Roman, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE, possibly earlier. A lovely strand of seventy one translucent glass beads, each with multiple Evil Eyes, the vast majority of a rounded form, but two cylindrical beads as well, the ensemble boasting beautiful blue and green hues with white Evil Eyes. Size: necklace measures 29" L (73.7 cm); most round beads measure ~ .5" in diameter (1.3 cm) and the cylindrical measure .5" L (1.3 cm)
Imagery of the Evil Eye was first recorded by the Mesopotamian approximately 5,000 years ago in cuneiform on clay tablets. Some scholars believe that it may actually have originated as early as the Upper Paleolithic Age. Evil Eye iconography has been found in Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures as well as Buddhist and Hindu societies; however, each culture ascribes a similar meaning to it. The evil eye is believed to be a curse cast by a malevolent glare that is typically directed at a person who is unsuspecting and unaware. Many cultures believe that the evil eye can bring about misfortune, injury, or bad luck. For this reason, talismans and beads like these traditionally have been created to protect the wearer against the evil eye given their powerful apotropaic properties against the evil eye.
Provenance: Ex-Private Georgia Collection
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