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Ancient Bead Necklace

This bead necklace consists of ancient opaque, red glass beads accented with a large, dramatic, sterling S-hook clasp.

These glass beads were found in Java and date from the Early Classical Period, 650 - 1000 AD. They are considered to be Indo-Pacific beads. This particular opaque red glass was commonly found in small beads. This type of glass also formed the core of spectacular beads that were owned by royalty and the priestly caste. The large size makes them very rare and indicates a high social status in Classical Javanese society.

The original Indo-Pacific bead-making techniques from Arikamedu, India, 1st Century BC, were transferred to Funan, the first state in South East Asia, and then in 8th through 12th Century to the Srivijaya kingdom in South Sumatra. According to Peter Francis, by the time the Sailendra dynasty fell and the capital was moved to Jambi, Indo-Pacific beadmaking had disappeared in Southeast Asia.

 

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Item code: bd52

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For a detailed background on these special beads, click here.