A superb Near Eastern Blue Chalcedony Bead Necklace, Early Bronze Age, ca. 2600 - 2100 BCE
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featuring a beautiful oval-shaped blue chalcedony bead, of exceptional quality, strung as a pendant with a modern adjustable 18-inch white gold chain. Beads, similar to this example, was found in graves at the Sumerian city of Ur, Southern Iraq in excavations carried out by the archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in 1934.
Blue chalcedony, a gem that has captured the human imagination for millennia, was believed to have many health benefits and healing properties by the ancients, particularly around the throat area. This is possibly why the great Roman orator Cicero was said to wear a blue chalcedony around his neck as it would ward off sore throats and throat infections, thus being of particular benefit to public speakers. Known as the ‘speaker’s stone’ the gem is said to help those who must measure their words, particularly lawyers and actors.
For related examples see: Zettler, Richard L., Lee Horne, Donald P. Hansen, and Holly Pittman, Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 1998.
Medium: Blue chalcedony
Dimensions: Bead length: 1/2 inch (1.27 cm). Strung on an adjustable 18-inch 18K white gold chain.
Condition: The bead is intact and in excellent condition overall, it has been restrung on a modern adjustable 18-inch chain of 18K white gold. The chain can be swapped for yellow gold upon request.
Provenance: Stuart Giles (1951-1993) private collection, acquired from Aegidea Galleries, Adelaide, South Australia between 1978 and 1983, then by descent to the family, thereafter a private Tasmania, Australia collection.