A Gallery of our Ancient Beads & Jewelry;
Our bead collection is cross-cultural, with the only commonality being Ancient. Although most are of Chinese nephrite or forms of agate and carnelian from the Indus Valley and the Himalayas. We choose our beads for the beauty of their cultural experience reflected in their beauty. No myths or superstitions or indigenous names or classifications. Only our best effort to share ageless and priceless objects that are among our ancestors earliest and, perhaps, most wondrous creations.
Ancient beads are featured in more and more museums as more and more of them have turned up in archaeology sites, having been interred recurrently in ancient places all over the world, from China to the Indus Valley and Egypt to Italy. Innumerable ages have used and re-used them as precious and sacred and magical object of protection, prevention and good fortune. Then, if course, there were always the symbols of wealth, power, status, and ornamental beauty and, ultimately, healing if good fortune faltered. Even Western museums like the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Metropolitan Museum, NYC, go so far as to feature specific regional cultures of beads, such as the Tibetan DZI beads, that have never been found in a burial site in Tibet because this culture doesn’t bury their dead. Instead they practice ‘Sky Burials’, whereby dead bodies are consumed by vultures and flown up in the sky as a part of the ‘dust to dust’ cycle, and possibly the cause of the legend that DZI beads were never made by man, but fell from the heavens
Brief History About Ancient Beads By Jon Edwards
In an even earlier and more general sense, for earliest Stone Age man, beads were universally the first ornamental and apotropaic personal possession. The invention of using abrasives and tapered sticks to drill holes driven by the palms of the hands, then a stringed bow, may have occurred before such a procedure was found to create enough frictional heat to ignite tender for fire. And who can know which came first, hole drilling or fire making.. or even the making of string from animal and plant sources. To be sure, holes in beautiful stones without something to string them on and attaching them to the body with – would have been useless in terms of a possession being personal and portable, for portability, or wearing an object made the possession and the personal possible. Otherwise, one would have needed to hide the treasure or carry it in the hand at all times. And carrying on from there, possession of multiple beads strung together led to the first trade and acquisition of conspicuous wealth and symbols of status and power. From man’s earliest psychic experience, an innate feeling or instinct has developed for a lucky or religious ‘charm’, and amulet to touch and feel comforted and protected by. Add this instinct to beads of ancient age and uncountable cultural experience as reflected in their patination of colors faded and filtered, their scars and leathered skin and once sharp edges rounded by experiences of time, weather, and contact with the earth and human body… and we discover a magical match. A thing of mystery and magic and timeless beauty.