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Desert & Sky (1 Strand) - Vintage Faience Clay Egyptian Mummy Beads
is backordered and will ship as soon as it is back in stock.
Quantity per pack: 1 Strand (approx 700 beads / approx. 20 grams)
Length: 110cm long (approximately) every strand could be slightly different
Colour: 'Desert & Sky'
You are buying 1 string of these very old beads.
They have been strung many years ago, on a cotton string, and knotted securely. However, we recommend that you buy these as something that needs restringing, as we can't be sure of the integrity of the thread after all this time.
The beads themselves can be so many shapes, there's no rhyme or reason to them, but they will make great jewellery using them alone, or as little spacers between other larger beads. Some of the beads (because of their age and the way they have been made) can be a bit brittle, so won't work well in 'high traffic' areas in some designs.If you buy a strand of these beads to pull apart and have on hand in your workbox, you will enjoy going through them to pick the perfect one! The history, colours and makeup of these beads make them really unique to work with, and a lot of fun.
What can I restring them with? --- We have been restringing some strands onto S-Lon nylon beading thread, where we can use a Collapsible Eye Needle, and then some we've put onto a more authentic thread - Irish Waxed Linen thread (the Egyptians had linen way back so we felt it was more fitting, however it takes a little longer to string the beads). Both these cords are strong; you can burn/melt the ends of the S-Lon, but not the Linen. The Linen seems to fill the holes a little more, and still gives a lovely soft drape. The S-Lon works well too, just gives a slightly softer drape.
Some tips & Hints for a nice finish --- You will find when you re-string these beads, that after knotting, the beads will kind of shuffle together, and you will then have a gap in your string. To prevent this, we suggest that before finishing, you leave tails around 10cm on either end, and knot these tails together with a temporary knot right at the ends of the thread. Then if you hang the necklace from the temporary knot overnight, the beads kind of move down a bit. However be careful that you don't end up tying up with no 'wiggle room' at all, or you won't have a nicely draping necklace, or maybe even some of the beads will crack off. Remember, you are handling very old beads here, and some can be a little brittle.
About these beads --- Ancient faience beads were made from a non-clay based ceramic of quartz and sand, the oldest known artificial substance, used in Egypt five and a half thousand years ago. The ceramic was rolled or calved then glazed before being fired. Usually the paste was rolled around a reed or a string.
Modern faience --- is made from crushed soapstone which results in a smoother finish than the ancient version. Although, you will note from the photos that the beads are still pretty rough and ready!
These mummy beads are probably around circa 1950s, and made in the south of Egypt.
Available in a variety of colour mixtures, we have given the colour ways names so that we can tell them apart in the shop and for packing orders. We made these names up ourselves, inspired by the colours on the strands.
This strand --- is predominantly the tones of the desert & blues of the sky! The photos do not represent the gorgeous colours as well as I wanted. I will try for more photos as time allows.