An Islamic Gold, Garnet, and Turquoise Bead Necklace, Middle Islamic/Byzantine Period, ca. 8th - 9th century CE
A single-strand necklace composed of eighteen large, highly detailed, gold beads of openwork design embellished by filigree and granulation, each having repeating stylized cross elements with roundel borders, and set with four deep red garnets. They are interspersed with later rich Persian turquoise ball beads. Modern strung, with modern turquoise inlaid gold clasp.
Originally called piruzeh in Persian, the gem has spiritual value in Persian culture is such that its name carries the meanings of victory, triumph, and prosperity. In Persian literature, turquoise has been celebrated by poets, and various legends and beliefs are associated with it (Vinogradov et al., 1966).
For two related examples from the same collection see: Schmuckmusesum, Pforzheim "Jewelry from Persia, the collection of Patti Birch" (1974) #115 and 116.
Dimensions: Length: 21 inches (53.34 cm)
Condition: All beads are intact and in excellent condition overall, the necklace has been restrung for wearing with a later turquoise inlaid gold clasp.
Provenance: Patti Cadby Birch private collection, thereafter Henry Anavian, NYC, then by descent.
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