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Hand carved Stone Beads

Eight years ago this amazing string of carved stone beads appeared in my life to begin my exploration of the world of Chinese personal ornaments...since I had always loved beads it was surprising to find something I had never seen before...and because the first collection that I ever assembled was cameos, I understood something about carving...but not this kind of workmanship...

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07-01-16 Hand Carved Stone Beads

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There are 42 of the small beads which are 16mm, carved with abstract fish and pierced, with at least 20 holes per bead at a depth of 6-10mm per hole; the large round bead is 38mm carved with abstract animals and the shou symbol for long life and 28 holes to 6mm; the tube bead is 38mm by 15mm with piercing 4mm deep. The beads have been mounted on sterling wire.

The rarity and quality of these beads suggest that they were originally part of a Mandarin court necklace. The stones are too soft to be jade and appear to be an odd shade of bowenite or an agate. But I am far from an expert on stones and would welcome any and all opinions from other collectors.

Singapore RE 2.5.2

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