AUD $80.00
  • Sold Out! - Sorry.

Ancient Bactrian Lapis Lazuli Bead.


Sorry, this Lapis Bead is no longer available.

 An ancient Bactrian six sided biconical Bactrian Lapis bead, with a very worn pitted old surface.

The colour looks like a uniform deep blue but on closer inspection is actually both quite deep blue and much paler almost clear, speckled over the length of the bead. I always feel this variation prooves it hasn't been dyed a uniform deep blue, which is often the case with newer pieces.

The trade in Lapis Lazuli either worked into beads or raw chunks precedes the earliest civilisations and was a contributing factor in the creation of trade routes in the region. It was carried to Mesopotamia and Syria from the mines of Badashkan in North Eastern Afghanistan, where it has been mined for over 5,000 years. Stocks of unworked Lapis have been found in the ruined city of Mari in NE Syria and worked beads in the Royal graves of Ur. The Assyrian goddess Ishtar was known as "Our Lady of Lapis" whilst the Egyptians treasured it but had very little as it mainly came as State Gifts from Persia and Assyria, long before the trade to Europe began.

Long beads like this were harder to drill and therefore more appreciated for this reason.(Ironically, though, tiny beads were considered elite too as they require so much work and wasted so much material in their manufacture.)

The hole is about 1 mm so it can be threaded on silk or tiger tail but not on a cord, chain or choker. Both ends have worn to an angle but it's not a disaster, you can either use a cap to cover it or I use a small (2mm?) bead as a pivot when threading.

All the corners are smoothly worn and rounded, and in cross section it's slightly ovoid, which just adds to its earthy organic feel.

Age: Circa 200 BC to 200 AD

Size: L 31 mm x W 11 mm

Weight: 5 grams.