Sunday, September 13, 2015

My 3 Birds

These 3 slim birds came from Myanmar. Two of the birds are of greenstone and one of light blue glass. All three are perforated from the top of the head to the tail and so are beads. Were they meant to be worn and what is their function ?

My three birds from Myanmar

 The larger of the greenstone birds is 6.5cm long. Of slender shape, its head is simply shaped with a pair of bulbous eyes, a beak and a peak at the back possibly representing a crest. The head is slightly uplifted.
Greenstone bird
The wings are carved more like a turtle shell and has three sharp slits on each side, while the perching claws are  tiny knobs.
3 slits at the wing side

The smaller bird is 5.2 cm long and is identical in design to the larger bird.

Smaller bird
 Here's a close up of the pair.
Close up

The blue glass bird is tiny measuring only 3cm. Its structural form follows that of the other two birds.
Blue glass bird

The tails of the 2 greenstone birds are leaf-shaped with a centre dividing line and are 3.2 cm and 2.2cm respectively. By comparison with the heads, the tails are in better condition and retain their lustre.
Long tails

 Bird forms of this type are also seen in Neolithic  China. There are examples of such birds in the publication Gu yu tu shi (Ancient Jade Patterns Explained) on page 067  attributed to China's New Stone age up to Shang dynasty (1600-1046 BC).
 During Myanmar's Pyu dynasty (around 2nd century BC to 11th century AD ), similar carnelian and agate bird forms  have also been found. Such birds have been described by collectors' as perching parrots and sometimes as parakeets. I am hoping that my birds belong to this category except the tails are much longer and I would perhaps call my birds  peacocks.
Peacocks or parakeets ?


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  • Theft : a love story
  • The Uncommon Reader
  • The Silent Patient
  • Never Let me go
  • Angela's Angels
  • Where angels fear to tread