Ancient Islamic Period Evil Eye Glass Beads Necklace with Ancient Nila Beads, Old Oxidized Silver Ethiopian Beads, and Sterling Silver

$460.00 $539.00

This 20" long necklace is made of Ancient Evil Eye Glass beads. These beads date from 8-12 century AD, the period known as Islamic or Byzantine. These kinds of beads are found in North Africa, and these particular beads, sourced from the Rita Okrent Collection, were excavated in Mali. Excellent illustrations and history of these beads can be found in a book by Augusto Panini, Middle Eastern and Venetian Glass Beads, pages 97-104, 111. ISBN-13: 978-8861301641.

The tiny translucent spacer beads are ancient beads as well, excavated in Mali. The three focal beads are oxidized old Ethiopian beads. Small bead caps and clasp are oxidized sterling silver.

See photos for more detail and scale.

The last three photos of this listing show how these beads look when found. They are then cleaned by a laborious careful process, and you can see the before and after cleaning in the last two photos

About Ancient Evil Eye Glass Beads:

Evil eye beads were widely used in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and Rome, across the Mediterranean, spreading later to Northern Europe, Asia, Africa, and eventually North America. They are mentioned in the Old Testament and the Koran, the works of classical Greeks and Romans.
The ancients believed that illness, misfortunes of any kind, and generally bad luck are caused by the malevolent gaze of an envious ill-wisher. The beads bearing depictions of an eye were used as powerful talismans to ward off the effects of such ill wishes. Such beads appear to have been widely traded through the centuries and around the globe.
Translucent blue glass evil eye beads were found in digs from the late Roman/Early Byzantine periods across the Mediterranean, spreading further during the Islamic Period as far as ancient Scandinavia in the North to sub-Saharan Africa in the South. They were widely traded and are notoriously difficult to date exactly. The ancient glass beads used in our jewelry were obtained from several private collections and reputable dealers. Most of them come from excavations in Mauritania and Mali, and are believed to date to the period between the 6th and the 12th centuries AD.