Antique Tibetan Hair Bead, Turquoise, High Grade Silver, 24.6 Grams, Length: 6 cm (2 1/4″)
This is a late 19th century or early 20th century traditional high grade silver and turquoise cabochon bead hair ornament from Tibet, with a mixed metal backing plate.
This pale blue-green, uniformly coloured turquoise has a deep patina and a very smooth texture. This type of turquoise is still sought after by Tibetans.
It was used to ornament statues and reliquary chortens, housing Tibetan relics, or in Sanskrit as a stupa.
This turquoises exhibits evidence associated with much use and could be more than 300 years old. This is the kind of turquoise that was originally called drukar, referencing other documents on Tibetan turquoise beads.
This bead is in the shape of conch shell. In Tibetan Buddhism it is one of a particular set of eight auspicious symbols. The turquoise is surrounded by a row of individually applied small lotus petal elements as well as on the extension caps, and rows of very fine silver beaded wire. There is a bitumen element in the bead for weight and to keep the turquoise stone in place.
As illustrated you can thread a wire or fine silver chain through the bead to wear as a necklace.
Tibetan Hair Bead Length: 6 cm (2 1/4")
Tibetan Hair Bead Width: 3 cm (1 3/8")
Tibetan Hair Bead Height: 2.cm (3/4")
Weight: 24.6 grams (0.870 oz.)
Tested: High Grade Silver and mixed metal backing plate