MY FAVORITE ANCIENT BEADS - as seen with my Western eyes
On this page you will be able to marvel at beads in a huge cultural, geographical and historical variety. They come in all shapes, colors, patterns and conditions. Some of them will be scarred, even almost broken. Others will be so perfect that it is hard to believe, that they are ancient.
 
What binds them all together.... ?
It is beauty. They are, at least in my opinion of a h
ighly aesthetic appearance.

If you are out hunting for the kind of sublime beauty as shown here, we are on the same, mostly western wavelength.

However, I have to warn you. The sublime beauties displayed on this particular page are not cheap! They are my favorite beads. I love them as far as you can love not living art-materials and would not mind to keep them as a custodian for this lifetime. Why do I sell some of them and at the same time call the My favorite ancient beads?  Maybe it is due to greed. Maybe it is because I am serving the role as a temporary custodian and still can call them 'my favorites' after they are handed over to another custodian collector. I also have favorite art pieces of all kinds displayed on galleries and museums. Alone out of this reason they are not cheap. Because I want the next caretaker to really appreciate what he got in his hands.
 
 


Click on the
pictures for
larger images

 



 










 

FAB 1 - 31 * 7 mm - I have named this bead The Perfection of Organic Symmetry. NOT FOR SALE


What a beautiful and slim bead! A really rare Ancient Talisman. A multicolored Mauryan eye bead! In a high quality crafted bead like this nothing is accidental. I marvel at the composition.  It is a powerful demonstration of ancient abstract art work. Note the many different colors in organic and hence not sterile symmetry.

Form, design/motif & color
How a remarkable bead should look like is of course a subjective matter.
What is beautiful is, as stated often on this site, dependent on the eyes of the beholder. For people in China the bead has to be perfect without damage. For me an ancient bead in certain cases increases its beauty by imperfection. I can be remarkable in form, design, motif, color and/or in the story it can tell us.
 

 







 

FAB 2 - 23 * 9 mm - I call this bead: Proof of Go(o)d - NOT FOR SALE

 NOT FOR SALE



The Western bead eye
I look at the bead with a Western eye. A Western eye like mine is not professionalized to see within a split second if a bead is fake or not. However it might be more childlike and innocent. Maybe it sees things that the professional trained eye does not see.
 
In fact could it be that the Asian Bead emperor wears no clothes? Are all our opinions and preferences not like clothes protecting us from the naked truth of every things impermanence? As I see it our ways of looking are made of dream material only to be percieved as real in an eco chamber creating a social construct of inter-subjective reality.
 
I know an Austrian bead collector. He will never purchase a perfect bead. Why? His father was an archeologist. That is why. Perfect beads are an anomaly boosted by Asian bead greed.

If you look at beads with the purpose of investing in bit(bead)coins, it is obvious that the perspective of your eyesight will be narrowed down. This type of Asian collectors in general have no historical and archeological knowledge. In a way they are similar to the modern super rich investor-collector of modern art. Here provenance plays a larger and larger role because this type of collector hardly has any interest or knowledge in the art piece he purchases. It is only seen as an investment.
 
So let get back to the world of ancient beads. I don't claim to be an expert. I also like almost perfect beads. However imperfections and scars are secondary in my choice of beads. If a bead displays beautiful colors, geometry, forms and shapes I rate that above all else.

 
When I look at the patterns in a bead I see holy geometrics. These poor beads never went to university. Their makers were also not literate. However, the patterns follow the universal rules of mathematics and geometrics.

Hence the ancient bead reminds me that the world is not only governed by blind chaos. The chaos is as intelligent as the cosmos. It is just a form of intelligence we have yet not deciphered.
 
The longing for absolute perfection is often dangerous, especially when collectively crystallized in politics. It reflects a totalitarian mindset.
Also on the individual level the striving for perfection often turns out not to be healthy. I guess some of you dear readers already had some similar thoughts on that subject. I see the scarred old bead as a perfect projection field for my self. In me there is spite of my scars and age still Kalos Kai Agathos . There is still a firm life experienced belief in the the beautiful good and just.


Don't misunderstand me. I also love perfect beads, but only set as an organic part of a mosaic of perfectly imperfect beads.
 
Recently at a bead fair in Bangkok I had the immense luck to get some for me one out of a million perfection beads. The mainland Chinese buyers did not even look at these rare and perfect beads. For me they are out of this world, but totally bypassed in the blindness that always comes with greed. A great example is the extremely rare Indo-Parthian bead displayed below:
 

 









 

FAB 3 - 42.5 * 14 mm - NOT FOR SALE




As a general rule rule a sublime ancient bead should display high contrast in both lines and colors. A display of as many distinctive different natural colors as possible further adds to a beads 'remarkability' score. This is particularly true when it comes to agate beads. However this is not the case with the bead displayed below.
 
 















 

FAB 4 - 26 * 13 mm - NOT FOR SALE






 
 









 





FAB 5 - Left bead 18 * 8 mm

 






 
 








FAB 6 - (IV-TL 7)   - 24* 10 mm

 





 



     

 

 










 
 









 

FAB 7 - 38 * 9,5 * 8 mm - I have baptized this bead 'The Stone Rose'.

 


 

I have never seen a bead type like the specimen displayed above. The top of this awesome multicolored eye agate bead is shining like a precious stone!
 

SUBLIME INDUS BEADS
In fact I consider all my Indus beads, both the early and the late to be remarkable. However displayed on this page you will see some of the most outstanding ones within this category.
 
 








 

 

FAB 8 - (INDUS EIV 73)  - 37,5 * 10,5 mm - NOT FOR SALE









 
 







 

FAB 9 - (IV  30)  - 17 * 10 mm

 







 
 



 



 

FAB 10 (IV  7)   - 21 * 9 mm







 
 







 

RB 11 - (INDUS IV  13)   -  17 * 9 mm








 
 
 


 


 

 

FAB 12 - (INDUS IV 3)  -     17 * 11 mm - NOT FOR SALE







 
 









 

FAB 13  - (INDUS EIV  14)  - 30 *  7,5 mm - Go 2 banded sandstone section - NOT FOR SALE


Extremely rare intact banded soft sandstone bead






 
 








 
 

FAB 14 - (INDUS IV -TL 4)   -   20 * 9 mm - NOT FOR SALE







 
 







 

FAB 15 - IV  -   19 * 10 mm







 
 








 

FAB 16 - (INDUS IV  2) -

 





 
 




 




 

FAB 17 -  (INDUS IV 4) -   18 * 10 mm







 
 






 




 

FAB 18 - (EIV 78)  - 25,5 * 12,5 mm







 
 




 




 

FAB  19 - (EIV 79) - 29,5 * 12 mm







 
 




 




 

 

FAB 20 - 25 *17 *6,5 mm

 





 

 



 





 

FAB 21 (EIV 92) - 26,5 * 12 mm

 





 

 


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FAB 22 - (INDUS IV-TL 1)    - 26 * 8 mm






 

 


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FAB 23 - (EIV 16)  - 35 * 9,5 mm - NOT FOR SALE







 

 


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FAB 24 - (EIV  44) - 45 * 14 mm







 

 


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FAB 25 - (INDUS EIV 17)  - 47 * 10,5 mm - NOT FOR SALE






 

 


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FAB 26 - (INDUS EIV 19) - 53 * 14 mm - NOT FOR SALE







 

 


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FAB 27 -  45 * 12 mm - NOT FOR SALE







 

 


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FAB 28 - 42 * 10 mm







 

 


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FAB 29 - EIV 23 - 39 * 10 mm







 

 


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FAB 30  - 33 * 10 mm






 

 



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FAB 31 - 30,5 * 7 mm







 

 




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FAB 32 - (EIV 25)  - 29 * 6 mm



 


 

 



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FAB 33 - 33,5 * 8,5 mm - NOT FOR SALE






 

 


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FAB34  - 25,5 * 8 mm



 


 

 




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FAB 35 - 44,5 * 11 mm







 

 




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FAB 36 - 44 * 12 mm







 

 




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FAB 37 - 42 * 15 mm



 



 

 




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FAB 38 - 23 * 8,5 mm






 

 







 

FAB 39 - 32 * 8 mm







 

 




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FAB 40 - (INDUS EIV  29) - 34,5 * 9 mm - NOT FOR SALE






 

 



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FAB 41 - (EIV  31) - 33 * 9,5 mm







 

 





 

FAB 42 - EIV 30  - 34 * 7 mm







 

 



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FAB 43 -







 

 



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FAB 44 - 33,5 * 9,5 mm






 

 



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FAB 44A -






 

 



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FAB 45 - (INDUS IV-TL 3)    - 26 * 8 mm - NOT FOR SALE






 

 



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FAB46  - (EIV 32)  - 29,5 * 9 mm - NOT FOR SALE







 

 





 

FAB 47 - 33 * 9 mm (INDUS EIV 33 - NOT FOR SALE







 

 





 

FAB 48 - 25 * 10 mm







 

 



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FAB 49  - 25 * 10 mm






 

 



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FAB 50 - 24 * 8 mm







 

 



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FAB 51 - 23,5 * 10 mm







 

 


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FAB 52 - 28 * 11,5 mm







 

 



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FAB 53  - 32 * 10 mm






 

 




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FAB 54 - (INDUS EIV  45) - 38 * 13 mm - NOT FOR SALE







 

 




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FAB 55 - 33 * 17,5 * 14 mm







 

 



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FAB 56 - 28 * 20 * 8 mm - SOLD TO HERVE







 

 




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FAB 57 - 37 * 29 * 11 mm - SOLD TO HERVE








 

 



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FAB 58  - 36 * 28 * 10 mm







 

 



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FAB 59 - 29 * 27 *9 mm







 

 




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FAB 60 - 34 * 26,5 * 9 mm







 

 




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FAB 61 - 37 * 24 * 10 mm -  SOLD TO HERVE








 

 







 

FAB 62 - 45 * 29,5 * 8 mm








 

 



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FAB 63 - (INDUS EIV 60) - 36,5 * 11 mm







 

 



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FAB 64 - (EIV 58)  - 30 *11 mm








 

 



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FAB 65 - (EIV 170)  - 42,5 * 13 mm








 

 





 

FAB 66 - EIV 175  - 32 * 9 mm







 
 

 




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FAB 67 - 39 * 8,5 mm - NOT FOR SALE


Green banded jasper bead - Note the color difference from dark green to lighter green




THE PERFECTION OF IMPERFECTION
Seen with my western eyes, a remarkable bead does not need to be perfect to be beautiful. Often I love the scarred bead more than the perfect one. Scars and cracks can be the kintsugi of time, both made by man and time itself.
 

 



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FAB 68 - 28,5 * 13 * 11,5 mm


Use a loupe to discover the hidden
micro world of ancient beads!
I
f you are in possession of a truly remarkable and ancient bead, I recommend you to have a good loupe at hand. That will enable you to dive deeper into the micro world of the bead. Here you can discover marvelous patterns and colors so far hidden from the eyes of normal everyday attention. Beads can be like miniature paintings.
 

 



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Click here for a super close up


 

FAB 69 -  15 * 9 mm


As displayed above you can see that a pattern does not need to be symmetrical to qualify for the sublime. I am not perfect and therefore I cannot see myself mirrored in a perfect bead. When there somehow is an intuitive sync between my imperfection and the imperfection of the bead, it becomes easier for me to let the scars of the bead heal my scars - not in the sense that the scars disappears - on the contrary: The synergy of scars becomes an existential act of post modern wabi-sabi. Here I realize that it is the very scars that makes me beautiful and alive, I become an out-standing individual human being thanks to my scars.
 
 

 



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FAB 70 - 33,5 * 16 * 14,5 mm


Be grateful for your scars!
So Ancientbead.com can in some ways be used as a post modern psychotherapeutic site! It provides tools for the rare ones that has seen the tremendous potentiality in cultivating gratefulness for so called 'negative' things that happened to them in their life. As C.G. Jung pointed out many years ago we grow by making our darkness conscious.


 

 



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FAB 71 - 26 * 16 mm


Another truly remarkable multicolored agate bead with a dark infinite eye placed within the boundaries of a fiery sharp and golden rhombic pattern.

I call this bead The Eye of Mordor.


Beads are like music
I am also a music composer and producer. When I make live recordings in multi layers in my digital studio I am often not able to keep the rhythm in such a way that the sum total of tracks are in sync. In such situations I am tempted to use a function called automatic quantize. However if I use this function the music becomes sterile and dull. Perfection often equals death.

 

 



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FAB 72 - 23 * 16 mm

 
Note the strong contrasts in this dramatic two eyed sulemani bead in soft blue, strong white and black colors.

I call this bead
Duality in unity
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FAB 73  - 21,5 * 17 * 14,5 mm


Here we have a super sharp all seeing eye bead in a variety of soft autumn colors. I dare to say that these beads rivals the best contemporary art.

I have named this bead
The Autumn Eye
 


 

 



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FAB 74 - 24,5 * 11 mm


The patina and  cracks on this eye-bead is unique in the way it supports and amplifies the natural lines in the original stone. It is almost as if the bead is looking at you!

The name of this bead is
Concentric layers of 'I'
 

 

 




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FAB 75 - 29 mm







 

 



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FAB 76 - 20 mm








 

 



 



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FAB 77 -SANAT 2 - 34.5 * 9 mm








 

 



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FAB 78 - 31 * 11 mm - NOT FOR SALE


A wonderful ancient translucent natural banded Chung DZI bead with a unique 'patina'. It displays dual, organic symmetrical swirling stripes. The bead has a translucent fiery orange color, which gives a marvellous contrast to the natural white stripes. This color has been made stronger by ancient heat treatment.

I call this bead Divine Eye Candy

 

 


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FAB 79 - 30 * 10 mm


 





 

 


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FAB 79 - 23,5 * 10,5 mm


 





 

 



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FAB 80 - 19 * 10 mm








 

 



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FAB 81 - 18 * 12,5 * 5,5 mm








 

 



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FAB 82 - 19 * 8,5 mm






 

 



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FAB 83 - 20 * 14 * 10 mm






 

 



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FAB 84 - 22 * 12,5 * 8,5 mm






 

 



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FAB 85 - (IV-U 1)    - 25 * 20 * 7 mm






 

 



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FAB 86 - Top left bead: 16 * 14 * 5 mm






 

 



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FAB 87 - SANAT 1 - 47 * 13 mm


I call this bead The Lover of Shiva

The largest Yoni bead I have ever seen!
This super rare Indus bead is made out of amazonite.






 

 

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Contact: Gunnar Muhlman - Gunnars@mail.com

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