Necklace of Egyptian mosaic glass beads

Object number
Object: Necklace made of Egyptian mosaic glass beads

Material: Beads made of blue glass and polychrome mosaic glass.

Period: For the blue glass beads and spherical mosaic glass beads 1st cent. BC to 1st cent. AD.
For the cylindrical mosaic glass beads 3rd cent. AD to 4th cent. AD.
Early to Late Roman Imperial period.

Description:    Modernly assembled and threaded necklace made of ancient beads. 17 polychrome mosaic glass beads. These beads stand out visually due to their size and striking design. They are accompanied by 51 plain blue glass beads that serve as spacers for the other beads and accumulate near the clasp. In total there are 68 beads.
The location of manufacturing has not been passed down. But there is the convincing conjecture that such mosaic glass beads were made in workshops in Roman Egypt.

Dimensions: Approximately 54cm length of the entire chain. The longest bead approx. 2.7cm in length.

Condition: Very good condition. The ancient beads are usually complete and intact, although minor chips are possible. A few beads with larger chips or breaks or professionally restored from fragments. One of the cylindrical multi-colored beads is broken into two parts and is relatively loosely fixed in this state, with both parts being securely threaded on their own. The beads are modernly threaded onto a wire and have a gold-coloured metal clasp. The chain can be worn immediately as a necklace.

Provenance: Acquired by us on the British art market in 2022. Previously in a British private collection. Acquired into it at Christie's London auction 30 April 2008, lot 88. The beads were previously purchased in the 1980ies.

References: For examples of spherical mosaic glass beads cf. L. Sherr Dubin, The History of Beads, no. 480,
as well as E. M. Stern, B. Schlick-Nolte, Early Glass of the Ancient World, Ernesto Wolf Collection, pp. 410, nos. 149 and 150,
and S. M. Goldstein, Pre-Roman and Early Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, p. 273, no. 817.
For examples of cylindrical mosaic glass beads cf. Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc. nos. 17.194.501, 17.194.503, 17.194.506, 15.130.9.

Literature: As an overview on ancient and antique beads we recommend L. Sherr Dubin, The History of Beads.

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.