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The Ancient Runner in Turquoise Necklace

SKU: 2151
    • When designing this necklace, I debated whether to make the design a delicate one, appropriate for a runner, or more substantial. This design, the clearly substantial one, just insisted it was right for this pendant. I even asked a friend, who is a runner, which she preferred, and this was the unanimous choice.

    • I was quite struck by this wonderful intaglio of a runner carved in turquoise and set in 18ct gold plate on silver. The turquoise is a vivid colour and the carving is full of life. It is said to be from Mesopotamia.

    • Mesopotamia literally means "between the rivers" in ancient Greek. It refers to the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, but it can include Syria, Turkey and Iraq. The region was the centre of a culture whose influence extended throughout the Middle East and as far as the Indus valley, Egypt and the Mediterranean. But I qualify this by stating that the intaglio is in the style of Mesopotamia art, but was more than likely created sometime in the last 100 years. But this is also debateable.

    • In any case, the pendant measures 3cm(1.25”) long by 2.5cm (1”) wide. The bail adds another 2cm (0.75”) to the length.

    • The intaglio hangs on a necklace of turquoise pebbles (roughly 23mm x 20mm) and carved magnesite turquoise (23mm x 21mm) and two carved turquoise beads (13mm) with the Chinese “shou” or long-life symbol.

    • The 4 antique, brass beads were made using lost wax method, by the Baoule tribe from Ghana. They were prolific producers of brass ornaments and charms, from the Ivory Coast, and are descendants of the Ashanti tribes of Ghana. Of course, these are handmade beads (easily noted) using this complex lost wax technique. Two round barrel beads are 21mm x 17mm) and the triangular beads are (17mm x 10mm).

    • The two 18ct gold on brass on hardened resin melon beads (14mm), come from Afghanistan where these beads were made using the traditional technique learned from the craftsmen who came to Afghanistan in 330 BC with Alexander the Great. Again, this is a complex method, a lot of work for small beads.

    • The remaining gold beads are made in Thailand. They are 14ct gold plated onto silver. The 4 open discs are 15mm and the 8 wave discs are 11mm.

    • A 14ct gold on brass toggle clasp has been used because toggle clasps are easy to use and secure. My silver name label is attached at the clasp.

    • The necklace comes, like all my necklaces, with its own colour co-ordinated silk brocaded pouch bag, made by a Shanghai tailor.

    • The necklace measures 44cm (17.5”) long with a 4cm (1.5”) pendant drop.