You are presented here with a very rare and exceptional antique Greek KOMBOLOI , worry Bead Strand made of 25 Long Barrel beads + two large sterling silver separator beads + 2 Front bead of same Faturan.
The Beads of this strand have been in my private collection for more than 30 years. The Komboloi has been designed with sterling silver beads , Tassel and shield.
Pictures will describe better than anything else this beautiful item.
I estimate that the beads are made of very old Faturan, most probably dating back to the second decade of the XXth and are of the early type of Faturan . They have been carved in Istanbul and they are of typical Ottoman/Turkish bead of bulging long barrels . The beads show clearly that they have been hand made and have a very beautiful shine.
The Burn marks on the beads are very interesting. It is clear that intense heat, like that of a red iron, has been applied to obtain these marks. This treatment had two purposes: on one hand to prove that the material was Faturan - therefore impossible to burn as the red iron could not burn but only mark the beads and on the other hand to add some rough character on the bead making it more masculine.
It is an extremely interesting item. Beads are Genuine Faturan because they also test positive to the simichrome test.
Beads size ranges between 12 to 12.5 mm in length and approx. 12.5 mm in diameter. mm on the average!! .
Typical "KESME" style and a very pleasant size for Faturan barrels beads .
It is a nice and well balanced strand weighing 68 grams with a length of 41 cm, mounted on a sturdy cord.
VERY NICE AND AESTHETIC CARVING EXTREMELY PLEASANT TO HANDLE. WITH ITS SUPERB COLOR IT HAS AN EXCEPTIONAL CLICKING SOUND, TYPICAL OF GENUINE FATURAN.
The color of this strand is that of a butterscotch amber of exceptional glow. Wear shows on the beads, adding to their attraction
The tassel is entirely hand made using same beads as the main strand and sterling silver chain and tassel. The shield as well as all metal parts are also Sterling Silver, hand made and finely ornamented.
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THE TRUTH ABOUT FATURAN
The "legend" of AMBER-FATURAN defines it as follows : " a mixture of natural amber, resins and incense.The technique of sticking together the shavings of amber together with a mixture of secret natural resins and incense to turn it into a solid material is unknown until today, This method was invented by an Arab named Faturan, in the XIXth century and the material carried his name ever since".
However the true story is that the material named Faturan is a derivative of BAKELITE which was developed in 1907/1909 by the Belgian chemist Dr. Leo Baekeland.
Bakelite is basically a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde synthetic resin
The bead carvers, mainly in Turkey, were swift to understand that Bakelite was a material that could be well carved, had a great appearance and could imitate and replace amber. They started making their own material mixing it with dyes, natural, vegetal or synthetic, amber powder, various fillers and additives, etc... Each master also had his secret "recipe" even heating in various liquids and oils and making it undergo various physical or chemical processes to obtain the most beautiful aspect.
The original Faturan beads were mainly red or yellow in all its shades.
The last Faturan beads were made in 1940 mainly due to the 2nd World War when the supply of raw material became very scarce.
Today, there is a very big confusion in the use of the word Faturan and about its meaning to the extent that practically any type of phenolic resin is called Faturan, even those produced nowadays.
The original pre 1940 Faturan is extremely rare and intact prayer bead strands made from one single type of material are considered museum items.
Quality of beads and carving as well as balance and aesthetics make of this strand a very elegant true collector's item.
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I am ready to refund in totality any item sold by me if you are not fully satisfied with your purchase
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