A Persian Agate and Crystal Bead Necklace, ca. 550 - 330 BC


The necklace composed of fine rhomboid and cornerless-cube rock crystal beads, interspersed with 19th century 14K spherical gold beads of ancient design; and featuring a rare central pendant of fine pale agate, with gold terminals. Restrung with a modern 18K S-hook closure.

In the Achaemenid period, stone beads were time consuming to make, expensive and available only to the wealthy.  They were considered so attractive that craftsmen were eventually inspired to create imitation agate beads from glass as a less expensive fashionable alternative.  

Comparanda: Liu, Robert ; A Universal Aesthetic. Collectable Beads (Vista, 1995); Dubin, Lois Sherr ; The History of Beads (New York, 1987).

Condition:  All beads are intact and in excellent condition overall with attractive signs of wear to the drill 

Dimensions:  Necklace Length: 48.26 cm (19 inches).

Provenance:  The Nourollah Elghanayan Collection of Ancient Art, assembled 1950-1970's.  Nourollah Elghanayan (1915 - 2009), NYC, Iranian-born businessman started buying land in Manhattan in the 1950s and 1960s focusing on Manhattan property on Second and Third avenues.  His sons turned the holdings into a booming real-estate business. Now, the family is worth $1.9 billion and has more than 20 million square feet of residential and commercial holdings to its name, split among two firms.

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