Thursday, May 19, 2016

A group of small turquoise animal and melon beads

Some ten years ago I bought this group of small turquoise animal and melon beads in Fujian Province, South China.

A group of small turquoise beads

These beads have an archaic aura but its hard to pin point their exact vintage. They are also tiny measuring on average 15mm by 10mm. All have holes bored through them and may have been earrings or amulet ornaments for some  minority tribes of South China.

Modern remake,  2016

Of the eight animals only the two birds are clearly birds. But its a tad difficult to figure out the remaining six animals. Are these creatures   rabbits, pigs, wild boars, bears or other domesticated animals ?

No doubt these 2 are birds

What animals are these ?

As there is a certain amount of decomposition on some of the beads I am not sure whether they are made from turquoise or faience. They could also have been recovered from excavations.

Faience or turquoise ?

The melons from the same group have spirals in the perforations which can be seen with a loupe. Two of the melons have round shapes while the other three are flat shaped.

Perforations show spiral drill marks

Some of the animal beads have tool marks and saw marks on their bodies indicating  great age.
Close up of tool marks on the body

Well whatever their true history or vintage they are still  quite a lovely bunch.

What a lovely bunch !

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