Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

Tunisian Cube Beads

A range of typical cube shaped silver beads including very old (left side) to new (rightmost bead). Center four beads have faint remnants of a gold wash.

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Comment by Edith D on November 8, 2017 at 15:24

The form of these beads actually reference that of the ancient Carthaginian glass beads.  The "eye" shape in the center of the cube mimics the ancient glass beads.  The granulation applied at the corners is also identical to the ancient glass beads.  Here is a photo of Carthaginian glass beads.  In particular, note the resemblance between the green cubed bead in the photo below, and the metal ones in the photo above.

Comment by ingrid Langerak on December 1, 2014 at 9:05

How wonderful. So much work on one bead. Curious how they were strung, as dividers or as a string of just these beads.  Beautiful.

Comment by Betty on December 2, 2013 at 17:24

Stunning beads and very interesting information! Thanks for sharing both.

Comment by Thelma on December 2, 2013 at 10:13

Edith, what great excitement on making the Fatimid connection. It opens up a whole new perspective. Congratulations.

Comment by Ethnic Embellishments on December 2, 2013 at 5:41

Wonderful!  I'll keep my eyes open.  I would love to see some traditional jewelry from Sicily and some of the other Mediterranean islands that had Arab inhabitants for hundreds of years; I'll bet we'd see some similarities there as well!

Comment by Edith D on December 2, 2013 at 4:02

Glad you like it too!  I have been on a mission to research some of the roots of Tunisian jewelry because I think the term "Berber" is over-applied.  I have been finding lots of different aspects of the coastal jewelry that seem to have a strong Fatimid connection....more comments to follow on other posted items!!!

Comment by Ethnic Embellishments on December 2, 2013 at 3:50

Edith, that's great!  Love to see the root of things!

Comment by Edith D on December 2, 2013 at 3:12

I was very excited to find a photo of Fatimid earrings at the Victoria and Albert Museum with the same shape as these beads!  There was also a necklace with Fatimid beads of the same shape recently sold at Christie's.  So, it seems that the shape of these beads is Fatimid in origin.  Check out this image....

Comment by Ethnic Embellishments on October 26, 2011 at 14:11
Thank you very much!  I would love some of the newer beads.
Comment by Edith D on October 26, 2011 at 9:26
Hillary, I've never been in business to sell anything.  These were a bit tough to find, but if I locate a significant cache of new beads, I'll let you know. :)

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Created by Cordelia Donohoe Apr 10, 2017 at 4:03pm. Last updated by Cordelia Donohoe Apr 17.

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