanted to know about, but lacked the expertise to present. The bead looked like it got chewed up in a garbage disposal. One bead sharing night, someone decided to test it on on clay and WOW! If real it could be the oldest bead I own, though help me date it please. If not....oh well :-)
See next post for impression. I will update my posting skills-I promise.

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Seal Impression
Re: Seal Bead? Check out the great pixs!!! -- Carole Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Carole Post Reply
04/24/2012, 18:52:26

It is always hard to get a good imprint of this seal bead- let alone a discerning photograph. I am doing the happy dance, GASP, and OMG! Wait until you see other photographs Mike has taken for us Colorado bead collectors. What do you think? Real?

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Re: Seal Impression
Re: Seal Impression -- Carole Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: ManaMana Post Reply
04/25/2012, 15:35:40

That's an awesome bead Carole. The impression is lovely. If you want to get an even better impression of the seal, try using FIMO clay. It is firm and will give you more detail. The seal doesn't look like cuniform exactly. Do you know where the bead originates from?



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'Fraid it might not be so...don't think this one is...
Re: Seal Bead? Check out the great pixs!!! -- Carole Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Carole Post Reply
04/25/2012, 17:19:03

Heard from Jamey and he's pretty sure the bead isn't real due to how it is manufactured. Real seal beads are made in a rotary fashion and my bead appears to be made with an edged tool such as a cutting wheel. He did call it a clever reproduction, though. Jamey has posted a great primer on seal beads. After reading it, I am pretty sure that this seal bead is a reproduction, although Mike sure made it look pretty in his photograph. For the record, I have no monetary investment in these seal beads. This seal probably came from Afghanistan.

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Modified by Carole at Wed, Apr 25, 2012, 17:54:44

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Another questionable seal bead...what do you think?
Re: Seal Bead? Check out the great pixs!!! -- Carole Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Carole Post Reply
04/25/2012, 17:53:03

I don't have much experience with seal beads but, after following them on BCN, I am getting the feeling they are the most forged bead in history. This makes sense, given the importance and fascination that they acquired prior to a relatively new interest in other historical beads. I think this seal bead leans towards being a reproduction. I do have one to post as soon as I get the image that I kinda, sorta, hope might be a real one. It would be nice to have one real seal bead!

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Re: Another questionable seal bead...what do you think?
Re: Another questionable seal bead...what do you think? -- Carole Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: floorkasp Post Reply
04/26/2012, 09:30:47

I do not think this one is real, I am sorry. No expert on these beads, but the front half of the body does appear to show marks of a rotary tool.

I am still not so sure on the first one. I do not see any obvious marks of rotary tools. It looks like it has a better chance of being original than the other one to me. Could be good to get some more input from those who have handled the real stuff.



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Re: Seal Bead? Check out the great pixs!!!
Re: Seal Bead? Check out the great pixs!!! -- Carole Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: jake@nomaddesign Post Reply
04/28/2012, 20:17:21

Hi there fellow bead enthusiasts~

Sorry to have been so out of touch, I have had a difficult and entirely challenging year.

I read with great interest Carole's forward of Jamey's appraisal, and continued reading other posts throughout the years. Who could not agree, very often the seal beads made with rotary wheel cutters are obvious fakes. Though I did read In "The Scientific Research On The Sculptural Arts of Asia" many references, and specific articles about rotary incising wheels. Amazingly enough one very scientific article "The Introduction of Rotary Incising Wheels for Working Jade in China" concludes that "incising wheels where first used for working jade in China during the Shang dynasty (ca 1200 B.C.E.)"!!!!! The article discusses specific objects shaped in this manner throughout all the subsequent dynasties

In a post script the article discusses how the treadle driven lathes, and incising tools were not prevalent until the use of actual frame chairs, in the Tang dynasty (ca 850 C.E.)


Related link: Seal Thread

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Re: Seal Bead? Check out the great pixs!!!
Re: Seal Bead? Check out the great pixs!!! -- Carole Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: sandrowjw Post Reply
04/29/2012, 06:44:32

I'd suggest a book called "First Impression", which discusses in brief styles of seal bead in different historical period. The book did talk a little about the tools and indicated that a cutting wheel was used by Kassite Babylonian (1500BC) and a drill or tubular drill was used much earlier. It appears that during the same period Chinese were using cutting wheel to do jades (I heard from some collector that the cutting wheel was driven by foot at that time, but the saying is not of 100% credit).
The trail left by an old cutting wheel has different appearance compared to those left by a modern electrical driven one. I'll try post some picture here later for comparison. However one thing we need to bear in mind is that forger always keeps improving their technique, so the proof we use today may not be effective tomorrow.



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